DAF LF - The 15 problems you need to know before you buy


The sheer popularity of the humble DAF LF means there are plenty of operators out there all too willing to point out its faults. It’s important to beware of judging the vehicle unfairly because of that, when in reality it’s a simple result of the law of averages. There might even be an element of nit-picking going on, especially given these are generally short-distance vehicles whose drivers will be back at base and available to report the smallest of defects at the end of every shift.

Here is our list of the things those running DAF LFs tell us it’s worth looking out for – particularly on high-mileage abused examples.

Hover over and click on any of the points on the photo to find out more...

1. Seat bases: Seat bases suffer badly from wear, especially if drivers do not use the air dump facility before sliding out of the vehicle. (Back to image)

2. Rear crank seals: Reports of leaks from rear crank seals on some vehicles. (Back to image)

3. DPF: Issues where the DPF regenerates too often and for too long, despite multiple filter changes. Ensure software is up to date, then if that doesn’t cure the problem try replacing the EGR valve. (Back to image)

4. Doors: Door-check straps become worn, with the result that the door catches on the front corner panel and causes damage. (Back to image)

5. Sensor rings: Sensor rings on the braking system can corrode, causing the system to show an ABS fault. The solution is to clean or replace, although beware on older models – these had the sensor cast into the actual disc. (Back to image)

6. Number plate: The positioning of the front number plate means that it hangs down below the bumper, and as a result frequently gets caught on potholes and entrance kerbs. (Back to image)

7. Engine light: Phantom red engine lights which clear themselves if the vehicle is parked up for 60-90 minutes, leaving no trace on vehicle diagnostics. The cause is water ingress on the passenger side, below the windscreen. (Back to image)

8. Gear covers: Watch out for timing gear covers, which are prone to weeping. (Back to image)

9. DPF: Issues also with the DPF switch inside the cab, which is of the standard on/off type. This leads to incidents where drivers cancel regeneration, either deliberately or by knocking the switch, then forget to turn it on again. A sprung rocker switch is available, intended for pet-regs trucks, but can be retrofitted to any vehicle at minimal cost. (Back to image)

10. Anti-roll bar: The rear anti-roll bar bushes often wear prematurely. (Back to image)

11. AdBlue: AdBlue faults – some later trucks require the exhaust changing to cure these. Some reports of front springs breaking in the second or third year when the LF is used as a skip-loader. (Back to image)

12. Gearstick: On earlier, manual models, there are reports of incidents where the gearstick has literally fallen through the dash. The cure is simple – lift the stick back up again and replace the spring clip which should hold it in place. (Back to image)

13. Clutch: Clutch replacements needed far sooner than expected in some applications – as soon as 160-170,000km on one urban-based fleet. Check whether or not this has already been done if the vehicle comes from a similar background. (Back to image)

14. Doors: The rubber door seals have been known to prematurely wear. (Back to image)

15. Steps: Steps only made from fibreglass which are bolted directly to under the base of the cab. If heavier drivers regularly use the vehicle, these are prone to breaking off. (Back to image)

Hiab aims to help drivers with updated HiVision system

Camera specialist Hiab has introduced its updated HiVision system for the Multilift Ultima hooklift range, which utilises augmented reality through the use of rear-view cameras to help make loading and unloading containers easier for drivers.

HiVision uses three rear-mounted cameras positioned at different heights to give the driver a full view via augmented reality. The cameras detect the containers so the driver can choose which one to collect, and after engaging HiVision, reverse with HiVision’s guidance and pick up the container.

Nils Gjerstad, senior communications manager at Hiab, said that the primary goal of HiVision is to reduce “wear and tear on components” as it “increases the accuracy rate” of drivers who are manoeuvring containers, especially in adverse weather conditions.

This is especially advantageous for less experienced drivers and in many markets there is a skilled driver shortage. The system also provides safety warnings about any static or on-coming obstacles so the driver can stop any operation that could otherwise lead to a dangerous situation.

Ahead of HiVision’s debut at the Transport-Logistics show in Helsinki, Gjerstad, said that he’s unsure as to when the production version will be available for the UK market, but did say that production variants of past concepts have gone into production “quickly after launch”.