Operational flexibility, optimisation of payload and improved driver safety were key factors in the development of a very detailed specification for 16 DAF drawbar outfits now in service with Marshalls, the UK’s leading producer of hard landscaping products.

By specifying a drawbar configuration using DAF’s 6×2 FAN CF85 model as the drawing unit, the company aims to improve the efficiency of its national delivery service. The trucks are on a comprehensive seven year lease through Marshalls contract hire partner Contract Vehicles Limited (CVL) and are based at locations across the UK delivering a wide range of paving and hard landscaping products to builders’ merchants, garden centres and direct to building sites.

The DAFs and their trailers operate to their full 44 tonne gross weight but where site restrictions make it difficult for the full unit to gain access the trailer is left in a nearby secure place. The drawing unit then drops its load, returns to the parked trailer to transfer the remainder of the load using the on-board crane, and completes the delivery.

Site access is also made easier by the increased manoeuvrability that comes from the self-tracking, rear-steer capability of the DAF FAN model. And by raising the rearmost axle, traction can be increased on the drive axle to assist move-offs in the slippery conditions often encountered on building sites.

The DAFs are running with SDC and Wheelbase tri-axle trailers and both trucks and trailers have dropside bodies by Micra of Wakefield. A particular feature of the body is the move from metal side panels to a lighter-weight type which uses a reinforced curtain material. This cuts weight, reduces the risk of accidents, means less effort for the driver in lowering and raising the dropsides and improves the aesthetics of the truck. Further weight has been taken out by the use of Alcoa Frontrunner polished alloy wheels, which also add to the smart appearance of the outfits.