Babcock’s Transport Solutions division is giving cutting-edge European engineering a distinctly African twist as they stock up on world-class DAF Trucks imported directly from the DAF factory in Netherlands, with adaptations to suit the local environment.
Babcock has been the sole importer and distributor of DAF Trucks in southern Africa since 2011 and offers customers in the logistics and transport sectors a choice of leading DAF Trucks, including the XF105.460 for long distance haulage, and the CF85.410 for regional and construction transport.
The standard for long distance road transport, the DAF XF105 has fast become Babcock’s best-selling truck. Built for the long haul, the DAF XF105 offers low operating costs, top comfort to the driver and high revenues per kilometre to the operator, making it the preferred choice for many of Babcock’s logistics customers.
DAF Trucks applies state-of-the-art technology to maintain the highest standards in development and manufacturing, with a reputation for offering a truck for every application.
Mark Gavin, Sales Director for Babcock’s Transport Solutions’ business, expands on why the XF105 is becoming increasingly popular in this country, as well as how Babcock has specified the truck to perform optimally on southern African roads.
“Special features incorporated in DAF Trucks sold into southern Africa extend from modifications to air filters to cooling systems, axle loads and tyre sizes.
Our climate and the fact that South Africa has some of the harshest dust conditions in the world necessitate modifications to the main air filter assembly such as the double cyclonic air filters that were developed to specifically deal with the dust experienced in some regions. You also need to bear in mind that generally in Europe, the truck engines run at full load capacity a lot less than they do in our conditions,” says Gavin.
He explains that a most of the modifications required are due to highway design and construction in different regions, as the main routes in Europe are generally flatter than is the norm in South Africa.
Steep inclines and descents here call for tougher engines that are demanded to work harder and longer, and while the DAF’s Euro 3 specification engines offer fuel efficiency, cleaner emissions, durability and reliability, in southern Africa they also include steel pistons and a heavy duty cooling system.
“Unlike most other brands that are assembled in South Africa, Babcock imports the trucks directly from DAF in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, where they are built with passion and expertise and then customised for the local market,” says Gavin. “This ensures only the highest of exacting European quality, designed for demanding African conditions.”
Leading local logistics providers, such as OneLogix, have realised this benefit as they begin to turn more frequently to Babcock for truck supply, support and maintenance. Listed on the JSE, the OneLogix group provides logistics and related services to the southern and East African regions.
OneLogix United Bulk, specialising in providing liquid transport requirements to a broad range of industries, recently added 20 DAF Trucks to their fleet of tankers operating throughout southern Africa, a fact that Gavin attributes to the broad range of general applications that the XF series can cover as well as the strong service-based relationship that Babcock has forged with this extensive bulk liquid transporting and logistic services company over the years.
Key features drawing logistics operators to the DAF XF105 are its extremely economical fuel consumption and use of many low maintenance components, a spacious cab that helps keep drivers fitter and alert for longer, an engine that comprises 25% fewer parts than previous models thereby dramatically increasing reliability, and smart features such as the speed limiter and engine idle shutdown that prevents wastage of fuel and reduces emissions.
Other attractive services that are offered by Babcock for DAF Trucks include an extensive regional network of sales and support centres, availability of parts, 24-hour emergency assistance 365 days of the year and overall total transport solutions designed to maximise earnings per kilometre.
Tailor-made repair and maintenance contracts are also available as well as full after-market support. Strategically located parts distribution centres ensure that parts are always available and strong emphasis is placed on training skills and courses.
Babcock continues to take DAF Trucks from strength to strength in southern Africa as they increase their market share and notch up a long list of highly satisfied customers who trust Babcock to deliver.