DAF Trucks Limited

Product life cycle

Three phases: production, use and disposal

Partly as a result of its social responsibility to protect the environment, DAF considers the complete life cycle of a product during all its activities.

There are three phases to this life cycle: production (including product development and purchasing), use and disposal.

The impact on the environment is greatest during usage of the truck; mainly as a result of fuel consumption and the associated emissions of harmful substances. During the production and disposal phases, the impact on the environment is considerably less. This is why DAF is focusing mainly on the truck usage phase to reduce the environmental impact. 

see ISO 22628 "Road Vehicles - Recyclability and recoverability - Calculation Method" and Directive 2000/53/EG on end-of life vehicles

Ability of component parts, materials or both that can be diverted from an end-of-life stream to be recycled.

Reprocessing in a production process of the waste materials for the original purpose or for other purposes, excluding processing as a means of generating energy.

Ability of component parts, materials or both that can be diverted from an end-of-life stream to be recovered.

Reprocessing in a production process of the waste materials for the original purpose or for other purposes, together with processing as a means of generating energy.


DAF has had an ’EcoDesign’ team since 1998. This team has the task of reducing the environmental impact as early as during the construction phase. EcoDesign also stands for Ecology + Economy. This means that DAF not only looks for solutions that are good for the environment but that also further improve the efficiency of the truck. As well as staff from Development, the team also includes representatives from Product Planning, Testing, Purchasing and Production.

The team introduces ’green’ options during the development of products and components: technical possibilities for reducing the environmental impact. Take the AS Tronic for example, the automated gearbox installed by DAF in their CF and XF series. The AS Tronic is approx. 70 kg lighter than a manual gearbox and also provides optimum switching behaviour. It therefore reduces not only fuel consumption but also the quantity of exhaust gases.

Product Developers at DAF make use of the ’EcoDesign Tool’: an electronic tool for designing with the environment in mind. This tool, for example,  specifies the factors the engineer must consider to optimise the recyclability of the products, how weight-reduction can be achieved or how  environmental aspects can be influenced in the production phase. The designer can also use the tool to carry out a ’life-cycle analysis’ of the product or construction on which he or she is working. This analysis can be used to calculate the environmental impact of the designed product for each phase of the life cycle. In addition, the tool contains information about constructions that have been improved since the original versions, thus having a reduced impact on the environment.

DAF’s production facilities in Eindhoven and Westerlo

The most important environmental aspects of the production processes relate to: air, water and energy consumption, raw materials, additives and residual substances and noise.

A compulsory assessment of the environmental aspects is carried out with all planned investments. Targets or limits are set for all these aspects, based on legal requirements, PACCAR requirements or requirements from DAF itself.

Continuous measurements are taken to analyse whether the targets and limits are being observed. The results of DAF’s environmental policy are proof of the work put into the policy: compared with 2000, solvent emissions per built truck were reduced by more than 50%, the amount of chemical waste per built truck was reduced by 36% and the total amount of drinking water was reduced by almost 55%. And these are just a few examples.


The most important services purchased by DAF that can affect the environment are cleaning services, residual waste management, maintenance and inspection of real estate and infrastructure, (new) building projects, transport of vehicles and transport of parts.

Environmental issues are taken into consideration when selecting service suppliers. DAF applies strict selection criteria on these suppliers based on official recognition or certification. Contract requirements pertaining to the environment form an integral part of the relationship between DAF and its suppliers. These must ensure that the requirements contained in the environmental permit issued to the DAF site are observed during execution of the service.

Care for the environment also plays a large part when purchasing production and other materials. DAF’s contracts with its suppliers include an  environmental clause, in which the supplier declares that the supplied product complies with the legal environmental regulations in force. The environmental clause is also meant to initiate or maintain a continuous process of improvement on the supplier side. In addition, DAF’s purchasing department uses a special Internet application to assess how environmentally friendly its suppliers are.

Development of lower impact engines

About 95% of the total impact on the environment occurs during the truck’s usage phase. This is mainly due to the NOx, soot particles, hydrocarbons, CO2 and CO that are emitted by the exhaust gases of a diesel engine. Engine design is therefore an extremely important part of the product development phase. In the almost fifty years that DAF has been building its own engines, it has built up a worldwide reputation with regard to efficient engines that have as little impact on the environment as possible.

Since 2007, DAF is offering clean EEV (Enhanced Environmental Friendly Vehicles) engines. These engines have even lower emission values than those stipulated by the stringent Euro 5 standard coming into force in 2009. By applying DAF SCR Technology in combination with a passive soot filter, the amount of particles is significantly reduced, enabling DAF’s EEV engines to produce even lower emissions than natural gas engines.


DAF also aims to keep the environmental impact to an absolute minimum during maintenance and repairs. This is why the 10,000 km service has been eliminated for various types of DAF trucks. In addition, the service interval has been extended to 150,000 km. Not only is this beneficial to the customer (lower maintenance costs), but it also has a reduced impact on the environment because less oil is used during the truck’s service life.

Noise reduction

Another aspect in which a considerable amount has been achieved in recent decades is the amount of noise produced by a truck: in 1970, a 250 hp truck produced just as much noise as 12 modern trucks.

Recycling policy

DAF also takes account of the environmental impact of trucks during the disposal phase: more than 85% of a DAF truck can be re-used once the truck has reached the end of its working life. It is now possible to reclaim more than 90% of the truck’s metals.

DAF has had an official ’Recycling policy’ since 2002. This policy is based on both DAF’s Environmental Policy (complete product life cycle), and the European Directive relating to car wrecks (2000/53/EC End of Life Vehicles). DAF’s recycling policy comprises the following points:

  • Possibilities for re-use and recycling are included in the product development process.
  • With regard to re-use and recycling, DAF follows the developments in the market economy.
  • When assessing the environmental effects of materials, the entire life cycle is considered.
  • Sorting guides are used to inform dealers and customers of the types of plastic used for each vehicle type.

Sorting guides for plastics

DAF promotes the re-use of materials through innovative designs and the provision of correct information. For example, the plastic parts of a DAF truck can easily be separated during dismantling. Special sorting guides for each truck type play an important part in this.

Overhaul of parts

DAF has been active in the recycling and reuse of components since 1970. In DAF’s Overhaul Workshop in Eindhoven, an annual total of around 73,000 parts are overhauled and supplied for re-use. These parts include starter motors, fuel pumps, gearboxes and even complete engines. These ’exchange parts’ are of a similar quality to new parts. They are literally ’as good as new’.