FIRST AUSSIE-BUILT DAF SNAPPED UP
PACCAR make history with DAF launch
THE first DAF truck to be assembled in Australia rolled out of the PACCAR facility in Victoria recently and was handed straight over to Cahill Transport.
PACCAR closed it assembly line for the presentation – at its Bayswater plant in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne – to allow its 500 employees to take part in what managing director Andrew Hadjikakou described as an historic event.
“The PACCAR way is to create history,” Mr Hadjikakou said.
“And today as we hand over the keys to the very first Australian-assembled DAF truck... we at PACCAR are doing just that.
“The DAF you are about to see is already a great Australian success story. This first Australian-built DAF is world-class quality.”
The delivery of the 510HP DAF CF85 was the product of years of co-operation and consultation with the DAF headquarters in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and becomes the fifth DAF facility worldwide.
“The Dutch and the Australians have worked truly well together to realise this one ambition of ours, to assemble DAFs here in Bayswater,” Mr Hadjikakou said.
In handing over the keys to the first DAF to Cahill Transport owners Mick and Dan Cahill, Mr Hadjikakou said the transport company bought it first DAF in 2003 and now had a fleet of 70.
“I can’t think of a more appropriate home for our first Australian-built DAF.”
Mr Hadjikakou also announced that the Bayswater PACCAR plant would double in size by 2021, which could also lead to an almost doubling of the staff. The plant currently rolls out Kenworth trucks.
“We will be able to build more trucks at a high level of quality and even better safety,” Mr Hadjikakou said.
“This is an investment that’s about confidence and commitment.”
A team of a 10 Australian PACCAR personnel, led by production supervisor Meredith Young, spent two weeks in the Netherlands learning about DAF trucks and how they were assembled.
“It exposed our people to new techniques and new skills and new ideas,” Mr Hadjikakou said.
“Those people are now sharing that diversity with us in ways that are sometimes small and other ways are quite profound.
“This is changing our business for the better.”
Ms Young said it had been a difficult job to choose just 10 employees to make the journey to Europe, given “the extensive pool of talent that exist between the four walls of this factory”.
“But it was not until we got hands-on experience that our appreciation of this fantastic product really grew,” Ms Young said.
“The DAF really is an exceptional truck. We are so proud to be assembling them locally for our customers.”
The local assembly should also shorten lead times from initial ordering and give customers more options.
In accepting the first DAF off the assembly line, Dan Cahill said it was a great honour to add the truck to its extensive fleet.
“We see them [DAF trucks] as an integral part of our business in helping us provide an efficient and economical solution to our
■ PACCAR, a US company, has been building and selling trucks in Australia for 50 years
■ The Bayswater plant produces 15 trucks a day, including Kenworths – 11 are produced by the day shift and four on the nightshift
■ DAF became a Paccar company in 1998 when Paccar Australian began importing DAF trucks
■ It has since delivered 3,500 trucks to local businesses
■ DAF has been in the truck business for 85 years
■ The company sold its one millionth vehicle worldwide in 2015
customers, while also providing a safe and comfortable workplace for our drivers – they love them,” Mr Cahill said.
Mr Cahill and his brother Mick last year visited Eindhoven, where they were able to test drive the latest trucks being produced at the DAF plant.
“They were incredible. They were easy to drive and their fuel economy was sensational,” Dan Cahill said.
And now he predicts a big
future for the trucks in Australia.
“It is only the beginning of the future in the history books for DAF,” he said.
“I would like to congratulate all of you here today on producing such a beautiful, iconic, hard-working vehicle and I hope that... our partnership continues for many years.”
Melbourne radio station 3AW also celebrated the event, with a live broadcast of its afternoon program hosted by Tom Elliott.
BRAND NEW RIG: Brothers Dan and Michael Cahill show off their new DAF.
Michael Cahill at the PACCAR plant.
A massive turnout for the launch of the first Aussie-built DAF.
Andrew Hadjikakou at the launch.