Revamped DAF LF truck handles urban and regional work

By: Matt Wood


We test the new DAF LF to see how it performs amongst the hustle and bustle of city life.

Revamped DAF LF truck handles urban and regional work
The new-look DAF LF uses a 280hp, 6.7 litre Paccar engine for power.

 

The lighter end of the Australian DAF line-up has had a revamp with the release of the updated medium duty LF model.

The new LF uses the current Euro 6 platform and cab while retaining the Euro 5 driveline from the previous model.

The result is a fresh new look and some extra kit inside and out.

The little DAF uses a 280hp, 6.7 litre Paccar engine for power and a six-speed ZF AMT to handle gear changing duties.

The new-look cab moves away from DAF’s previous generation of boxy styling, giving it a much more contemporary look.

Inside — as with the rest of its Euro competitors — the cab gets a premium feel with simple well laid out controls and block-style switch gear.

An easy to use digital menu is joystick controlled and is nestled between the analogue tach and speedometer. This can be scrolled through to monitor vehicle and driver performance and styles.

A driver performance assistant function can even give you a scorecard of your driving abilities at the end of a shift.

There is also the option of a reasonably sizeable flip down bunk for those who make a mile on occasion — though it does require some rearranging of the seats to get it into place.

In-cab storage is impressive with compartments lining the rear wall of the cab as well as the usual hidie holes dotted around the cockpit to hold coffee cups, bottles and paperwork.

The most striking thing about the new cab from my point of view is the ease of entry. The narrow cab allows for well-spaced steps and grab handles are easy to access. Combined with the low cab height of the LF it should be a hard truck to fall out of.

We took the wheel of the new DAF lightweight for a spin around Melbourne recently to see how it performed amongst the hustle and bustle of city life.

Our 4x2 LF was loaded to a gross weight of 13.7 tonnes, but it has a GVM of 18 tonnes and a GCM of 22.5 tonnes.

The Euro 5 SCR powerplant is a little coarse sounding compared to some of its contemporaries but not shy on performance.

The ZF transmission and Paccar engine are a nice performing package, if a little revvy in nature.

The green band of the tacho runs from 1,500rpm to 2,500rpm and the needle spent most of its time around 2,000rpm during our test route through the Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs.

The transmission shuffled through the six gears with ease and predictability and didn’t need any manual input to keep it humming along. Clutch engagement was also excellent.

The LF’s engine brake was very effective, making it a pleasant change in this part of the market.

Hill start also kept things from rolling backwards in the heavy CBD traffic.

Large well placed mirrors helped when dealing with the usual assortment of determined pedestrians, cyclists and ill- tempered tram drivers, while the low cut windows and windscreen also minimised blinds spots for scurrying office workers to lurk in.

It’s a comfortable, nice performing little truck that is more than up to the task of urban and regional delivery roles.

On the Australian market, premium medium duty models face fierce opposition from the market-dominating Japanese brands in this segment, especially in large fleets.

But for the owner-driver or small fleet operator, vehicles like the LF offer a level of comfort and performance that are a cut above.

 

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