Back in 1986, truck maker Ginaf (Van Ginkel’s Automobiel Fabrieken) introduced a hydropneumatic suspension system for their heavy on-/off-road vehicles. The company offered a full line of drivetrains, from 4×4 to 10×8 and everything inbetween. Five years later, an electronically controlled, hydraulic steering system on the rearmost (drive) axle also became available.
Ginaf’s boss of all bosses: a five-axle chassis with four steering axles and a road legal gross weight of 50 metric tons (110,231 lbs). Unheard of, in those days.
I caught two of them, recently. Representing the same generation of the X 5250 TS chassis-cab layout. The X refers to the DAF cab- and engine series. Then the number 5250: five axles in total, two of them are drive axles, 50 tons GVM. The letters TS tell us that the truck has a tridem axle set-up with Ginaf’s hydraulic steering system on the last axle.
The 2008 truck, pictured above, carries a complete concrete mixer unit, which can be swapped for a dump bed. The 410 hp Ginaf was previously owned by the big Pouw hauling company. Its registered payload capacity is 36,060 kg (79,500 lbs). After deducting the weight of the mixer unit or dump bed, you know what’s left for the actual freight.
One and the same Ginaf can be used for two different jobs. The drum capacity of a five-axle concrete mixer truck is usually 15 m³ (530 ft³). The dump bed is equipped with solid covers (in grey).
A 2009 video, showing the assembly of an X 5250 TS, summarized in two minutes. Clearly, Ginaf’s work goes much further than just adding an axle to a factory chassis, or converting a rear tandem.
Here’s the other leviathan, caught somewhat earlier in the same morning. A 2012 X 5250 TS with a hooklift system, transporting a large, open top container. It’s also powered by a DAF 12.9 liter engine, yet with 510 DIN-hp.
Instead of the day cab, this truck has the DAF CF-series sleeper cab with the raised Space Cab roof. The boxy device on top of the cab must be a filter pressurization system, to secure clean air in the cab.
The hydropneumatic suspension comes with an automatic levelling system, but there are limits! As an aside, it says 10×4 in the video’s title, yet according to its registration, this 2000 Ginaf -still hard at work- is an M 5350 TS. That’s a chassis with a 10×6 drivetrain.
After nine years of Chinese ownership, the Ginaf company fell into Dutch hands again through a management buy-out, late 2020. Now they can refocus on the domestic and nearby market, instead of building huge mining trucks for destinations far away. All the best, I’ve never known my country without Ginafs, both on and off our roads.