DAF XF105 provides stark contrast with Huntapac’s early Octopus
Date: 9th Dec 09
A visit to the Leyland Trucks assembly plant by William Hunter, chairman of Huntapac Produce Limited of Tarleton near
Mr Hunter was at the plant to take delivery of one of the new DAF XF105s built there for his transport subsidiary, W J Hunter Transport Limited. But it also provided an opportunity to see again a typical example of one of his firm’s trucks from almost half a century ago, a 1960 Leyland Octopus resplendent in the company’s distinctive red livery.
The venerable Octopus eight-wheeler is on permanent display in the PACCAR Technology Centre – a large visitor display area inside the plant. It sits alongside DAF’s LF, CF and XF models which are built at the plant, providing a stark reminder of just how much trucks have improved over the last five decades.
“Driver comfort wasn’t top of the agenda in those days!” says Mr Hunter. “Cabs had minimal heating, air conditioning simply involved opening the windows, seats were very basic and uncomfortable, and power steering was in its infancy. You had to be both strong and tough to handle a truck like this, especially as you also had to cope with manual loading and unloading and sheeting and roping your load.
“It’s quite right that drivers today enjoy the level of comfort that they do,” he says. “Traffic conditions have changed beyond measure, speeds are much higher, and the job requires a different level of skill. So I’m pleased that we are able to offer our drivers trucks like the superb DAF XF105, which bristles with features to make the driver’s job simpler and safer.”
Power for the Octopus comes from a 240 horsepower four cylinder engine, whereas the new XF105s, of which the company now has 16, are powered by the six-cylinder MX engine developing 460 horsepower. This engine is Euro 5 compliant and produces less than half the CO² emissions per tonne carried on the Octopus, 97% less particulate emissions, about 90% lower NOx, and can achieve journey times that are half what they would have been half a century ago, carrying virtually double the payload .
Today’s drivers also have the benefit of an automated transmission in the 12-speed AS-tronic fitted to Hunter’s XF105. This makes life considerably easier compared with their counterparts in the 1960s who had to grapple with a slow manual 5 speed constant mesh gearbox and very heavy clutch pressures.
All 16 of Huntapac’s new 105s were supplied under a three year contract hire arrangement funded by PACCAR Financial. This covers all repair and maintenance, which is carried out by the supplying dealer, Lancashire DAF of Preston at times to suit Huntapac’s operational needs. The deal is based on each truck covering 200,000 kilometres a year but includes an arrangement for pooling mileage across the fleet so that there are no penalties should any truck exceed that limit.
Huntapac are operating their DAFs with either aluminium Weightlifter tipping trailers for bulk collection of produce and delivery to the packing plant, or with tri-axle refrigerated units for delivery of washed and packed produce to customers. Jost sliding fifth wheels have been specified to cope with different king pin positions on the trailers.
For further information please contact:
David Rowlands, Automotive PR, 020 7494 8050; firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave a Comment
Your comments will be moderated before being displayed above. Please note that we will not display your email address, but we might use it to email you back. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted. Fields marked * are required.