Friday, November 23, 2012

Leyland DAF - a blast from the past

The once proud Leyland Truck name has all but vanished from the world, and it has been many moons since Leyland gave up on the Canadian market in the 1950s . However the name does live on in a very small way.
In 1987 Leyland Trucks Division of the Rover Group merged with DAF Trucks of Holland trading as Leyland DAF in the UK, but still DAF elsewhere. Unfortunately that merger flopped and was declared insolvent, and the two companies spun back off through management buyouts.
In 1996 Paccar Inc (parent of Kenworth and Peterbilt) bought DAF and continued to produce DAF trucks in Eindhoven, Netherlands. In 1998 Paccar bought Leyland, to produce DAF trucks in their Leyland, UK plant. They have since expanded to Brazil, with operations in Belgium.
The Leyland name was obliterated from trucks, except for British military vehicles.
And so the two brand new Leyland DAFs that arrived in Halifax by ship last week must be British military. As the second one left the terminal this morning I was able to identify the body as a glycol recovery unit, manufactured by Beam A/S of Denmark.
No idea what powers the truck (likely a Cummins) and the Beam unit is separately powered, usually with a Mercedes package.  
The truck is right hand drive and is apparently destined for a British military airfield in Canada, just in time for winter. But where would such a base be? The RAF does not acknowledge any base in Canada, but does participate in a NATO training plan, but that is run jointly by the Canadian military and Bombardier. The British Army has a large establishment at CFB Suffield in Alberta, but has no fixed wing aircraft there.
So this is a Truckspotters Alert to keep an eye open for these two units. Today's track was being hauled by Clarke.

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