NL Truck DAF YA328 Cargo

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Starting bid: 9,000.00

Cold War veteran: “Dikke DAF” (FAT DAF); hugely ingenious vehicle, technically ahead of its time

After World War II, all modern armies became highly mechanized. This war had taught us how important a good logistics organization was; huge numbers of military utility vehicles were produced for a quick supply and delivery of all kinds of combat equipment, such as artillery tractors, trucks and for the transport of infantry.

As a ‘general military vehicle’, the DAF YA 328 is an important representative of the mechanization and innovation of the Dutch army. For almost three decades, this ‘Dikke DAF’ was the face of the Dutch army and ‘defining image’, also for the civilian outside the barracks gate. Moreover, the large order from the Dutch government has been of decisive importance for the development of DAF as a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.

This DAF 328 was purchased in 1993 by its current owner. Because he had his driving training on this vehicle during his service and has kept excellent memories of it, he bought his favorite vehicle when the opportunity came along! Therefore, no expense was spared to restore it to excellent condition. He enjoyed it a lot during various rides as well in the Netherlands as in Belgium and Northern France. Because the years are starting to count for him, he has recently decided that he wants to sell it and asked Tracks and Trade to offer it in the next spring 2023 Auction. He hopes that it will end up with a true enthusiast who, just like him, will enjoy it for years to come.
Starts on the button, an excellent, well-maintained vehicle and fully road registered!

© Tracks & Trade BV, the Netherlands, February 2023

2.1 General
In the fifties of the 20th century, the Royal Netherlands Army felt the need to replace rolling stock. After the Second World War, the existing vehicles had been obtained second-hand by the Army through the MDAP from the vehicle dumps of the Allies. Because these vehicles were a mix of British and American vehicles, maintenance and the supply of spare parts proved to be a logistical problem and standardization was therefore necessary. On December 20, 1951 DAF located in Eindhoven the Netherlands received a large government order of 175 million guilders for the delivery of, initially 3,600 units of vehicles to the Royal Netherlands Army. Two different vehicles were developed: the DAF YA-126 and the YA-318/328.

2.2 Type of indication
The 328s were called “Dikke DAF (Fat DAF)” in soldiers’ language, because of the characteristic, heavy engine sound and the imposing appearance.
The official type designations are composed as follows:
Y = military vehicle
A = general, (F = fuel, C = crash tender)
3 = payload in tons,
1 resp. 2 = the series,
8 = the number of driven wheels.
In this case 8 because the two high-placed spare wheels are counted as they are mounted freely rotating and serve as an additional function as “support wheels”. Of these eight wheels in total, only the four rear wheels are driven on the road and six wheels are driven off-road via the additionally switchable front-wheel drive.
These trucks were equipped with the H. van Doorne patented H-drive.

2.3 YA 318: The prototypes and preliminary series
The main difference with the 328 consists of a lighter engine and a four instead of five speed gearbox. There were two prototypes and the pre-series numbered 298 units. 81 were built as YF-318 (“F” for fuel tanker) and delivered to the U.S. Air Force. Nine vehicles, in civilian version, were delivered to the Batavian Petroleum Company for use in Dutch New Guinea and were equipped with a fifth wheel and intended as a tractor for semi-trailers. 210 units (including the two prototypes) were delivered to the Army as artillery tractors.

In the mid-1950s the winches and towing hooks were removed due to frequent breakage of the towing hooks, the car was then called “truck a.d., 3 ton 12 v”. A number of them drove at the AAT (Ripperdakazerne, Haarlem) until the end of the sixties. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the YA 318s were sold to dealers who resold a few units to civilian companies for the construction of cranes. Most of it has been scrapped, with tandem sets and gearboxes bought back by the KL to make up for dwindling parts stocks for the YA 328 and YA 126/314 respectively.

