Almost 36 years old, sitting and waiting at a house construction site in the freezing cold. But what a surprise it was, catching this classic series of DAF trucks, still being used as a workhorse. It’s earning a living as a mobile crane, working for a building contractor.
The oh-so-recognizable DAF F220 steel tilt cab of yore was originally introduced in November 1969, as the then all-new F218 cab. That’s forward control (cab over engine) and 218 cm (85.8”) wide.
Its shape and main design features go back even further, to the 1962 DAF 2600 series of heavy-duty chassis-cabs.
The Ur-F218 cab, with flush fenders on the light models and wide fenders on the heavier trucks and tractors (axle/track width related).
It was produced well into the nineties, modernized and updated throughout the years, naturally. The F218/F220 cab was used on a whole range of medium-heavy DAF chassis, from a 4×2 to an 8×4. A sleeper cab was also offered.
Halfway, the cab is at its longest. Exactly where the dashboard is, thus leaving more room for both driver and passenger.
The driver (and passenger) visibility was phenomenal. All around, as a circa 10 to 13 years old me can confirm.
The 2500, this one has a sleeper cab, was introduced in the early eighties as the top model of the DAF mid-sizers. These were powered by the DHS 825 engine. An inline-six, turbocharged and intercooled (obviously) diesel engine with a displacement of 8.25 liter, making 250 DIN-hp.
The transmission was either a 9-speed Fuller or a 16-speed ZF. Unlike engines and axles, DAF has never built their own transmissions for the heavy vehicles. I guess the rubber belts would have become too long and floppy.
The full and registered model designation of the truck is FAT 2525 DHS 455. FAT means it’s a forward control, 6×4 truck chassis; 2525 for a 2500 with a GVM-rating of 25 metric tons; the DHS is the engine; 455 is the wheelbase in cm (first to second axle).
Now here’s some serious Van Doorne construction work. A set of type 2699 rear drive axles with hub reduction and a factory axle load rating of 13 metric tons (28,660 lbs) each.
The crane, evidently not fully folded down, was built by the German ZEMAG company (as in Zeitzer Eisengießerei und Maschinenbau Aktiengesellschaft). The roots of the company go back to the mid-fifties. Of the 19th century, that is.
May the ol’ DAF-ZEMAG couple pick up many new things for years to come.
Postscript: the same mobile crane, reaching for the sky, as caught later on…
…and a fine example of DAF’s current version of a heavy 6×4 truck with a day cab, this 2018 CF-series (owned by the same building contractor).