UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to road-based bulk carrier logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in batches to NBC’s Steelpoort and Phalaborwa operations, in Limpopo, over the next two months. The R180-million order for the DAF XF105.460 FTT 6 × 4 trucks was placed in March and the first delivery took place earlier this month, in Middleburg, Mpumalanga. Print Send to Friend 1 0 The final delivery will take place in October to allow adequate time to fully enrol the entire fleet over six months. Babcock is the exclusive importer and distributor of DAF trucks in Southern Africa and was appointed the official parts distributor for truck producer PACCAR to ensure availability and supply for DAF vehicles throughout the region. DAF sales director Mark Gavin says that DAF truck sales have seen impressive growth since Babcock was appointed the sole importer and distributor four years ago. He adds that, with the continued backing of Babcock and its comprehensive network of local support centres, the DAF brand will soon begin to reflect its market-leading performance in Europe. DAF senior sales executive Jan Maritz agrees and says that, in addition to the size of the order, it is significant as it demonstrates that DAF can compete on an equal footing with other European brands in South Africa. “We are delighted to have entered into a partnership with a fleet of the calibre of MBC. We [won] this order based on our understanding of NBC’s needs and our ability to match these requirements. We expect our relationship with the company to provide a long-term showcase of DAF performance and our team’s backup capabilities,” says Maritz. The truck boasts a spacious cab, designed for excellent driver comfort and safety, and also has sizeable double-sleeper bunks with plenty of storage space. The truck is powered by a PACCAR MX 340 six-cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled engine that delivers 462 hp and a torque of 2 300 Nm for optimal pulling power and a smooth ride. The driveline is carefully balanced to increase performance under all operating conditions and to make the most out of the engine’s low fuel consumption. The driver can choose between a clutchless ZF 12-speed AS-Tronic automation gearbox and a manual mode gear change to deliver power to the DAF hypoid rear axle. The XF chassis is manufactured with high- quality steel that ensures a strong but lightweight chassis for high payloads. “The order for the trucks followed the use of a demo DAF XF105.460 truck in the NBC fleet, which effectively demonstrated the vehicle’s fuel consumption and general all-round performance. A comprehensive transport solution was then negotiated and included technical backup, a repair and maintenance contract and a finance option,” says Maritz. Further, NBC will establish fully fledged workshops in Steelpoort and Phalaborwa by the end of the year, where DAF personnel will be permanently deployed to maintain the fleet. This deal also includes extensive driver training and a ‘train-the-driver’ component that will see DAF driver trainers instructing NBC’s driver trainers.