2.4 YA 328: The production version
4,510 units of the YA 328 were produced between 1952 and 1958 in four variants:
• Artillery tractor: 1,080 pieces
• Cargo, with winch: 699 pieces
• Cargo without winch: 2,731 pieces
• Crash tender: 6 (or 8?) pieces
2.4.1 Artillery tractor
The artillery tractors, recognizable by the shorter cargo box and a fencing instead of a “tailgate”, were intended for the lighter guns and are always equipped with a winch, which is connected to the towing hook. This winch construction was also used by ir. Hub van Doorne (DAF) before the Second World War in the Trado conversions, which he co-developed.
Advantages of this construction are:
• When the tractor – with the gun attached – threatened to get stuck in difficult terrain, the driver could uncouple the towbar from the tractor from the cab. The tractor drove on alone and the winch cable with the towing hook then ran off, so that the load remained standing. Once on solid ground, the gun could then be dragged back to the tractor using the winch. The towbar then automatically coupled to the tractor, on which it was possible to continue driving together or, if necessary, to repeat the procedure.
• Because it was possible for the towing hook to “pick up” the coupling eye from the ground, it was also possible for one person to connect the gun to the tractor.
• The gun can be quickly removed from position because the tractor does not have to be maneuvered in front of the gun. It is possible to drag the part to the tractor.

2.4.2 Cargo
Of these, by far the largest number were produced in two versions; with and without winch. The biggest difference compared to the artillery tractor was the slightly longer loading platform and the closed rear (loading) door. The YA 328 with winch could, if the rear bumpers were removed, be used as a tractor for the 25-pounder guns.

2.4.3 Crash tender YC-328
A small series of 6 (or perhaps 8) crash tenders has been developed on the chassis of the YA-328, in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense, to fight aircraft fires. These were stationed at the airfields of the Naval Aviation Service. It is said that the YC-328 was first intended for the Air Force, but it received American cars. That is why these YC-328 eventually went to the Navy. It is not possible to determine how many crash tenders were built in total. One was also in use at the Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport in Suriname. It is unknown if a YC-328 still exists anywhere.
2.4.4 Fire truck YA-328
Two YA-328 fire trucks were built in the late 1950s. Later, two fire engines were built on the chassis of two artillery tractors. As far as is known, the engines are all equipped with double carburetors. The body structures differ from each other by at least 3 vehicles. All four vehicles still exist (1 x TRIS, 1x St. La Courtine, 1 x DAF Museum, 1 x Inf. Museum Harskamp). The superstructure was made by Kronenburg for 19,000 guilders. In addition, there is a fifth YA-328 that served as a fire truck, namely an artillery tractor converted into a water tanker at ASK ‘t Harde. This last car was probably scrapped.

2.5 In practice
The 328 was not an easy car to drive. The lack of power steering and the non-synchronized gearbox, which could only be upshifted by means of “double clutching” and downshifted with double clutching in combination with double throttle, has driven many drivers to despair. If the driver could shift up and down from first to fifth gear on a flat road without creaking or “brushing his teeth”, then this should also be possible off-road and on a slope. Then the famous “3 low – 2 high” came into play.

Example: If you wanted to drive off with the 328 – up a slope or off-road – and shift from 1 to 2, the truck would come to a standstill before the driver had the opportunity to engage second gear, because, given the unsynchronized gearbox, it was necessary to wait until the engine speed had dropped sufficiently to be able to change gears without grinding the gears.

The solution to this was: start off in third gear of the low range and then switch to second gear of the high range. That “step” was smaller than the one between first and second gear of the high range. To this end, two different gear levers, the normal gear lever and that of the transfer case, had to be operated simultaneously.

However, due to a very good education at the time by passionate Dutch Army instructors in specially set up driver training courses (at that time the Netherlands still had a conscript army), the vehicle was eventually loved by all drivers who have ever driven it.

The lesson version was equipped with a metal bar (approximately one meter in length) in front of the co-driver’s seat, with which the driving instructor could operate the braking system, the so-called “ho-iron”.
The clutch was then usually not pressed, so the engine stopped. Quite a tour in this vehicle anyway because the engine, placed between the instructor and student, made so much noise that communication was almost impossible. Instructors often carried a stick with which the inner helmet of the student was ‘tapped’ when they wanted to attract attention During driving lessons, the correct gear changes were indicated by tapping the metal bonnet with a stick.

