Babcock Updates DAF Trucks Range

Tristan Wiggill
Tristan Wiggill Launch

Distributed by Babcock in southern Africa, the latest DAF XF and DAF CF trucks are finally hitting South Africa’s highways - four years after their European launch.

In fact, the DAF XF was chosen as the International Truck of the Year back in 2018.

Specifically engineered for local road conditions, the latest DAF trucks offer pure excellence in transport efficiency while setting new benchmarks for driver comfort and safety. 

Sporting a striking and polished new look, DAF CF and DAF XF series trucks deliver outstanding productivity in even the toughest conditions.

They now have higher torque, optimised drivelines, high-efficiency rear axles, and enhanced electronics performance. 

A new aerodynamic design completes the package and contributes to overall market-leading fuel efficiency.  

Mark Gavin, sales director for Transport Solutions at Babcock, emphasises that the new DAF Trucks are not merely upgrades or facelifts of previous models, but are completely new vehicles, showcasing improved chassis, cabs, gearboxes and engines. 

“Our new DAF CF and DAF XF models are smart, efficient and profitable, setting higher standards for transport safety and productivity,” says Gavin. 

Watch: Newest DAF CF and DAF XF on the road

Significant savings for long distance operators

Besides a fresh exterior design featuring excellent aerodynamics, central to the new trucks’ transport efficiency is a multi-torque PACCAR MX-13 engine offering more torque at lower revolutions per minute (rpm) for higher fuel efficiency and lower noise levels. 

The low rpm also reduces CO₂ emissions, while the trucks’ Eco Performance Mode ensures an optimal balance between high drivability and best fuel efficiency. 

Gavin says local tests carried out on the new DAF trucks in South Africa have shown an average 10% reduction in fuel costs. 

“This means significant savings for long distance operators where up to 60% of overall expenses are allocated to fuel consumption,” comments Gavin. 

He adds that operators can also expect to see a reduction in maintenance costs on the new DAF CF and XF trucks, thanks to environment-specific technological adaptations at DAF Trucks Eindhoven’s manufacturing facility.

DAF Paccar engine

These include modifications to the air intake and filtration, cooling system, suspension and transmission, as well as a new high-efficiency rear axle with low-friction wheel ends and a range of faster ratios, enabling even lower engine rpm’s for greater fuel efficiency. 

Supplied standard with both the DAF CF and DAF XF, the latest generation TraXon automated gearbox offers less friction losses, faster upshifts, and the extended use of EcoRoll contributing to lower fuel consumption. 

The gearbox also provides specific software settings for long haulage, liquid transport, heavy duty and off road applications. 

Also read: Ford Trucks Adds Product Variants

“The ability to set separate transmission settings for trucks which have to change speed frequently during their daily operation contributes to exceptional vehicle efficiency as well as driver comfort,” says Gavin.

Other engine innovations enhancing fuel economy and performance include fully variable oil, steering pumps; a new piston ring package and skirt profile; and a new turbocharger and combustion system.

It’s all about the driver

DAF interior

Adding to driver comfort and safety is the new DAF cab, with the DAF XF offering the largest interior space on the market. 

Both the DAF CF and DAF XF truck cabs feature new temperature and climate controls to improve driver comfort, as well as best-in-class interior lighting. 

Expanded driver information enables operators to respond to hazards quicker and includes intelligent tips for economical driving.

The new DAF XF packs in further enhanced features that not only safeguard the driver and other road users, but also contribute to vehicle versatility, fuel efficiency and comfort.

These include:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to automatically adjusts the truck’s speed and maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead
  • An Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS) to slow the vehicle down in an emergency
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW) using sound and visuals to warn the driver and help prevent a collision
  • A Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) to deter drivers from swerving out a lane as a result of drowsiness or distraction
  • Front and rear cab crumple zones for industry-leading vehicle safety and passenger protection
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to minimise the risk of jack-knifing and overturning.

“An exciting aspect of the new DAF CF and DAF XF trucks is that they are also equipped for the future fitment of predictive cruise control (PCC) which can determine the terrain the truck is negotiating and automatically adjust gears accordingly,” explains Gavin.

DAF sleeper cab

Total transport solutions from Babcock

Babcock is fully geared up to provide total transport solutions for the new DAF XF and DAF CF. 

Gavin says that part of the unlimited mileage warranty on the DAF XF range are a number of various maintenance packages which can be tailor-made to suit all applications. 

In addition, all vehicles are fitted as standard with the Babcock Driver Management System – Executrax – which not only provides operators with real-time location information, but provides valuable feedback on each driver’s driving style. 

All of this contributes to low Total Cost of Ownership on all DAF models. 

Driver training is also offered as part of the handover process, with courses available through Babcock to help drivers reduce fuel consumption, anticipate hazards better and increase road safety.

“Our new DAF trucks are immediately available for purchase and Babcock is ready to help our customers make their next smart decision,” concludes Gavin. 

The new DAF CF and XF trucks are supplied by Babcock in a range of model variants, and with a one-year vehicle warranty and three-year driveline warranty. 

Older DAF Trucks models can be traded in on the new trucks. 

Babcock will continue to provide full service and spare parts support for older series versions.

Interesting facts

  • Babcock has plans to build a semi-knocked down (SKD) facility in Natal for local assembly of DAF trucks. This facility will likely require an investment of between R30 million and R50 million and will create between 20 and 30 jobs.
  • All engines are specified as Euro 3, although Euro 5 can be ordered and built to order.
  • The Paccar engine is certified to run on biodiesel.
  • Peak torque is achieved at 900r/pm. 
  • The Traxon gearbox’s shift patterns can be changed at dealer level, depending on the loads transported.
  • The name of the blue paintwork is Jamaican Blue and is available as an optional extra.
  • The current telematics system provided is the result of a partnership with an unnamed 3rd party provider. Babcock hopes to have its proprietary telematics system fitted in the near future.
  • The sales target for 2021 has been set at 340 units, although Babcock South Africa is confident it can sell 450 units this year.
  • A construction bumper, designed for the needs of the construction industry, will be available later in the year.
  • The trucks are positioned as premium products and cost between R1.7m and R2.1m, depending on model and specification.
  • Fairfield Longhaul is the first company in South Africa to order a new DAF (an XF 480.) It has subsequently ordered five more DAF’s.

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