Daf has built a prototype distribution truck with a significantly reduced kerb weight.

The Future Truck Chassis Concept (FTCC) uses new chassis design technology, lightweight materials and components to shave 500kg off a conventional 12-tonne LF vehicle.

Built by Leyland Trucks, working with Sapa Profiles UK and CSA Group, the project was co-funded by Innovate UK and aimed to increase payload at a lower fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions.

The FTCC research project features a number of new design concepts to improve transport efficiency. These include an extensive use of aluminium extrusions for an optimal ratio between weight and stiffness; patented front underrun protection is mounted on a newly designed front frame module, which is attached to the side members; and a body floor structure integrated in the chassis frame design, by incorporating the body sub frame into the main chassis side members.

In addition to weight saving measures, the project included a number of other advanced vehicle features such as independent front air suspension with rack and pinion steering, to investigate its benefits in terms of ride quality, steering precision and vehicle packaging improvements.

Leyland Trucks senior engineer Rob Lawton, who led the project team, said: ‘Light weighting is at the heart of our global efforts to reduce fuel consumption and thus emissions. Increasing payload without loss of vehicle integrity is fundamental to that process. Our FTCC project has achieved our objectives: a 30% weight saving focused on the components used in the main truck chassis frame, body under structure, front suspension and steering.”

Daf said its FTCC is “first of all a study model, which won’t be on the market on short notice”. However, it shows innovations which might be considered for the future if financially feasible as well.

The truck will be displayed at a variety of international events (including CENEX LCV at Millbrook in September) to demonstrate the technological advances it incorporates.