Clever transport solutions
DAF has always been known for its clever transport solutions. And all those sophisticated solutions had in common that they served a clear purpose. They were of value to the customer!
The first DAF patent was applied for in 1931 and it concerned a semi-trailer coupling that enabled the semi-trailer's support legs to be lifted automatically when the semi-trailer was being coupled to the tractor. It is not difficult to guess what the advantage was: the driver did not have to leave his cab for coupling the semi-trailer to the tractor!
Also at the beginning of the thirties, the so-called swing axle was first used. It consisted of two short axles mounted next to each other in transverse direction. It enabled the axle load to be increased to 9,600 kilogrammes. Exchanging one of the inner wheels was made very easy when the two short axles had been made turnable around their central point in the longitudinal direction. This enabled the inner wheels of a twin-wheel system to be turned to the outside when a tyre had to be exchanged.
In 1934, Hub van Doorne and the Dutch lieutenant Mr van der Trappen, jointly developed the so-called ‘Trado conversion set’, which enabled a normal two-axle truck to be turned into a six wheeler with four driven wheels in five hours' time. The Trado set was mounted to the ends of the rear axle on both sides. The drive was branched off there, so that two driven wheels could be fitted on either side. Moreover, big upward and downward wheel movements were possible, which made the trucks with Trado excellently suitable for off-road driving.
Tanking of jets
After the war DAF supplied series of tanker trailers which were used for superfast refuelling of jets. Two long swivelling arms on the tanker trailer enabled the hoses to be connected to the jet in next to no time. A powerful pump connected to the PTO on the tractor fed the fuel into the plane's tanks under high pressure. The tanks had a capacity of 2,300 litres. The first Dutch jets could be refuelled in three minutes, a job that normally would easily take twenty minutes.
DAF demount trailer
In 1935 DAF was far ahead of its time with the DAF demount trailer, specially developed for loading standardised railway containers from a train onto a truck and vice versa. Call it the first container trailer. Not only did DAF find a solution for what later came to be termed ‘intermodal transport', but it in fact presented a totally new distribution concept. A concept which is still very modern today and may very well be the solution for the future.
The DAF 2600, launched in 1962, was the first European truck that could be specified with a fully fledged sleeper cab. Its bunk had a comfortable mattress and its driver comfort could be called absolutely revolutionary in those years.
Space Cab and Super Space Cab
In 1985 DAF surprised the transport world by equipping a long-distance truck with a so-called SpaceCab, a cab with a wealth of space. Later it introduced the even more spacious Super SpaceCab, the ultimate in driver comfort. The DAF Super SpaceCab is still one of the most spacious cabs on the market.