DAF makes a difference for TasTrans

Tony Berry’s involvement in the Tasmanian transport industry goes back over 25 years, including 18 years with TOLL Transport.

In 2004 Tony took the big step of forming his own transport company, TasTrans, with two old Kenworth trucks and 7 years on he’s never looked back – now operating 37 vehicles and employing 77 staff.

According to Tony, 2008 was the year Chris Saltmarsh from CJD Equipment proved his perceptions to be wrong when he went looking for a new prime mover to replace an older truck.

“I still remember the day like it was yesterday. Chris recommended a DAF CF85, and Chris’ persistence and belief in the brand paid off in the end.

“I was never a DAF lover, but I definitely am now and so are all of our drivers who drive it, it’s just brilliant.

“The CF85 is a B-Double spec, but we run it as single and it’s been averaging 4,000 kilometres a week doing Woolworths deliveries around Hobart during the week and then line-haul work between Hobart and Burnie at night carrying 45 tonnes at a time and it does it easy.

“It’s just brilliant and we haven’t had an issue with it in the three years we’ve been running it. I don’t do much driving anymore, but if I do a run north I’ll take the DAF every time – even the drivers who love the US gear love the DAF.

“During the evaluation we did put the DAF up against a MACK and a Volvo, but the DAF came out way on top for finish, user friendly operation, driver comfort and Euro 5 compliance – which was and is a big issue for Woolworths. And being so user friendly means we can put inexperienced drivers in it and know they won’t break it.

“Euro 5 compliance is a big issue for companies like Woolworths and this was definitely one area that the DAF out-speced the Volvo when it came to emissions and economy.

“Build quality was another key factor in my decision to go with the CF85. We recently added another two smaller DAFs to the fleet after our purchase of Honan Transport Services in February. One of the trucks was recently involved in an accident and that really reinforced the strength of the European product over the Japanese built trucks.

“The driver was trapped for over four hours and was eventually freed with only a broken finger. Those that witnessed the accident and viewed the wreck said that he wouldn’t have made it out if he’d been in some other trucks.

“We’ll definitely be replacing it with another DAF, nothing else will get a look-in. We are also looking at DAF’s FAP LF55 to replace one of our other trucks as its unique pusher axle setup will give us a 9.5 metre tray length, which is half a metre longer than anything else on the market, and still have room for a truck mounted crane – which is a great concept.

“One of the amazing things about the DAF is its reliability, it really is second to none. I often think about laughing at Chris when he recommended the CF85.

“We run our own heavy vehicle workshop, so we use CJD for parts management and I’ve got to say – nothing is too much trouble for them and their support is head and shoulders above the rest.

“The CF85 is without question the best truck we’ve got in our fleet. The AS-Tronic automatic transmission really takes the pressure off the drivers, while the interior layout and smooth ride is more like a car than a truck.

“And from a corporate point of view it looks spectacular – CJD did an amazing job of colour coding the cab and the chassis, and even added Dura-Bright wheels which look spectacular.

“My advice for anyone considering a new truck purchase is that you won’t do better than a DAF – and you can quote me on that. Originally I was very nervous about the brand, but a week into owning one I had absolutely no regrets.

“And everything Chris promised the DAF would deliver on, it did. I’m so impressed and happy with CF85’s performance that I’ll happily share my experiences with anyone that wants to call me,” Tony said.

DAF Trucks Australia, a division of PACCAR Australia Pty Ltd, distributes a complete range of medium and heavy-duty trucks throughout Australia.

PACCAR Inc, a Six Sigma company, is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. PACCAR also designs and manufactures advanced diesel engines, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.

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