DAF CF530_Nippys Farm

Fruits of Labour

From driveability to fuel economy, there are many reasons why Ben Knispel trusts his family’s fruit and beverages to DAF trucks.

Oranges are a surprisingly delicate fruit. Despite their tough exterior, they can bruise and spoil easily which means transporting them is a fine art. For Ben Knispel, who is joint managing director of Nippy’s, a family-owned juice producer, he trusts his deliciously juicy asset in DAF trucks, and has been using them consistently for eight years.

“Our main crop is navel oranges which we harvest during winter and you’ve got to be gentle with the fruit, especially on a frosty morning,” says Ben. “You need to transport it carefully.”

Ben, whose business is based in rural South Australia, gets his trucks from the local dealer, to whom he has had a personal connection for a number of years.
He decided to go with DAF because his father always had a fondness for European trucks. In total, Nippy’s has six DAF vehicles. Its first was a 6×4 CF85, 460hp prime mover. It then acquired more CF85s and one CF75 8×4 with a 16-pallet capacity curtain-side body. Its latest addition is a Euro 6 rated CF85 530hp 6×4 prime mover.

“Dad is definitely happy with the DAF trucks, he really likes them,” Ben says. “They are just so smooth and comfortable. You get out of them at the end of the day, and you still feel like you can do another trip.”

Thirty years later, when Alic’s sons were attending Adelaide High School, the boys began collecting oranges from the family’s packing facility and hand-squeezing them in their mother’s kitchen. They started selling the juice to the local shops and the juice, thanks to the family nickname, became known as Nippy’s juice.
After selling juice to neighbours, friends and the local market, their kitchen operation grew enough for them to rent a small factory with more sophisticated machinery.

Today Nippy’s has three facilities: a chilled juice operation in Adelaide, a fruit packing plant in Waikerie, and the original factory at Moorook, which produces long-life products. The company produces a range of cold-fill juices and flavoured milk products in various sizes and have more than 200 employees.
It sells about 10 million-litres of juice and 10 million-litres of flavoured milk each year.

“I think my grandfather would be pretty impressed,” Ben says. “He’d probably shake his head at a few things I’m sure, but overall, he’d be pretty proud.”

One of the biggest benefits to the DAF trucks, Ben says, is the fact that they are a cabover and therefore don’t have a big bonnet, making squeezing into smaller properties for fruit collection a lot easier.

“Our own orchard isn’t too bad,” he says. “It’s a pretty big property with large turning areas, but some of our grower suppliers have fairly tight properties and the DAF is very manoeuvrable.”

Launched in 2020, the Euro 6 DAFs feature a number of safety upgrades over their Euro 5 predecessors including lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and left side mounted camera. The engine meets Euro 6 compliance using selective catalytic reduction (SCR) as well as exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), which acts only on three cylinders, and a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The other big benefit is fuel economy which DAF quotes as 10 per cent better than the previous Euro 5 versions. Fuel efficiency is definitely noticeable, says Ben, adding that travelling along a highway is always remarkably smooth.

“We’re not driving around towing three trailer roadtrains,” he says. “We’re driving using mass management and we are going around 45 tonnes and there is plenty of horsepower and plenty of torque.” It even revs less, Ben says.

“Going down the highway at 100 km/h, it’s only revving at 1450 rpms,” he adds. “It’s really smooth and quiet.”

For Ben there is no reason why he won’t continue on the DAF path.

“They are easy to operate, and they are comfortable, quiet and very reliable,” he says. “It’s a beautiful drive. I’ve bought six and If I needed another truck I would buy another DAF — in a heartbeat.”


The article was reproduced courtesy of Prime Mover Magazine (August 2023).

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