Daf Trucks has always enjoyed a good reputation in the UK truck market. Some say this is due to its ‘British heritage’ despite being owned by the American Paccar Group for more than 30 years.
This heritage tag probably does the range a disservice.
Sentimentally doesn’t last long when your truck is off the road for any period of time. So, staying at the top of the leader board for many of the past 30 years is more about its reliability and well regarded aftersales service.
Of course, the tractor unit market takes many of the plaudits, but the construction sector is often where a truck has to prove its durability and Daf has been involved in this market for years, enjoying a good reputation with its CF range.
It mustn’t be forgotten that the CF and XF were winners of the International Truck of the Year 2018.
At its most basic, the CF range covers all aspects of road transport from tractor units to rigids, from two axles to four and everything in between.
Indeed, at the recent IAA show in Hannover, Daf showed off an all-electric tractor unit version.
Here, we look at the rigid CF range and, specifically, four axle models which are available as 8x2s and 8x4s, although, in this case, it’s the double drive we are concerned with.
The double drive CF range (designated as FAD) at 32 tonnes gvw in its basic format, consists of three cab sizes, six power ratings and five wheelbases so there’s bound to be a variant that suits most UK construction demands.
Paccar has spent a lot of time and money on its engine range in recent years and this has paid of in its MX range. The CF is available with two engine sizes, both offering three power ratings.
The smaller engine is the MX11 10.8-litre Euro VI with a power rating starting at 370PS at 1600rpm and maximum torque at 1900Nm at 900-1125 rpm going up to 450PS at 1600 rpm and maximum torque of 2,300Nm at 900-1,125 rpm.
Interestingly the larger MX13 (12.9 litres) engine overlaps its smaller sibling, with power starting at 430PS at 1600 rpm and maximum torque 2,300Nm at 900-1,125 rpm up to the top of the range power of 534PS at 1675 rpm and maximum torque 2,600Nm at 1,000-1,425 rpm.
Of course, automated gearboxes are the standard and in the case of the CF it takes the form of a 12-speed TraXon with the option of various software configurations.
The FAD model (the 8x4 on/off road) has software optimised for off-road applications controlled by a switch on the dashboard, although a 16-speed manual is available.
The CF eight-wheelers offer five wheelbases and these stretch from 5.05m to 6.4m suiting a recommended body length based on a day cab of between 6m to 7.51m, just more than 19 feet to around 24 feet 6 inches.
The front two axles are parabolic leaf suspension with shock absorbers and stabilisers rated at 7.1 tonnes; the rear axles are a trapezium leaf suspension, (8x4) double driven tandem axles (type SR1132T) with single reduction and a maximum rating of 9.5 tonnes combined giving 19 tonnes.
Helping with the traction issue often encountered by on/off road vehicles are mechanical cross-axle and inter-axle differential locks.
Braking starts with the MX engine brake, which has a hydraulically-operated compression brake assembly integrated in the valve rocker group and works simultaneously with the exhaust brake, helping to provide a highly effective force at low engine rpm.
For the ultimate engine/gearbox braking combination Daf offers a ZF Intarder which is a hydrodynamic (oil) secondary retarder system integrated in the gearbox and provides a maximum braking power of 500kW.
Looking at the traditional braking system, there are ventilated disc brakes at the front and the double drive bogie has drum brakes as standard which provide braking force for the electronic safety braking systems.
There are three basic cab options – day, sleeper and space cab. The day cab has traditionally been one of the most popular on an eight-wheeler although a sleeper cab can help underpin residual values.
Ultimately, the operation will determine the cab selection.
Our truck we had a very unusual space cab that adds around 180kg to the day cab model. The base 2.3m-wide cab has a galvanised steel bumper, tinted glass and electric window openers with the main mirrors and wide angle mirrors electrically heated.
Climbing the three steps into the space cab, reveals a semi-wraparound dash with a very simple and clean instrument panel with just two large dials for the speed and revs and two gauges for the water temperature and fuel/AdBlue.
Just by the side, to the left is the park brake, and then the angled centre console which has the controls for the heating and ventilation, infotainment and automated gear selection.
For the driver there’s a high-backed air-suspended seat with Comfort Air which gives great support to the back of the legs. It has an integrated seat belt.
Starting the engine brings a very silent 410PS MX 11 engine into life and visibility is enhanced by the abundance of mandatory mirrors, selecting the drive is a simple matter of turning the rotary switch to ‘D’.
The Daf CF warranty is two years plus third year driveline with unlimited mileage.
Daf has a great reputation for its construction vehicle and the 410 CF will only help to further enhance it. It’s a good no-nonsense truck with lots to offer.
Model tested: Daf CF4108X4