New DAF XF range launched


After one of the longest lives is truck history, the 1987 DAF XF has finally been replaced with a brand new, clean sheet design. The new XF’s most obvious features surround the all-new cab, the first from any manufacturer to be designed to meet the latest regulations on truck weights and measures, relaxed in the interests of aerodynamics, emissions, safety and driver accommodation.

The new range includes the XF, broadly similar in size to the current Super Space Cab, together with the XG, which has an extra 330mm of length behind the B-pillar, and the XG+ which adds another 200mm of roof height to the equation. The result is 12.5cu m of interior space, 14% more than the Super Space Cab.

While the range of engines is nominally unchanged, with six choices ranging from 370hp to 530hp, their internals are substantially altered to improve efficiency, accounting for some 3% of DAF’s claimed 10%  overall improvement in efficiency. Detail changes have also been made to the TraXon driveline to improve functionality and efficiency.

DAF joins the mirror camera club with its own version which adds retractable cameras and digital front/corner cameras to the spec. A full range of the latest safety technology is fitted.

Inside, the driver gets a completely new 12in digital instrument panel as standard, with the option of a secondary 10” display for navigation and infotainment. The whole of the cab interior appears to be of a very high quality.

The new range goes on sale today, with the first customer vehicles, including right-hand drive 6x2 tractors, due to begin production in October, including at Leyland and a brand new cab factory in Belgium.

You can read the full story of the new DAF XF range in Commercial Motor next week (17 June)

Operator wakes up and addresses failings


The traffic commissioner has allowed a partial increase in licence authority for a Norfolk haulage operator, after it addressed shortcomings in its compliance systems.

Attleborough-based Skillplane sought an increase from four HGVs to 11 and to add another operating centre in Hackford, but concerns were raised about the findings in an earlier RHA audit that revealed maintenance weaknesses, as well as a failure to inform the TC about a change in transport manager. In addition, one of the company’s lorries was stopped by the DVSA and it was found that the driver’s Driver CPC had expired two months earlier. A follow-up DVSA assessment also uncovered an initial annual test pass rate of only 60% and concerns that PMI intervals were being exceeded.

At a virtual public inquiry before TC Richard Turfitt, Skillplane director Ivan Stubbings said its drivers would all be employed in the future and not classed as self-employed. Licences would be subject to systematic checking going forwards, PMI checks had been tightened up and the operator had implemented its own driver defect reporting forms. In addition, the company had employed a transport consultant to provide regular consultancy services and assist the transport manager.

In his written decision, Turfitt said the operator had “woken up to shortcomings” and allowed an increase to seven HGVs.