At 510 horsepower a new DAF eight-wheeler with Totnes, Devon tipper operator DJB (South West) Haulage Limited has plenty of power to tackle the hilly local terrain. The FAD CF85 is also the first DAF eight-wheel tipper in the UK at this power rating.
With a hefty power-to-weight ratio of almost 16 bhp per tonne the DAF makes easy work of even the most severe of gradients. And there's plenty of torque too from its 12.9 litre MX engine, which delivers a substantial 2500 Nm across a power band between 1000 and 1410 rpm.
A hub reduction rear bogie with cross-axle and differential locks enables the DAF to cope comfortably with the worst of off-road conditions. And a 16-speed gearbox also ensures that driver Robert Widger can get the optimum performance from the truck whatever the load or road conditions.
Derek Brooking, managing director of the family run firm, is convinced that 510 horsepower will result in good fuel returns from the DAF. “This level of power means that the truck will always be working comfortably within its limits and this should lead to good fuel economy, which is very important with the current high cost of fuel. I believe that it will also help to ensure a longer trouble-free life from the engine.”
The truck has been fitted with a ZF intarder, which reduces the need to use the service brakes on downhill descents and which Derek says is a real boon. “Experience with the ZF intarder in an earlier DAF has confirmed our belief that this is an essential device for our type of operation and one which more than covers its costs. The first truck we had fitted with one has now done almost 400,000 miles and we haven't yet had to change the brake linings.”
DJB will operate the new DAF mainly on muck-away work throughout the South West region from Bristol down to Land's End. Much of its work will be at night collecting the waste created by road planing during resurfacing of the region's motorways. It will also be used to deliver materials from DJB's own and other local quarries.
To cope with this tough work the DAF has a steel body made and fitted by Somerset company Chard Welding. This 16 cubic metre body uses Fora 400 steel on the floor and tailgate which offers a high resistance to abrasive wear and contributes to a low body weight, allowing a payload in excess of 19 tonnes. A Harsh front-end, single ram is fitted and the body has an automatic sheeting system electrically-operated from the cab.
Robert Widger is reported to be very happy with his new truck. It offers him a luxurious level of comfort including a very low in-cab noise level, even with 510 horsepower under the bonnet. He has air conditioning, an air-suspended seat and a stylish wrap-around walnut-effect dashboard with all safety critical instruments well-placed for quick and easy reading.
The truck is fitted with an array of safety devices including the obligatory roof-mounted flashing beacons and a reversing camera to assist when connecting up with planing machines.
DJB (South West) Haulage Limited was started by Derek Brooking 22 years ago and today runs a fleet of 26 tippers. The company also has 14 road sweepers used in support of road resurfacing work. It will maintain the new DAF in its well-equipped workshop at its Totnes base.
Wessex DAF of Taunton supplied the new DAF and will provide ongoing warranty and parts support.