Farnborough Van & Truck Hire (FVTH) is one of the first UK operators to take DAF Trucks’ new DAF PowerLine fully automatic gearbox; part of a raft of driveline upgrades designed to deliver up to a 7% improvement in fuel economy for the market leader’s hugely popular DAF LF range.
At a special handover at Leyland Trucks, FVTH Managing Director, Tim Houghton, was presented with the keys to a DAF LF 190 7.5-tonne rigid complete with PACCAR box-van body and tail-lift – part of a fleet order for the rental and contract hire company. The rental and contract hire company’s vehicles are supplied by DAF Dealer, Greenhous DAF.
The DAF LF is the first truck to feature the ZF PowerLine eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is tried and tested in the premium passenger car market where it is used by a number of prestige brands. The heavy-duty variant of the automatic powershift PowerLine gearbox is ideally suited to the LF series and available in 7.5, 10-12, 14-16 and 18 tonne GVM variants, including urban tractor and drawbar specifications up to 28-tonnes GCM.
PowerLine is a fully automatic powershift transmission with hydro-dynamic torque convertor delivering maximum responsiveness and seamless shifting with continuous torque transmission. An ‘urge to move’ function delivers outstanding low-speed manoeuvrability while the high spread of ratios, including a double overdrive, together with ‘lock-up’ from first gear, helps to deliver significant fuel saving benefits. The whole package makes the LF even easier and more relaxing to drive.
The DAF PowerLine automatic gearbox features in a range of significant upgrades to the DAF LF range. Redesigned PACCAR PX-5 and PX-7 engines – seven ratings in total – feature lightweight yet strong Compacted Graphite Iron block, low-friction pistons, new efficient compressors and a new waste-gate turbo. Together with newly optimised rear-axle ratios, plus the new DAF PowerLine gearbox, will deliver up to a 7% improvement in fuel economy.
FVTH has a 600-vehicle fleet with an 80% DAF presence across all weight categories. The company, based in Portsmouth and with a new location in Colnbrook, Heathrow, also has New Generation DAF XG tractor units on its fleet with New Generation DAF XD rigids – International Truck of the Year 2023 – already on order. FVTH boasts nationwide coverage and has a specialist division of the business dedicated to the construction and builders’ merchants’ sectors.
“Automated and automatic gearboxes are a must in the rental and contract hire business,” said FVTH Managing Director, Tim Houghton, “my customers just want to jump in and go. The new DAF PowerLine takes it to the next level – it really does deliver car-like driveability. Operationally, auto-boxes drive down maintenance costs, too – especially on clutches. And, of course, the prospect of a 7% improvement in fuel economy from the new driveline is a good thing for everyone.
“We have enjoyed a 30-year partnership with Greenhous DAF, although we draw on the support of the DAF Dealer network throughout the UK – plus we use DAF and PACCAR for all our parts, too. We’ve always been well looked after by DAF and we’ve worked hard to make the business relationship a highly successful one."
Phil Moon, DAF Trucks Ltd.
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