If you are Europe’s largest operator of a particular type of truck then it’s only fair that you get to play with the new toys before any other kid in the playground. That’s why the new DAF XF looks a little premature already wearing Turners of Soham livery well before production of the trucks has even commenced. Turners’ New Generation DAF XF joins a fleet of 1200 vehicles, of which 750 are DAF-branded, soon after the launch of the New Generation DAF XF, XG and XG+ trucks on 9th June. The current Turners DAF tractor fleet comprises FTG 6×2 twin-steer and FTP lightweight mid-lift configurations. In fact, Turners will soon take delivery of their 1000th DAF FTP, making them the largest user of this model-type world-wide.
Extensive Development & Testing
The New Generation DAF XF tractor unit for Turners is part of one of the final phases of the New Generation DAF long-term development programme that includes more than fifty field-trial and one hundred pre-production trucks in operators’ fleets across Europe. Before full production roll-out commences in October, extensive trialling will have resulted in the equivalent of over 20 million test kilometres.
Close vehicle monitoring, performance reporting and driver feedback from field-trials, alongside in-house testing, will play a crucial role in the market-leader’s new-truck introduction programme to ensure vehicles deliver the highest levels of performance and reliability from the start of full production and throughout.
The XF Specification
Turners’ New Generation DAF XF 450 FTG 6×2 tractor is powered by the 10.8-litre PACCAR MX-11 rated at 450hp, which has been enhanced with 2350 Nm of torque available from 900 rpm. The truck is equipped with the DAF Digital Vision System, passenger-side kerb view window and foldable passenger seat which, together with the larger glass area and lower belt-line of the New Generation DAF, enables the XF to achieve a 3-Star Direct Vision Standard rating for operating in London. The truck is equipped with twin fuel-tanks (490- and 220-litres) to give a total capacity of 710 litres.
The New Generation DAF is being used on Turners’ chilled distribution operations and piloted by long-standing Turners driver Cliffe Gwilliam. With one of the largest vehicle fleets in the UK, Turners operates out of 32 locations specialising in dry freight, refrigerated, container bulk and liquid tanker transport.
“We know what the DAF marque is all about,” said Tim King, Group Fleet Engineer at Turners (Soham) Ltd. “our knowledge of the DAF 6×2 fleet tractor unit in particular is, I would argue, more complete than any other operator in Europe.”
“Tests were performed at DAF’s own Technical Centre and in the labs,” said Executive Director Product Development at DAF Trucks, Ron Borsboom, “but also out on the road with customers. By the time we start the production of the New Generation DAF we will have amassed the equivalent of more than 20 million kilometres worth of experience with our new trucks, which is unprecedented. Throughout the development process,” he said, “we audited ourselves according to the Automotive SPICE Level 2/3, which is the standard used for premium passenger cars. We really have pushed the boundaries in every regard.”
Full production of the New Generation DAF will commence in October with right-hand-drive trucks for the UK market being built in Britain at Leyland Trucks in Lancashire.