Woolies 'raises trucking bar with Euro 5 DAFs

By: Jason Whittaker

Retail giant Woolworths has made the switch from Kenworth to DAF, as the company becomes among the first to run

Retail giant Woolworths has made the switch from Kenworth to DAF, as the company becomes among the first to run Euro 5-standard trucks in Australia.

Woolworths took delivery of 18 DAF CF85 vehicles, adding to its Victorian fleet of more than 100 prime movers, at a hand-over ceremony in Melbourne earlier this week.

National Fleet Manager Edwin Higginson says Woolworths is not waiting until the 2011 implementation of the Euro 5 emission standards in Australia.

"We’re introducing it now so that we can not only lead the industry but also achieve even greater outcomes," he says.

"Our objective is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from our fleet by 25 percent in the next four years."

Higginson says the fleet upgrade and other initiatives are "raising the bar on Australian trucking".

Woolworths is in the process of rolling out its Metropolitan Transport Model, a national expansion plan which will see an extensive replacement of trucks and trailers.

Higginson says DAF is one of only a few truck manufacturers which could meet stringent tender demands.

"We require the highest environmental and occupational health and safety standards in our vehicles – features that will not be required by law for some years," he says.

"We are most impressed with DAF’s advanced engineering. It strikes the perfect balance between improved driver safety and productivity as well as lower operating costs and impact on the environment."

Higginson says transport managers spent months testing the CF85 against other European brands.

"DAF certainly lives up to its reputation," he says. "We’ve received nothing but positive feedback from the dozen drivers who tested the truck.

"All agreed that the CF85 is a very driver-friendly vehicle. It’s smooth and quiet to operate, and has superb road handling under any conditions."

Woolworths’ CF85s are the first DAFs in Australia to feature PACCAR’s new Euro 5 series low-emission engine, which DAF boasts is among the cleanest in the world.

DAF Trucks Australia General Manager Brad Wolstenholme says Woolworths is a visionary in transport.

"We’re looking forward to developing a strong, long-term relationship with Woolworths," he says.

"Using smarter, safer, greener vehicles, such as our CF85 series, is not only good for business, it’s good for the wider community and, indeed, drivers and their families."

The 6x4 prime movers are rated to 70 tonnes GCM and powered by the new 12.9-litre PACCAR MX fuel-efficient engine, which produces 460hp (340 kW) and 1700 ft/lb (2300Nm) of flat torque at 1000-1410rpm.

Other features include a 12-speed ZF AS Tronic overdrive automated transmission, Meritor RT46-160 rear axles, PACCAR Airglide 200 eight-bag air suspension and a sleeper cab.

The prime movers, configured with refrigerated units or general trailers, will be based at Woolworths’ major warehouse centre in Mulgrave. The 18 CF85s will distribute to stores throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria, as far west as Ballarat, east to Lakes Entrance and north to Wodonga.

The DAFs mark a new era for Woolworths. Victoria’s Safeway supermarkets are in the process of being re-branded as Woolworths stores, and the new DAFs will be among the first trucks to sport the new corporate livery.

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