With this new level of sophistication and in catching up with what is available in Europe, this latest launch can be seen as DAF’s great leap forward into the modern Australian trucking environment. We are no longer as suspicious of all of the latest gadgetry in our trucks and are willing to allow automated systems to do some of the heavy lifting if there is a productivity and safety gain, and there clearly is.
The new DAF CF and XF clearly tick all of the boxes many truck buyers are adding to their wish-list. Fuel economy is becoming a more and more important consideration, shown by the market share gains of truck models which are getting much higher levels of fuel efficiency. These new DAFs look to be capable of allowing the brand to compete toe-to-toe on safety systems with the high flyers.
These trucks are also part of the process for Paccar to cement its position as a dominant player in the Australian truck market. The process started with the introduction of Paccar engines into both of its brands, but also of components like the Paccar AMT in the T410 models last year.
We can expect, in the years to come, on a visit to the Bayswater plant in Victoria, to see Kenworths and DAFs rolling down the assembly line. Some of the basic components may be the same in those trucks, engines, transmissions, suspensions and a lot of the electronic componentry. Both will have come together from a similar philosophy, on the part of Paccar, using the company’s extremely close relationship with its customers to create an Australian truck, but using a wide selection of ingredients from both North America and Europe.
Last year, Kenworth began offering the Paccar AMT in its T410 model, but with a relatively low GCM rating. Eaton have recently announced a new model in it Endurant AMT range, the XD, which will come on-stream in 2021. This is the transmission, which is branded as the Paccar AMT and it is reckoned to be compatible with the Cummins X15. As such we can expect the transmission to be developed for fitting in Paccar trucks across the world.
It could be this philosophy which leads to a possible future development, adapting the XF to be fitted with the Cummins X15 engine. This would be the icing on the cake following DAF’s great leap forward, a prime mover with all of the latest technology adapted to Aussie conditions with a driveline which is proven year-in-year-out here, and one which can handle the top end of the heavy duty task.
Any such model could then be the basis to Paccar being able to offer an alternative to the K200. The kind of development dollars that would be needed to bring the current Kenworth model into the 2020s with enough high technology to match its rivals is probably not going to be available to the truck maker. However, a full adapted DAF XF with the kind of grunt we need may be the answer Paccar will be looking for as we reach the mid-2020s.
New Dawn for DAF
As DAF’s great leap forward, this latest release from a brand which has been a bit of a sleeping giant in Australia for over 20 years could be the big break for DAF Trucks. These latest models are on a par with the new models from other European brands and should be able to cut through in a way the DAF hasn’t before.
There is no doubt the Paccar organisation across Australia knows how to sell trucks and maintain a loyal and substantial customer base. With these new trucks in their offering, an improvement in DAF’s market share in the heavy duty truck market looks like a distinct possibility.