The 318 and 328 had no heating. The cabin, with folding side windows and removable doors, could only be heated by opening the bulkheads of the bonnet, placed between the seats, so that the engine heat (but also the noise and oil fumes) flowed into the cabin. In the summer, people regularly drove without doors, a canvas strap in the door opening had to prevent the driver or co-driver from falling out of the vehicle. The canvas roof (just like that of the cargo box) could also be removed and the windshield laid flat. The small split windshield was not equipped with any ventilation or heating. It was therefore not easy to keep a good view of the road surface in winter conditions. The value of the vehicle was 45,000 guilders.

Location: & Collection

Current location of this object is Etten-Leur the Netherlands
Local collection is available for this lot.

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This object is offered by Tracks & Trade pursuant to consignment sale on behalf of a private individual. Therefore, the margin scheme will be applicable, so no sales tax (VAT) over the hammer price will be applicable. For more info see General Conditions of Sale Article 9.

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General Conditions of Sale Version 2.0 dated 29-04-2022 are applicable

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Model YA 328 Cargo (“Dikke DAF”)
Manufacturer DAF Trucks NV Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Production figures

4,510 units of the YA 328 were produced between 1952 and 1958 in four variants:

•   Artillery tractor: 1,080 pieces

•   Cargo, with winch: 699 pieces

•   Cargo without winch: 2,731 pieces

•   Crash tender: 6 or 8 pieces

Color 508MT
Net Weight 6.000 kg (13.227 lbs.): on license: 6.090 kg
Gross Weight 9.000 kg (19.841 lbs.)
Crew 2 (Driver and Co-driver)

Hercules JXLD six-cylinder, 5.55 liters, 4-stroke, side valve, liquid-cooled gasoline engine

·      Power: 132 hp @ 3,200 rpm.

·      Max. torque: 375 Nm @ 1,400 rpm

·      Compression ratio: 6.5:1

Note: comes with LPG installation

Transmission ZF, constant mesh, 5-speed, not synchronized,
DAF reduction gearbox with differential and PTO
DAF H-Drive system existing of DAF distribution boxes, Holroyd worm gearboxes and Hardy Spicer intermediate shafts.

These trucks were equipped with the H. van Doorne patented H-drive with optimal ground clearance for off-road operations.

Front suspension: Independent; two torsion bars; four trailing arms

Rear suspension: Single wishbone with longitudinally mounted leaf springs. Tandem drive with balancing yokes

Speed 82 km/h (50 mph)
Winch no

Length:            6,13 m         241.3 inch

Width:             2,40 m        94.5 inch

Height:            2,65 m        104.3 inch

Tire size 9.00 x 20
Electrical installation 24 volts; 2 batteries of 12 volt each
Date of Delivery 1954
Chassis / VIN Nr. YA3287708
Remarks Will be delivered with LPG installation
Road License Yes (Dutch Road License issued 17-12-1993)
Condition Vehicle will be delivered in good running and well-maintained condition

Source: Tracks & Trade

This fully ready to go 1954 DAF YA 328 Cargo is a fantastic machine which was mainly used in the cold war for the defense of Europe. Many soldiers have memories to this iconic unit. Moreover, the large orders from the Dutch government have been of decisive importance for the development of DAF as a leading commercial truck manufacturer.

For a nice impression see: DAF-Pantrado-DAF-YA-318-DAF-YA-328-AAT-BlauwBloed-Cor-van-Boven
It was used all over Europe and the former Dutch colonies in the Caribbean. Also it was active in the far east under United Nations missions in Lebanon.

It is a very desirable truck and highly reliable! Starts on the button and comes in great condition. Spare parts are still easily available. The high fuel prices of these days make the LPG installation a valuable accessory. Will be delivered nicely maintained, in good running condition and with a Dutch license! This all is reflecting the price level.

Estimated value: between Euro 12.000 and 16.000,- (December 2022)