Truck Stop Classic: 1980 DAF N2800-Series – Van Doorne’s Last Conventional, a Tough Cookie

In November 1980, truck maker DAF introduced their last conventional truck and tractor model, known as the N2800-series. It was specifically developed and built for the African and Middle Eastern heavy truck market.

In practice, that meant the N2800 was perfectly capable of dealing with harsh driving and climate conditions, all day long. It was rugged, uncomplicated, durable and overloading-proof.

The N2800 conventional replaced the venerable ATE 2400 DK cabover. An old soldier, as its design dates way back to 1957, when DAF introduced their first heavy truck and tractor model, called the 2000 DO-series (and what a wonderful picture this is!).

See? Same job, same circumstances.

The cab for the N2800 was sourced from Magirus-Deutz. The Germans used it on their air-cooled Eckhauber, another tough cookie for sure.

Seats for three in this clean-with-a-hose interior. The transmission is a ZF 16-speed (double H shifting pattern).

Just like all other big DAFs from 1968 to 1997, the N2800 was powered by an 11.6 liter inline-six. The 1160-series of engines was DAF’s evolution of the 11.1 liter Leyland 680 diesel.

The versions available in the N2800 were the naturally aspirated DKA 1160 (230 hp) and the turbocharged & intercooled DKS 1160 (310 hp).

Both the truck and the tractor chassis were only offered with a 6×4 drivetrain, hub reduction came with the package. The tractor was designated NTT2800, the truck chassis NAT2800.

DAF rated their 2699 T 6×4 tandem at a total axle load of 26,000 kg (57,320 lbs). Overloading-proof, as mentioned.

Almost all NAT2800 chassis worked as dump trucks or concrete mixer trucks. The tractor units were often used in the logging and heavy-haulage business.

Over the past years, I caught a few of these heavy-duty rides. Like the 1982 Paris-Dakar rally raid truck, back then the winner of the > 10 metric tons class.

A 1985 heavy-haulage tractor.

This 1981 recovery truck.

And an NTT2800 in chains.

These conventionals were built till the late eighties. Nowadays they’re considered as cult classics among DAF truck enthusiasts. Chances of DAF ever introducing an all-new conventional? Slim to none, I’d say.

Brochure pictures courtesy of