At Bayswater in Victoria this week, a locally-produced DAF CF85 prime mover, the first DAF truck assembled in Australia was presented to, long-term customer and supporter of DAF, Cahill Transport, by Paccar Australia managing director, Andrew Hadjikakou.
“Handing over the first locally DAF is not the only reason to be excited today,” said Andrew. “News has come to us from Paccar corporate, in Seattle. It was confirmed that over the next two and a half years Bayswater will expand this facility and by 2021 we will double our plant size. We will be able to build more trucks with higher levels of quality and better safety.”
Andrew handed over the keys of the first DAF to directors of Cahill Transport, Michael and Daniel Cahill, at a ceremony where they took possession of the CF85 510hp prime mover at the end of the production line. DAF trucks are being scheduled into build slots that have previously been occupied solely by Kenworth trucks for the past 47 years.
According to Paccar, the decision to locally produce the DAF CF85 will in time allow the company the opportunity to provide DAF customers with higher levels of customisation through local engineering input and greater cost savings through local parts sourcing.
The new investment announced this week will see a doubling in size for the manufacturing facility at Bayswater. The current rectangular building will be extended to turn it into an L shaped building with all of the components arriving at a receiving point at one end. The journey of new Kenworths and DAFs will see the rearranged line deliver the finished product at the other end of the new facility, where it currently exits.
This investment should further enhance the capacity of Kenworth and DAF to produce even more trucks than is currently possible and allow the company to reduce waiting times for new custom built product. Currently, the facility is producing 15 Kenworths every day.
The project to bring DAF production to Australia only began just over a year ago and involved ten factory engineers and technicians travelling to the three European DAF production facilities. This team worked alongside the teams building the DAF product to learn all about all of the parts needed, build sequences, assembly processes and get experience in handling the unique tooling used to build the CF85.
This team is now back working on the production line and travel down the production line with the DAF trucks to assemble them side-by-side with the Kenworth product. The current plan will see two DAF CF85s coming down the line each week in Bayswater.
The process used to assemble the DAF CF85 here in Australia uses the CKD method, (completely knocked down). The truck arrives asa kit with all of the components required to create a new truck, apart from the wheels and tyres, which are sourced here in Australia.