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Fuel Cell Driving River Simple’s RASA

Recreating a Classic 80s 3300ATi reborn

Shifting Stars

Rocking All Over the World


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The ultimate evolution with the ultimate package

DAF introduces the Ultimate package. A range of features that further boosts efficiency, safety and driver comfort, making the XF and CF the ultimate trucks for owners and drivers. This feature-rich package includes: • Battery Energy Management system • LED headlights and rear lighting • Automated Climate Control • …and so much more. Check out all the features (and the Ultimate+ package upgrade) at your dealer or visit:


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WELCOME TO THE LATEST EDITION OF DAF DRIVER MAGAZINE Although a fresh lockdown has been announced as this was being written, it has to be said that we can now at last see the light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. Publisher - Matthew Eisenegger



he approach of Spring, the successful roll-out of effective Covid vaccines and the inevitable bounceback that will come as restrictions are removed, all mean that we can look forward to a brighter 2021. We also have a Brexit deal that appears to preserve most of the advantages of EU membership, yet returns a certain amount of control over contentious issues such as agriculture and fisheries to the United Kingdom. Yes, the first half of the year is still going to be difficult, but having got through two lockdowns already, the British public in general, and the transport industry in particular, have learned how to deal with them. We no longer see ridiculous panic-buying stretching supply chains with artificial demand for ‘essential’ products, and supplies of PPE and sanitisers are now well in hand. There’s even a bright side to the current lockdown, which is that our roads will once again be freed of a large amount of commuter and business drivers, making life easier for freight. Indeed, one of the good things which may well come from the Covid crisis is a realisation that many people in our ‘knowledge-based’ economy do not need to make the daily trek into and out of work every day. And if big companies no longer

need to run large and expensive head offices in city centres, then that frees up capital which can be invested more productively elsewhere. The Brexit issue has also put the focus firmly on the long-ignored issue of truck parking and facilities for drivers. After years of excuses for not providing permanent decent off-roadside facilities for drivers, while at the same time persecuting those who park in lay-bys it seems that the authorities have at last grasped the nettle when it comes to parking provision: and not just in the hot-spot of Kent. Would it be too much to ask that some planning guidelines be issued that would force local authorities to consider truck parking when deciding on planning permission for industrial estates and business parks? If you’ve driven in Spain, you will have noticed the ‘Hostels’ that are regularly signed off major routes. If you’ve ever sampled them, you will know that they are a unique combination of budget hotel, transport café and village pub, run as small ‘mom and pop’ businesses. They provide a friendly and affordable overnight stop, with the option of a bed for the night if you don’t want to cab it. As our own travel and leisure sectors rebuild in the wake of Covid, wouldn’t it be nice to see something similar encouraged to flourish by British roadsides?

The Bigger Picture

Look out for the dynamic QR codes in this issue of DAF Driver Magazine. Simply open the camera on your mobile device and point it at the code, then sit back for some exciting additional content.


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WINTER 2020/21










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FEATURES 6 WARBURTONS Britain’s biggest bakery relies on DAF to put bread on your table

12 RIVER SIMPLE Fuel cells are not just for future trucks. We drive the RASA

16 DAF 3300 ATi How one Irish trucker re-created a DAF from his family’s past

22 LOWDECK If you need to go low, DAF has the answer

28 WOODGATE TIMBER If a wood trucker could truck wood, he might just use a DAF

34 STARDES Gareth Jones tells us how to get the show on the road

REGULARS 3 WELCOME ‘Will our planners spare a thought for truck parking?’, wonders Matthew.

42 SKIP LOADERS We look at the history of the skip industry

43 SIMPSON SAYS Our Richard casts his eyes over KPIs

45 SPOT THE DIFFERENCE Two identical heavy haulers or are they, can you tell?

52 TRAINER’S NOTES Our Mandy shares some valuable winter driving tips

53 MEET THE TRAINERS Meet Nick Williamson, Motus Commercials’ Driver Trainer for the Nottigham and Derby areas

40 TANKED UP We find two DAF operators who carry liquids in their lorries


INFORMATION EDITORIAL Publisher: Matthew Eisenegger Managing Editor: John Kendall Designer: Harold Francis Callahan Editorial Address: Commercial Vehicle Media & Publishing Ltd, 4th Floor 19 Capesthorne Drive, Eaves Green, Chorley, Lancashire. PR7 3QQ Telephone: 01257 231521 Email: ADVERTISING Advertising Sales: David Johns Telephone: 01388 517906 Mobile: 07590 547343 Email: DESIGN Art Editor: Harold Francis Callahan Telephone: 01257 231521 Email: CONTRIBUTORS Richard Simpson Jack Sunderland Mandy Wannerton Dean Barrett Brian Weatherley Gareth Jones Ronnie Hitchens PUBLISHER Commercial Vehicle Media & Publishing Ltd, 4th Floor, 19 Capesthorne Drive, Eaves Green, Chorley, Lancashire. PR7 3QQ Telephone: 01257 231521

p42 NOTE The publisher makes every effort to ensure the magazine’s contents are correct. All material published in DAF Driver Magazine is copyright and unauthorised reproduction is forbidden. The Editors and Publisher of this magazine give no warranties, guarantees or assurances and make no representations regarding any goods or services advertised in this edition. DAF Driver Magazine is published under a licence from Commercial Vehicle Media & Publishing Ltd. All rights in the licensed material belong to Matthew Eisenegger or Commercial Vehicle Media and Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced whether in whole or in part, without their prior written consent. DAF Driver Magazine is a registered trademark.

