One of Australia’s foremost utility locating providers has chosen DAF to handle its largest and most challenging jobs.

Gold Coast-based company, Utility Location Services (ULS), uses state-of-the-art ground penetrating radar and
hydro-vacuum excavation tools mounted on its trucks to find and unearth various utility assets in underground pipes
and cables. These include telecommunications, water, gas and electricity, as well as storm water, sewer, and traffic
and street lights.

Established in 2009, the company has quickly made its mark working for many of the largest civil construction contractors on a variety of major infrastructure projects. These range from the NBN, the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay rail projects, to RAAF Base Amberley in Ipswich and QCLNG, the world’s first project to transform gas from coal seams into liquefied natural gas in central Queensland.

Hydro-vacuum excavation is widely regarded as best practice when digging near sensitive utility facilities. This method uses a water-jet to break up the earth and a powerful vacuum to remove it. The water-jet can dig in any soil condition with no threat to underground assets.

ULS operates a diverse mix of 11 different-sized trucks for different-sized jobs. Its biggest vehicle is a heavy-duty DAF CF85 rigid which manages its largest and most demanding jobs not only in metropolitan areas but also remote regions throughout Queensland and interstate.

DAF’s CF85 suits a range of tasks, including various intrastate distribution applications, providing the pulling capability of higher-powered units but with lower fuel consumption.

ULS purchased its CF85 in March 2014 from two-time DAF Dealer of the Year, Brown & Hurley Yatala. The company’s DAF undertakes all vacuum excavations, from small pot-holing and strip trenching to bulk excavations.

Operations Manager Niall Murray says ULS is most impressed with the DAF’s performance.

“The CF85 is the pride of the fleet. It’s a big truck with plenty of horsepower, and it can handle any job anywhere,” he said. “The workload varies dramatically. Some days the truck operates for several hours, and other times it can be running virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It doesn’t make any difference. The DAF operates efficiently and reliably in all conditions.”

The company’s FAD CF85 8×4 rigid is rated to a GCM of 31 tonne and is powered by a PACCAR MX, 13-litre engine with SCR technology, producing 460 hp (340 kW) at 1500 – 1900 rpm and 1695 lb/ft (2300 Nm) of torque at 1000 – 1410 rpm.

The twin-steer model features a ZF 12AS2540 AS-Tronic 12-speed overdrive automated gearbox, two DAF 152N front axles (rated to 7.5 tonne) and DAF SR1360T double-drive bogie rear axles (rated to 26 tonne), riding on a DAF Air Suspension (21 tonne). It includes as standard cruise control, ABS and EBS, and has a one-bunk sleeper cab.

ULS’ truck has been fitted with an axle load monitoring system, which monitors individual axle loads for improved safety. It also has differential locks with ASR (anti-slip regulation) for improved traction, especially off-road.

The DAF rigid is configured with an 11.5-metre tray which carries its highest-capacity equipment, including a 7500-litre Hydro-vac unit generating maximum suction of 3300 cfm (cubic feet per minute), and a water-jet boom hose delivering a high-pressure 3500-psi stream of water at 32 lpm (litres per minute).

Niall says the CF85 is a highly productive and versatile vehicle.

“The DAF’s cross locks and ASR system make it an all-purpose, virtually all-terrain vehicle that is highly maneuverable on rugged construction sites and remote, off-road locations,” he said.

“It’s an excellent truck for our work. It’s hard-working but it isn’t hard on the driver. The CF85 is extremely driver friendly and very comfortable to operate. The cab is spacious, it has good visibility, and it’s easy to enter and exit. The dash is also well laid out with everything within reach,” he said. “As you’d expect, our operators love it. It makes driving stress free and enjoyable – even after many hours behind the wheel.”

Exceptional customer service is the cornerstone of ULS’ success and the reason it drives a DAF, according to Niall.

“We are focused on building long-term relationships and ensuring we provide consistently-high degrees of productivity. But, at the end of the day, we can only perform well if our equipment does, especially our trucks. That’s why we chose DAF. Their trucks are engineered to the highest standards, so they’re durable, reliable and always up to the task.”

Niall said a critical factor in the company’s decision to buy DAF was its local dealer, Brown & Hurley Yatala

“We couldn’t ask for better service. They have been proactive since day one, and they have offered excellent support before and after the sale,” Niall added.

DAF Trucks Australia, a division of PACCAR Australia, 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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