DAF quartet for supermarket chain Booths
Supermarket chain Booths has added four DAF CF 480 6x2 tractor units to its fleet, to be used for inter-urban deliveries to its 28 locations in the northwest.
The trucks have been fitted with the manufacturer’s FTG twin-steer axle configuration, which is said to render them more manoeuvrable on tight or restricted access roads.
They were supplied by Lancashire DAF in Preston as part of the supermarket’s local/British procurement policy and issued with the manufacturer’s MultiSupport repair and maintenance package.
Booths, which operates a 35-strong HGV fleet, first adopted a 44-tonne CF 15 years ago and continues to operate a 10-year-old model, which has racked up close to a million kilometres.
“Everything’s on local deliveries,” said transport manager, Craig Stopforth, “so annual mileage is never excessive. However, our 10-year-old CF has delivered fantastic reliability and it’s still going strong. The 480hp DAFs are ideal for our operation, fully-loaded and with double-deck trailers, they’re on regular runs over Blubberhouses and returning exceptional fuel economy.”
“Our drivers really like the DAF Space Cab. The Comfort Package includes touch-screen navigation, leather seats, Bluetooth and lots of creature comforts. While operations rarely require an overnight, the bunk provides ample space and it’s well appreciated by the drivers. If they’re happy, they’ll look after their trucks and we are far more likely to get the best out of them.”
Used Volvo FH: 14 common issues
Poor window seals causing whistling noises while driving. Also, leaking door seals – particularly an issue when the vehicle is washed vigorously, when soap and water will find its way inside and on to electric mirror controls.
Issues where both driver’s and passenger’s windows will not close if lowered above 50mph. Some operators say opening the sunroof temporarily solves this problem.
A recall was issued in 2018 owing to a problem with the driver’s airbag inflator rupturing, potentially causing violent deployment of the airbag. Ensure vehicle has been inspected and the airbag replaced, where necessary.
4. Central locking
Some evidence that incidents of doors self-locking unexpectedly on previous versions of the FH have continued with this generation. Advise drivers not to leave keys in ignition when leaving the cab, just in case.
Keys becoming stuck fast in ignition switches. Check key has not been bent as a result.
6. Electrical system
On early models the electrical system can’t be reset using the master switch. Rather than disconnecting the battery entirely, turn the vehicle off at the key, flash the hazard lights twice, remove hand then flash a second time while holding button down. This will force a full system reboot. Non-issue on later models.
7. Sunvisor blind
Sunvisor blind motors failing. This component has since been entirely redesigned, so check whether replacement is advisable.
8. Brake pedal
Some issues with incorrect assembly of brake pedals in production on 2017 models – ensure split pin on brake pedal cross-shaft is correctly installed. This was the subject of a recall, so will be corrected at no cost by the manufacturer.
Examples of doors actually bending on early models.
Be aware if running multiple vehicles on fleets where drivers regularly change units that the position of the AdBlue tank can vary, with some versions placed behind the air kit where the diesel tank is positioned on others. This has led to incidents of mis-fuelling when filling in the dark, especially under sodium lights where the blue cap isn’t as obvious – the tanks look otherwise identical. Be certain to advise drivers to double check what they are doing. More general AdBlue issues on older vehicles – mostly pumps and nozzles.
Wiper mechanisms failing. Wiper shafts prone to seizing.
12. Starter motor
Instances of starter motors failing between 18 and 24 months.
13. Cab tilt cylinder
Examples of internal leakage in the cab tilt cylinder, meaning cab can fall without damping once it passes top dead centre. Ensure vehicle has been inspected by a Volvo dealership and the parts replaced as necessary.
Batteries poor on early models – ensure originals have been replaced. This was actually caused by the ECUs failing to shut down on turning off the ignition or locking the doors, repeatedly draining available power, and has since been resolved. Post-2017 versions had the option of being fitted with a dual battery system which runs internal amenities from a pair of gel-based leisure batteries, reserving another battery for starting.