On the road

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Working Wheels -

that it also has a rel­a­tively spa­cious feel.

Nei­ther of the XF105 has a flat cabin floor. DAF reck­ons the small step up over the en­gine is a pos­i­tive as it keeps the dirt the driver brings in on his boots from spread­ing across the whole cab.

A new truck for Australia, the XF105 was in­tro­duced in Europe in 2006. In­side, the no­fuss lay­out and sur­faces sug­gest a qual­ity truck rather than a lux­u­ri­ous one.

This Su­per Space Cab has a two-tone in­te­rior of light and dark grey. The con­trols are all easy to reach and some of the most im­por­tant are lo­cated on the steer­ing wheel, which is a big safety plus.

There is even the op­tion of an­swer­ing phone calls with a but­ton on the steer­ing wheel, which is a great touch.

The in­stru­ment clus­ter is clear and tells you what you need to know, although the dig­i­tal read­out is chunky. Find­ing the op­ti­mum seat po­si­tion can take a while, given the seem­ingly end­less op­tions of ad­just­ment.

There is an 18-speed Road Ranger man­ual crash box but thank­fully this truck is fit­ted with a Zf-built 16-speed ASTronic au­to­mated man­ual.

Don’t look for a gear se­lec­tor on a stalk or on a key­pad— the se­lec­tor is a round switch to the left of the steer­ing wheel, on the dash.

The big DAF, which is lug­ging 30 tonnes with a sin­gle trailer, pulls away nicely. Its 12.9-litre six-cylin­dermx en­gine makes a handy 375kw (510hp) and 2500Nm, and toils away with­out much fuss.

It’s quite serene in the cabin. As is the case with other big Euro­pean cab-over trucks, the ride is cushy, the steer­ing is light and you feel a bit iso­lated from the ac­tion. It should make for com­fort­able long stints. When the day is done, you can use the 210cm long and 80cm wide pocket-spring mat­tress for some rest. There is also a bunk op­tion.

Vis­i­bil­ity is ex­cel­lent and DAF’S op­tions in­clude a side view cam­era to help the driver see what cars and pedes­tri­ans are do­ing kerb­side. Its lane- change de­tec­tor sim­u­lates the thump sound when you run over rip­pled lane paint— it sure gets your at­ten­tion.

Adap­tive cruise con­trol, which uses radar to main­tain a set dis­tance from the ve­hi­cle in front, is an­other op­tion. This can also warn the driver if a ve­hi­cle in front brakes quickly and help ap­ply the brakes.

Home­run: The serene cabin should make long

stints com­fort­able. There is up to

210cm of head­room — and that’s also the length of the mat­tress

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