Operator Review – New DAF CF85 510hp

Andrew Arnold, the owner of Arnold’s Transport, tackles Tasmania’s steep, remote west coast, daily. As a result, there are a few things that are needed in one of their trucks; power, reliability and reputable backup service which is what this operator is getting from his new DAF CF85

Smithton is the commercial hub for the thriving agricultural industry of the North West Coast region as well as the beginning of the spectacular Tarkine Wilderness.  Andrew Arnold, says Smithton and the surrounding communities are very prosperous with diverse industries from agriculture through to forestry. Consequently, demand on fuel usage is high in the area, which keeps the Arnold’s tankers busy, and subsequently places huge demands on truck reliability and back up service.

After some time spent deliberating and placing careful consideration on a number of key aspects, Andrew came to the decision to add DAF trucks to his fleet a few years back. A decision that would prove wise.

“The trucks that would take us forward needed to tick a number of boxes for us,” Andrew explained. “Firstly I wanted to support an Australian manufacturer with strong local Tasmanian dealership support and we found that with PACCAR and CJD Equipment.”

“Flexibility to operate in tight farm environments with the capability to comfortably run to the other end of the state when required was an aspect we’d hope to achieve, basically be good in off-highway situations with economical on-highway characteristics.

“Another important aspect is safety,” Andrew added. “I have two young drivers working for our company and their safety is paramount. The DAF CF85 certainly ticked this box.”

The CF85 510’s safety features are right at the cutting edge. Brakes are disc on the front and drums on the rear with EBS (Electronic Braking System incorporating ABS), exhaust brake (retardation power 320kW at 2100 rpm), ASR (Anti Slip Control) and Hill Start Aid with AS-Tronic transmissions only, with additional safety features available.

“We are also very mindful of the environment we work in and wanted a truck that was quiet in operation as we are often required to work within towns after hours,” Andrew continued. “Creating and maintaining good public perception is very important not just for our business but for the transport industry in general.

“Finally, the truck needed to be reliable with good economy,”

“We settled on a DAF CF85 460, with the 12-speed transmission,” Andrew said. “We’ve been more than happy with its performance and extremely pleased with the fuel economy of it. “We average 2.4km/litre on stop-start farm work and 2.5-2.6km/litre on highway work. These results were better than we expected especially when you take into consideration the PTO pumping time for farm deliveries.

“The manoeuvrability of the CF85 around the farm is especially good,” Andrew revealed. “They have great vision which is such an assets for farm work where you need to have your wits about you’re constantly on the look out for gate posts and tractor implements that are left in laneways. The visibility out of the DAF CF85 is very good for this type of work.

“I particularly like the MX engine for its low down torque and quietness,” Andrew revealed. “A lot of our work is running outside of top gear where we utilise the lower ratios in the ZF box. There are lots of short little bursts and it’s a nice smooth engine that delivers really good fuel economy. It’s a very quiet engine too; even with the engine retarder engaged it’s especially quiet which means we can operate it in towns without disturbing the community.”

Andrew said that when he was offered an evaluation CF85 with the MX engine set at 510 horsepower he was confident that the additional power would be an asset to their operation.

The CF85 510 has a GCM of 24,600kg and a GVM of 70,000kg. The front axle is rated to 7,500kg and the rear axles are Meritor MT23-165 with a maximum design load of 20,900kg and lockable inter-axle and cross-axle differentials all riding on the proven Kenworth 8-bags air suspension.

Arnold’s CF85 510 delivers maximum power between 1,500rpm and 1,900rpm, with top torque output of 2,500 Nm available from as low as 1,000rpm through to 1410rpm. To maximise the advantage of the additional 50hp, the CF85 510 is equipped with a 16-speed ZF ASTronic Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) instead of the 12-speed that is standard for the 460HP engine version.

The biggest surprise Andrew revealed was the fuel economy of the new CF85 510 is even more economical than their older 460 variant.

I’m more than content with our DAF trucks and especially pleased with the economy and reliability of them,” Andrew concluded. “The fact that they are so comfortable to operate is really a bonus.”

 

 

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