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300,000th truck goes to heavy metal men

A DAF XF105 that is the 300,000th truck to be produced at the Leyland Trucks assembly plant in Lancashire is going to heavy plant and machinery movers Mark Armstrong Transport Limited of Carlisle.

It's a top-of-the-range FTS 6×2 model with a trailing rear lift axle and will be plated at 65 tonnes. The truck features the impressive DAF Super Space cab which will provide luxurious accommodation for driver John Todd on the three or four nights that he will spend in it each week.

Both he and Mark Armstrong were at the assembly plant this week (Tuesday 8th April) to drive the XF105 off the production line, cheered on by many of the 1,400 employees. Production levels at the plant have been increased significantly in recent months to meet demand for DAFs both in the UK and across Europe, where the company is the fastest-growing truck marque.

The XF 105 is the flagship of the DAF range and last year was voted 'European Truck of the Year' by an international panel of leading transport press editors and journalists. All right hand drive models destined for the UK market are assembled at Leyland.

A winning verdict also came from Mark Armstrong. “I've always favoured DAFs for their flawless design,” he said. “They clearly recognise the role and importance of the driver and ensure that he enjoys a high level of comfort in his workplace. One of the biggest factors for me in choosing DAF is also the excellent support I get from the supplying dealer, Solway DAF, whose service is second to none.”

To carry out its demanding heavy plant role, Mark Armstrong has specified the 510 bhp (375 kW) rated version of the 12.9 litre MX engine. This is the highest power rating at which this engine is offered in the 105 and at it delivers a massive 2000 Nm of torque to help get the truck moving easily in all conditions.

The company has also opted for the 16 speed AS-tronic automatic transmission to reduce driving effort. A heavy-duty hub-reduction drive axle completes the driveline and this has a differential lock, which, combined with lifting the rear axle, will help cope with the slippery site conditions that the truck is likely to frequently encounter.

John Todd's comfort is provided for by a very roomy cab that has a market-leading amount of space. The distance from the top of the engine tunnel to the roof is a more than adequate 210 cms (6 feet 11 inches), enabling him to stand up comfortably.

When driving, he'll sit in a fully-adjustable air-suspended seat with armrests. Ahead of him is a stylish wrap-around dashboard in which all the instruments and controls are easy to read and reach, enabling him to concentrate on the road ahead with minimal distraction.

Air conditioning, which is standard in the Super Space cab, ensures that he can maintain a pleasant working environment in all weather conditions. There's a high quality radio/CD player, plenty of storage for his personal gear, and a good-sized fridge in which to store his food and soft drinks.

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