The second and third life of a DAF
“Greater availability in addition to lower costs”
One life, two lives, or even more. DAF trucks have in fact at least three lives, according to Marty van den Dungen, sales director Used Trucks at DAF. “More and more dealers are now offering Used Trucks to their customers in addition to new vehicles so that they can provide them with tailor-made solutions.”
By: Guus Peters
Actually, says Marty van den Dungen, ‘used’ is not even a good word for a truck from the DAF Used Trucks range. He prefers the term ‘almost new’. “Simply because the quality is so good. We know the maintenance record, we get the trucks back into tip-top shape and there is even a one-year guarantee available for a pre-owned DAF.”
Van den Dungen has been sales director of DAF Used Trucks since 2016 and in those five years he has seen a dramatic increase in the availability of trucks that have already clocked up a few kilometres. “We now take back more than 12,000 vehicles each year through a variety of channels – rental fleets, lease contracts and the DAF Buy-Back residual value guarantee. To give you an indication of how things have changed: a few years ago that number was around 3,500. We oversee the process of reintroducing vehicles to the market through the central organisation in Eindhoven, together with the organisations in the countries where we have a Dedicated Used Trucks Sales centre.”
Used Truck retail centers
When we speak with Van den Dungen, an energetic 55-year-old Brabander with over thirty years’ experience at DAF, he has just returned after opening a new DAF Used Truck Center in Hungary. Over the past few years DAF has invested heavily in its own sales centres for used trucks, which are now to be found in locations like Lyon, Paris, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Nyíregyháza and Dieburg in Germany. “We sell at least half of all used DAFs through our own dealer network.”
The quality of used trucks today is excellent, which makes them a very attractive alternative to a new vehicle. “Naturally, a used truck that is between one and three years young is less expensive than a new one,” says Van den Dungen. “But the truck’s availability is also an important factor, as delivery times for new trucks have been getting longer. If it’s simply a matter of acquiring a new truck, the customer is often prepared to wait another six months or so.
But when your workload increases you need two things: a truck and a driver. While finding drivers is becoming a real challenge in Europe, we can at least look after the other side of the problem: thetruck. Ideal in that case are our First Choice trucks, which are fully serviced and ready for another few hundred thousand trouble-free kilometres on the road. And in some cases those trucks are ready to drive tomorrow .”
Marty van den Dungen
Sales Director DAF Used Trucks
“More and more dealers are now offering Used Trucks to their customers in addition to new vehicles so that they can provide them with tailor-made solutions.”
“We have clear guidelines with regard to the optical and technical specifications that DAF used trucks have to meet in order to ensure that the second and third owner will be acquiring the kind of reliable truck they would expect from an organisation like DAF”, explains Van den Dungen. “And we also have our First Choice guarantee, of course, with which we can offer a full warranty for vehicles up to four years old with 500,000 kilometres on the clock. For trucks up to five years old and 600,000 kilometres we offer a year’s guarantee on the driveline.” When you add in the Multi-Support maintenance contracts and the option of financing or leasing through PACCAR Financial you can only come to one conclusion: the buyer runs no risk whatsoever with a DAF Used Truck.
This is confirmed by Van den Dungen: “An XF is built to drive at least 1.6 million kilometres. So a vehicle with four or five hundred thousand on the clock has at least another two lives ahead of it. We have a lot of big customers all over Europe who send back trucks that were bought as new vehicles. Their specifications are perfect; Super Space Cab, side skirts, park airco, LED lights… in short, the ideal truck and one that we can sell anywhere in Europe. These vehicles often continue their lives in operational lease and are returned to us one more time after around three years. This means that we sell them twice, or three times actually: once new and twice as a used truck. The first time they come back they have between 250,00 and 400,000 kilometres on the clock and then around 700,000 when they return again after being on the road for another three years. At that stage a DAF hasn’t even reached the halfway point in its lifespan.”
Adjusting a vehicle to match the specific needs of a customer is one of the most interesting challenges for a Used Truck dealer,
according to Marty van den Dungen. “They always pick from whatever they have available on site, which is generally not a problem given the range of trucks we have to offer. But sometimes the cab colours have to be changed to meet the customer’s
needs or the truck has to be equipped with extras like a PTO or a hydraulic unit. And sometimes the vehicle will have only one tank when the customer really wants two. Whatever is required, we are always up to the challenge.” He might not say it in so many words, but essentially the message is: what more could you want?
“If you need a truck tomorrow, there is only one route to go: a used vehicle. Or, more accurately, an almost new truck with a bit of experience.”
“Literally as good as new”
Aziz Uzunkaya started in 1997 as a transport operator with one truck. Today he runs a fleet of 60 vehicles, 85% of which carry the DAF badge on their grill. His company UZUNKAYA SPEDITION & TRANSPORTE has its headquarters in Prague and its business is primarily the transport of automotive parts. The drivers at Aziz travel back and forth between Turkey, Belgium and Denmark. Aziz recently added 29 used DAF XF Super Space Cabs to the fleet.
Why not new trucks?
“Simple,” he says. “These trucks are literally as good as new, the operational costs are low and the service provided by DAF Used Trucks is excellent. I was able to finance 25 of the trucks through PACCAR Financial.” He also deliberately chose the largest cab that DAF builds: the Super Space Cab. “My Turkish drivers are often away from home for weeks at a time,” he explains. “So they deserve the most spacious and most comfortable cab on the market.”