A trailer full of cargo is standard trucking. But on the ride back, when the truck is empty, it becomes a risk. The reduced traction could make the empty trailer tip over at corners or sharp turns. It also affects fuel usage and vehicular wear and tear. DAF LF has resolved this problem via retractable axle technology using special air springs and suspension pivots. Fewer replacements of DAF truck parts will be necessary and longer durations between services could add up to thousands of dollars in savings.
Smoother rides for smaller loads
When the cargo haul is full, the DAF LF operates as a 6 x 2. When it’s empty, the trucks’ manoeuvrability switches to a 4 x 2, raising the unused tyres off the ground. The engine, therefore, has less work, requires less power, and as a result, expends less fuel on the return trip. The truck remains sufficiently stable on the road, and fewer driving resources go to waste. The driver is more comfortable too because this driving style is better suited to the lighter load of the emptied vehicle.
When the DAF LF is loaded, it has a GVM of up to 23.5 tonnes. Empty, it can shed nearly 75% of that weight. And as soon as the gross vehicle mass of the truck gets under 6.5 tonnes, two of the ‘excess wheels’ retract. Aside from its cost-saving advantages and reduced wear, the DAF LF is a relatively luxurious medium / heavy duty truck.
Keeping up with market needs
DAF LF trucks have two steps leading up to the cabin, which is built in Euro 6 style. The driveline is Euro 5, but DAF is already preparing for an upgrade, reviewing its AMT. Currently, DAF’s automated manual transmission spare parts are gaining in popularity as truckers move away from manual. The AS Tronic AMT will soon transition to the ADR 80/40 that defines Euro 6 transmission. The truck’s 1:3.73 rear axle blends fuel economy with driving ease.
The DAF LF is customised for the Australian market by passing it through ADR on arrival. Australian Design Rules evaluate and adjust the electronics system as needed. Older DAFs use Eaton transmission, but DAF LF is equipped with 9-speed direct drive ZF. It comes with a 6.7 litre GR Paccar engine engineered with high-quality DAF truck parts, 1,020Nm torque, and 2,100 to 2,500rpm. The engine itself produces 285hp, and these upgrades are only available in the low-emission model. These features are being tested out on a 14 pallet DAF model with an enhanced chassis – 6.8 tonnes pre-body fitting, with a pusher axle insert and a strengthened cross member.