The first truck assembled by commercial vehicle manufacturer DAF Australia was unveiled yesterday at its Bayswater plant in Melbourne.
Keys for the DAF CF85 were handed over to Cahill’s Transport, who had a long established relationship with DAF Australia adding to the more than 60 trucks it has purchased from the manufacturer since 2003.
The CF85 was driven from the end of the production line amidst a gathered crowd of over a hundred media, guests and PACCAR Australia customers.
Radio 3AW broadcast live from the event.
Andrew Hadjikakou, PACCAR Australia Managing Director, said there were many ways to experience history, but the best way was to create it.
He said, as he welcomed brothers Mick and Dan Cahill of Cahill Transport, that he couldn’t think of a more appropriate home for the first Australian built DAF truck.
“One thing is certain, investment in the plant, equipment and training to make this day possible will impact our future in many ways we cannot yet imagine,” said Hadjikakou.
Bayswater is now the fifth international production plant for DAF Trucks NV after Einhoven in the Netherlands, Westerlo in Belgium, Leyland in England and Ponta Grossa in Brazil.
Production Supervisor Meredith Young said it was an exciting journey visiting multiple PACCAR plants across Europe to acquire knowledge to ensure quality outcomes for the project.
“It was an incredible experience and I for one will never forget it,” she said.
“The opportunity to visit Eindhoven allowed for knowledge sharing and global expertise to ensure consistency of process and uniformity of PACCAR quality global standards resulting in the highest quality product for our customers.”
Jan van Keulen, DAF Trucks Netherlands Managing Director was one of the guests in attendance.
Cahill, who with his brother Dan, bought the business from his father in 1989, said the alliance with PACCAR Australia commenced in 1976 when they bought their first Kenworth SAR.
“While I was trying to come up with a credible speech I came to realise that all my life I have marvelled at the beauty and durability of the Kenworth truck and the people who stood behind the name,” he said.
“People often ask, ‘why do you buy Kenworth trucks? My answer is always that it is built in Australia by Australians and for Australian conditions.”
“Cahill Transport has now purchased more than 60 DAF trucks with more on the way,” said Cahill.
“We see them as an integral part of our business in helping us to provide an efficient and economical solution to our customers while also providing a safe and comfortable workplace for our drivers. They love them.”