DAF CF85 helps Container Cargo maintain timely customer service

Leading WA container handling and transport company, Container Cargo Specialist, lives up to its name by employing the latest industry advances to deliver cost effective and efficient customer service.

CCS’ European-engineered DAF CF85 prime mover, fitted with a swing-lift side loader trailer for handling shipping containers, enables the company to improve on its already high levels of customer service. Since taking possession of the truck in December last year, the DAF has delivered lower fuel consumption and higher productivity than any other truck in the fleet.

CCS was borne out of an earlier wharf-carrier, Joseph Transport, which started in 1982. Within a short time, the business grew into a large independent firm and, in 1996, CCS acquired the company and retained its management and most of its drivers and staff.

With the acquisition, CCS inherited four American and European trucks. Today, the company maintains a stable of 24 prime movers and rigid trucks, comprising a mix of Japanese and European brands. It also has 12 subcontractor owner-drivers, using their own equipment.

The company has grown into a significant provider of imported and exported container transport and logistics, operating from the Port of Fremantle, 20 km south west of Perth. CCS has an on-site transport yard and warehouse within 500 m of major Australian stevedores, Patrick and Conaust, in North Fremantle. It also has a separate unpack depot in Bibra Lake, about 10 km from the port, where shipping containers are prepared for distribution to its customers.

The company works for various importers, exporters and freight forwarders, but the bulk of its work is handling imported containers. These carry virtually anything, from furniture, chemicals, household items to dry and frozen foods, paper and raw materials.

CCS’ Steve Watson, who has 44 years experience in the transport industry, says the key to his company’s success is providing a consistent, cost effective service to its customers – and that is why he has started buying DAF trucks.

“I had heard a lot of good things about DAF and, in the short time we’ve had our truck, I have to say everything I’ve heard is true. It’s a highly functional vehicle which can handle the many challenges of transporting large containers in the metropolitan area,” he said.

The company’s DAF FTT CF85s is powered by a 12.9-litre turbo intercooled engine, producing 340 kW or 460 hp (at 1500-1900 rpm) and 2,300 Nm or 1700 lb/ft of flat torque (at 1,000-1,400 rpm) for optimum fuel economy and performance. It features a ZF AS Tronic 12-speed overdrive automated transmission for driver ease, Meritor MT23-165 double drive tandem rear axle, and Kenworth Airglide 400 eight-bag air suspension with shock absorbers and stabiliser bars.

The vehicle also has a PTO and hydraulics to operate a Hammar swing-lift container side loader attached to the trailer. The swing-lift is a self-loading unit that lifts 20 and 40-foot shipping containers, weighing up to 30 tonnes, without the need for forklifts.

The DAF operates for 12 hours a day, Monday to Saturday, delivering up to 40 loaded containers each a week. Like the other trucks in the CCS fleet, it handles short hauls from the Fremantle port to metropolitan areas in Perth.

“Transporting shipping containers is different from other transport applications,” Steve said. “Our trucks are hauling large and long loads in and around congested areas. They have to deal with heavy city traffic and narrow suburban streets, and the constant stop-start of short hauls in metropolitan areas. That all takes its toll on a truck’s performance and fuel economy. But, after running the DAF, I was pleasantly surprised with the results,” Steve said.

“The CF85’s fuel consumption is far better than all of the other trucks we have in the fleet. Because of the nature of the work, our trucks are not very fuel efficient – they are all getting just 1.7 – 1.8 km’s per litre. But the DAF is doing the exact same jobs at around 1.2 km’s per litre. That’s extraordinarily good, especially considering the swing-lift operates with the truck’s power. It’s a significant cost saving over the course of a year and over the life of the truck.”

Steve says there are many other benefits to driving DAF for both the driver and the company.

“The truck is performing very well. The CF85 has plenty of power, performance and it’s reliable. Also, being a cab-over, it has a smaller turning circle and it’s highly maneuverable, which is a must when you’re working out of a busy port. We have one driver operating the DAF, and he absolutely loves it. It has excellent visibility right around the truck – another plus in this business – and it’s very easy and comfortable to drive, even after a long shift,” Steve said.

CSS’ DAF driver, Andy Dyet, has driven a variety of Japanese and European trucks over the past 11 years, and says DAF compares favourably with all of them. His truck is running virtually non-stop and Andy is behind the wheel 90 percent of the time throughout a 12- hour shift. At the end of his shift, he feels in good shape.

“The DAF is a pleasure to drive. In fact, I have to say I look forward to hopping into it every day. I never felt like that before! And I’ve never felt so refreshed after spending 12 hours in a truck – but I do with the DAF,” Andy said.

“That’s because I’m not dealing with rattles and drafts and a rough ride, which you get with most other rigs. DAF’s cab is roomy, quiet and very comfortable, with good seating and the steering wheel tilt adjustment fits perfectly. It’s a well-engineered truck that’s as easy to drive as a car. I’m quite happy to put it in auto and let the truck do all the work. It’s one less thing to worry about – and that’s part of the reason I still feel great after a long day,” he added.

“DAF makes life easier for our driver,” Steve Watson said. “And that not only benefits him, it benefits my business with improved driver satisfaction, safety and higher productivity. And, when you take into consideration that DAF delivers higher returns and lower fuel consumption, it gives us an edge in business. That’s crucial these days with the rising cost of fuel and tight margins,” he added.

Steve said another advantage to working with DAF was the dealer support. “We have a good relationship with Kenworth DAF WA. The truck was reasonably priced, and our dealer’s after-sales service has been excellent.”

CCS plans to replace its older trucks over the next 12 months. “It’s still early days with DAF, but if this truck continues to perform at the same level, we will certainly look at further possible purchases,” Steve said.

DAF trucks suit a variety of light and medium-duty tasks, ranging from short-haul metropolitan tasks to regional and intrastate line haul. DAF’s flagship CF85 model is available with a choice of engines, from 360 to 460 hp; automated or manual gearboxes; as well as a wide range of wheelbases, chassis and axle configurations.

Like all DAF trucks, the CF85 is designed to be driver friendly with simple steering, direct gearbox operation and responsive brakes. It features state-of-the-art PACCAR MX turbo intercooled engines which incorporate SCR technology to meet Euro 5 emission standards and also offer excellent power, performance and durability. In addition, the latest in braking aids are all fitted as standard, including Electronic Braking System (EBS) with ABS, Anti-Slip Control (ASR), Brake Assist, Drag Torque Control and Hill Start Aid.

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.

Share this Post