For more than a decade, the CF85 has earned an enviable reputation for versatile, reliable performance and excellent fuel efficiency through the PACCAR MX-13 engine at 460Hp. With the extra power and torque on offer, the 510Hp MX-13 now provides even more flexibility to an already compelling package.
The biggest news in the Transport Industry at the moment is DAF’s new CF85, with its improved 510Hp MX-13 engine. Tasmanian bulk haulage business, Zam Haulage, acquired the first of these trucks delivered, which is now officially available to the market after months of lead up. In June 2016, DAF ran the new 510Hp truck through a series of local tests, analysing its performance gains, efficiency and fuel consumption using several demonstration models. To further put it through its paces, and test it under the day to day pressures of real life circumstances, DAF offered one of the demonstration vehicles to Zam Haulage.
Glen and Julie Whitehouse, husband and wife owners of Zam Haulage, began their operations in the late 1970s running their business from Spreyton, just outside of Devonport in Tasmania’s north. The company hauls bulk liquids locally around the island as well as general freight throughout the mainland.
After a decade of experience with the CF85 460Hp rating, Glen met with Chris Saltmarsh – CJD Equipment’s DAF representative in Tasmania, to discuss the possibility of purchasing a DAF XF 510hp. Knowing of the opportunity to test the demonstration model of the new CF85 510hp, Chris got Glen’s crew into the cab – and they’ve been singing its praises ever since.
Brian, one of Glen’s drivers, is a charismatic and clued-up truckie with more than 40 years of driving experience. He recently stepped out of a US competitor’s product, rated at 525Hp with 1,850 lb-ft of torque down to 1250rpm. The FTT CF85 offers Brian the same peak torque of 1,850 lb-ft torque at 1,000 rpms.
Since purchasing the demo truck, it’s clocked-up more than 180,000 kilometres. Brian says the 510Hp keeps the rig moving and gives that little bit more performance on the mainland dual carriageways. He also says one feature he is very comfortable with is the downhill cruise, even when pulling the tanker. “When the turntable was set right, the weight balance of 6.5, 17 and 22.5 tonnes on the tri axle was perfect. We did the math… our load was taring between 30 to 31.5 tonnes payload (depending on the tyre temperatures) and then it dawned on us that we didn’t need a twin steer at all because it was only going to be used on the tanker and we would have to slide the turntable back for general freight use, which jeopardised our length for a 45-foot trailer.”
“I can coast down hills in top gear using down-hill cruise and I don’t get any overrun. When downhill-cruise is fully activated (at 100 kmph) I’m around the 2,000 revs. At 97 kmph, I’m sitting on 1,500 rpms. The 510Hp/16-speed box is even better for the downhill cruise compared with the 460Hp 12-speed box,” Brian claims. Approaching a short climb at Deloriane Hill (with an elevation of 241m above sea level), Brian is usually sitting on 97 kmph pulling 46 tonnes.
“When you select cruise control, the truck normally rolls up in 16th and drops back to 950 revs. It will drop three gears in one hit and move straight to 13th then picks up to 1,400 revs and climbs most of the way up that hill in 13th gear. When you’re at the top of the hill it moves into 14th, then 15th and 16th and then you’re sitting back on 97 kmph pretty quickly. It spins up instantly and has got a unique torque curve. Trucks will drive up beside you but once it spins, it starts changing gears and you just lose them,” Brian remarks.
Brian averages more than 2.4 km to every litre pulling the tanker around Tasmanian roads and when he journeys to Western Australia carrying 46 tonnes, the truck averages out at 2.6 km cruising at 100 kmph/1550 rpms. Not only is Brian getting great fuel efficiency, he’s also arriving at his destination one hour quicker than when he was sitting on 97 kmph in his previous competitors truck to help save on fuel.
The MX-13 is paired with a fully automatic ZF AS-Tronic transmission, delivering 16 speeds of comfort and economy, which makes it so compelling to drive that even manual truck devotees like Brian, can be won over.“When the boss turned around to me and said you might have an automatic, I said to him, ‘No bloody way am I ever going to drive an automatic, thank you very much!’ But after driving this for nearly 12 months, I would not drive an 18-speed manual ever again.”
Zam Haulage has taken the new model into extreme temperatures around the country, including 50 °C across the Nullabor and 40 °C plus in the Atherton Tablelands. They’ve also fully tested its capacity to carry 25 tonnes of potatoes, climbing a 1,000-metre mountain over an 18 km stretch at Iron Horse, near Cardiff, New South Wales. Be it fuel, reliability or performance, pumping serious horsepower out of the 12.9-litre motor, the MX-13 provides a great many benefits to make a driver relaxed at the wheel while its simplicity also makes it a straightforward engine to service. The floating oil pan completes the clean and easy design, whereby operators can literally service the engine wearing a business suit.
The DAF CF85 510hp is available in Australia with support from Paccar’s distribution partner, CJD Equipment. For more information, phone 1300 139 804 or enquire here