With EGAS there is no mechanical link between the throttle garage door opener overhead and the pump but DAF has shown a commendable belt and braces approach by routeing a conventional throttle cable alongside the EGAS signal wire to get you home if the system goes wrong. While delivering a strong performance under test conditions the 360 did have weaknesses, although these to be fair were quite minor and did nothing to detract from what had proved to be an excellent truck. Some criticism was made of the ride quality as some felt that it was a little too firm at the front with a fair degree of road shock coming up through the floor and steering wheel. The drive axle spring parking brakes were not really up to the job, the ZF gearbox could be hard work at times, the night heater vent directed hot air on to the sleeping drivers head and the digital radio display set in the headlining could hardly be seen.
Swain's of Rochester 85CF 6x2 rigid on the M20 in March 20 Photo Gyles Carpenter. However these were only minor issues, and perhaps of more concern to potential operators was the relatively high garage door opener overhead of replacement parts. The DAF 85 Series certainly made a good impression and the consensus view seemed to be that any haulier or fleet buyer looking for a capable tractor in the 330-360HP class should bear the DAF 85 in mind. Reviews at the time of its introduction note that: From the drivers standpoint DAF has hit the spot with its new trucks.
Ride and handling qualities are excellent, field of garage door opener overhead enormous and the general impression is of a truck that could make even the grumpiest of drivers look forward to going to work Further, the DAF 85 was considered to be accurate and predictable when cornering and requires no corrections at motorway cruising speeds. The brakes are powerful and come in very fast, without being sharp. In performance the WS268L engine and the ZF gearbox is a familiar and effective package which should prove economical in use. Once inside the driver gets a feeling of spaciousness. This feels a more roomy design than, say, a Scania 93 and is much more liveable than a Volvo FL10 The DAF 85 may have arrived on the market at a troubling time for the company but whatever the financial, political and management problems which had to be faced there is no doubt that the backroom boys had certainly delivered another winning DAF series.