Museum Classics: DAF Museum Eindhoven, Part Two – The Military Vehicles



Since the thirties DAF has built an amazing variety of military vehicles for the Dutch Army. From a simple single axle trailer to the 530 hp DAF TROPCO 6×6 tank transporter with a payload capacity of 65,000 kg. There’s enough to fill the entire museum in Eindhoven. Two major classic military DAF designs are the Trado from the thirties and its evolution into the H-drive drivetrain after the Second World War.


In short, the original Trado was a modification to turn a 4×2 on-road truck into a very capable 6×4 off-roader. Its development started in 1934, mainly Ford and Chevrolet trucks were used to get the Trado conversion. Later on a set to drive the front wheels was also developed. Thus, after a full Trado-treatment, a humble 4×2 truck became a capable 6×6 artillery tractor.


The left side of the Trado in the museum. Another device was a PTO driven winch/tow hitch-combination, it can be seen in both Trado pictures.


A few years after the Second World War, the Dutch Ministry of Defence wanted to modernize and standardize the military equipment. In 1950 DAF was ordered to develop a new artillery tractor. A year later Hub van Doorne and his crew came up with the prototype of a 6×6 tractor, called the YA 318, ready to be tested. Powered by a Hercules JXC gasoline engine, with a 4-speed Warner transmission. Thanks to its H-drive drivetrain the truck had extraordinary off-road capabilities. Arguably it was years ahead of any contemporary competitor.

The YA 318 evolved into the more powerful YA 328, as exhibited in the museum, with a 132 hp Hercules JXLD gasoline engine and a 5-speed ZF constant mesh transmission. The most renowned DAF military truck was born, nicknamed “Dikke DAF” (Husky DAF) by the soldiers.


The spare wheels, one on each side, can roll freely on (very) rough terrain, in which case they also function as supporting wheels.


Inbetween the rear wheels of the YA 328; all components parallel to and on the outside of the frame rails.


The rear side of the YA 328, with the winch/tow hitch-combination. To be operated by the truck’s driver.

Chassis 328

Original DAF drawing of the YA 328 chassis.


The Hercules JXLD engine…


…called a “Van Doorne Speciaal”.


Developed along with the big artillery tractors was this smaller YA 126 4×4. It was the successor of the Dodge WC51. Under its hood a Hercules JXC engine, the transmission is a 4-speed Warner. Just like its big brother it also has an H-drive drivetrain.


Free rolling spare and supporting wheels on both sides.


The soldiers called this the “Wep”. Short for weaponcarrier. If you enlarge the picture you can have a closer look at the old DAF chassis drawing of the YA 126.


The DAF YA 314 4×4 truck, and the later updated YA 324, would become the standard truck for the Dutch Army for many years to come. The YA 314 was introduced in the mid-fifties.


And then there’s this mastodon, a 1967 YA 616 with a 204 hp Continental R6602 gasoline engine. The heavy artillery tractor YA 616 was introduced in the late fifties. The one in the museum has a Hulo crane for loading and unloading ammunition. The standard “civil” Hulo crane was used to load and unload bricks.


The DAF YP 408 is an 8×6 armored personnel carrier (APC). Its series production started in 1963. The H-drive drivetrain was derived from the YA 328 truck. The prototypes and pre-series were powered by a Hercules gasoline engine, the production version got a 165 hp DAF DS 575 turbo diesel.


Ten seats in the back, two in the front.


Of course DAF also built complete trailers and semi-trailers for the armed forces. This is a fuel tanker for aircrafts. “Verboden te roken” means forbidden to smoke.


The standard military 4×4 truck from the late seventies onwards, the YA 4440. Under its tilt cab DAF’s 153 hp DT 615 turbo diesel, with a 5-speed transmission. The comparable YA 4442 has a more powerful DAF engine, a 6-speed transmission and a rear axle with dual tires.


The end of DAF’s military museum tour. Next in this series: the DAF cars with their Variomatics. Not very soon though; first I’ll have to drive to the museum to get me a fresh load of pictures…

Part One – The Trucks

Part Three- The Cars

Part Four – The Specials (prototypes and concepts)