When you see the new CF and XF model range from DAF, the new cab shape is instantly recognisable. The much more rounded profile is clearly much more slippery in the wind than its predecessor. Overall, the aerodynamics are much improved and a new sun visor design has further enhanced air flow.
The new shape also looks much more 2020 than the previous iteration of the truck, which has been with us for quite some time. The overall look of the range is now fully integrated and there can be no doubting the brand of the truck approaching with the bold curves included in the design of the cabin’s front panels.
The cab options available see the CF available as a day cab, a flat roofed sleeper and the much taller Space Cab. On the larger XF the options all include a sleeper, but the roof is available at three levels, the Comfort Cab, the Space Cab and then the really tall Super Space Cab, which tops out at a 3.94 metre roof height.
The new look cabin also has a refreshed look and feel from the driver’s seat. The modern European truck is reaching higher and higher levels of comfort and sophistication as each range refresh takes place. The fact is that this new model release sees the DAF in Australia come right up to speed with the trucks on sale in Europe, and makes the change even more dramatic.
Simply driving along it is clearly quieter inside the cabin than it was before. The familiar screen between the speedo and tachometer is improved and a larger screen to the driver’s left has an array of data available for display. The simple twist and push control for the data screen is well designed, easy and intuitive to use.
At the driver’s disposal are all of the latest bells and whistles we are beginning to see appear as standard in the latest trucks to come to market. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is one of those systems which seemed like science fiction just a few years go, but is becoming normality.
Forward Collision Warning (FCW) is allied to the ACC, but not the same. It does use the ACC’s radar to detect where any slow or stationery vehicle may be in front of the truck, but it also uses the camera from the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) to identify when to instigate the Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS).
That is quite a few acronyms to digest in one bite, but the list goes on. There is also Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) which is becoming standard across the industry. This will join, as standard, all of these systems which were originally either fitted as options or not available because the electronic capacity wasn’t available at Euro-5, but is now at Euro-6.
There is also another addition to the standard fitment that has historically been an aftermarket option, a side camera on the nearside of the cabin. All of the cabins are fitted with an integrated camera high up on the cabin’s side behind the passenger door. This has an excellent view of any vehicle or obstacle in the blind spot on that side of the prime mover.
When the left indicator is actuated, the image from the camera pops up on the large information screen to the driver’s left. The new range has all LED lighting with the addition of cornering lights when the indicators are activated.
Another design innovation, and not one seen in Australia before, is a new design for the cabin suspension system. This is known as the Protective Cab Suspension Construction (PCSC) and comes into its own in the event of a collision.
When impacted the system allows the cabin itself to be pushed backwards on its mountings to absorb some of the energy from the collision. This protects the integrity of the cabin’s construction, improving outcomes for the driver and giving emergency services better access in an emergency.