If you are not going to keep this magazine for future reference please pass it on or recycle it.


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HOW WE ROLL The UK’s largest bakery operates almost one thousand vehicles to ensure your daily bread reaches you and most of them carry DAF badges. Words: Jack Sunderland


Photographs: Karl Hopkinson


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DAF LF is the backbone of the Warburtons bread van fleet, with most rated at 14-tonnes GVW.



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ack in 1870, grocery shop proprietors Thomas and Ellen Warburton opened their doors to the good people of the industrial town of Bolton, in the north west of England. In 1876 business took a downturn, so to support the family’s shop, Ellen took to her kitchen and baked four loaves and six cakes. All sold in under an hour and the rest, as they say is history. Some 144 years later, and under the ownership of the fifth generation of the founding family, Warburtons is Britain’s largest bakery. The company turns over £0.5 billion per year, employing over 4,500 people, working from 25 sites - undoubtedly a national success story. Having great products is only part of the story. Scrumptious delights such as the traditional white loaf, hot buttered crumpet or soft sliced bagel need to find their way into the toasters and sandwich boxes of the Great British

OPERATOR PROFILE people. Massive changes in taste, particularly among the young, have led towards a variety of new types of bread-based products and away from the traditional loaf. Examples include bagels and thins, meaning that some 30% of Warburtons production is no longer bread based. As a national manufacturer, Warburtons has to reflect regional tastes and demands. The family business takes a long-term view of every decision made, choosing the best manufacturing equipment, the best ingredients and also what they see as the best transport solutions, which is where DAF comes in. Warburtons operates nearly 1,000 vehicles, split into primary and secondary fleets. In the primary fleet are the tractor units, engaged on trunking between the company’s 11 bakeries and its distribution hubs. In the secondary fleet and probably forming the backbone of the logistics operation, is a fleet of 800 bread vans.

To give an indication of the scale of the logistics operation and how many products are moved, Warburtons has split its trading year into 13 periods. In any one period they produce and distribute an astonishing 70,000,000 items and deliver to 17,000 locations. Fleet management With such an intense distribution schedule, transport management is absolutely key. This is the responsibility of National Transport Manager, Steve Gray, and his team. With DAF Trucks commanding over 90% of the total fleet, Warburtons rely very heavily on the manufacturer’s MultiSupport package to look after the vehicles throughout their entire life on the fleet. Traditionally, the bread van of the secondary fleet, which also forms the backbone of the fleet is the DAF LF, operating at 14-tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), with a number of 7.5 tonners for special or remote routes. The LFs will be on the fleet for 10 years and are bought outright.


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The Warburtons Fleet

After 150 years in business and with almost 1,000 vehicles currently on the fleet, it’s not surprising that the company knows what it wants when it comes to vehicle specification. The heavy lifting is carried out by the primary fleet and the mainstay of it is the DAF CF 450 FT 4x2 tractor unit. As described in the story, these vehicles operate between Warburtons’ 11 bakeries and its network of 14 distribution hubs, carrying the freshly baked produce ready for onward distribution to shops up and down the UK. With the bakeries producing over two million products a day, the CF fleet has a busy delivery schedule, reflected in the DAF fleet. Each CF is equipped with a sleeper cab and all vehicles are finished in Warburtons


distinctive orange livery, with roof deflector and side collars in matching finish. Power comes from the PACCAR MX-11 engine developing 449hp, transmitting the power through a TraXon 12-speed automated transmission. Power for the 14-tonne GVW LF 180 FA, the mainstay of the bread van fleet, comes from the PACCAR PX-5 engine rated at 184hp, transmitting power through the six-speed ZF AS Tronic transmission. With 48 stacks of product to transport, each LF has an 8.3m long body, equipped with a tail lift and fitted out with internal racking. Warburtons specifies the bodies with rear kerb-side door and steps to ease safe entry and exit for the driver.


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Side doors in the bread van body provide safe kerb-side access for Warburtons drivers.

On average these vehicles cover around 90,000 kms each year and are supported by a full DAF Repair and Maintenance contract for seven years, before moving onto a managed programme from DAF Trucks for the final three years of the truck’s life with the bakery. In this instance DAF MultiSupport becomes an invaluable tool in the asset management process, giving the operator complete insight into the true operating costs of that vehicle over the course of its life. It also offers enough historical information for the management team to make an informed decision on any further levels of investment. A further advantage is that DAF MultiSupport covers all makes on the fleet, not just the DAFs. In Warburtons’ case, DAF MultiSupport gives the company a bespoke solution for managing, controlling and equally importantly, consolidating the bulk of the vehicles’ operating costs. Steve Gray explained that before the introduction of the MultiSupport service, he and his dedicated team used to process between 11,000 and 12,000

invoices per year from a multitude of suppliers for maintenance and repair issues relating to the day-to-day operation of the fleet. These could represent anything from a broken lamp lens to a replacement engine. The introduction of MultiSupport saw the total number of invoices plummet to just 12 per year, all managed by DAF Trucks. For Steve’s team, this massively reduced the additional, and in many cases, unnecessary workload. This helped him to manage internal administration costs in a far more effective way. According to Steve, the family-owned business very much welcomes a partnership arrangement when working with suppliers, particularly in the case of DAF Trucks. The Warburtons distribution business covers a wide variety of regional routes. Over the course of the working week, each bread van will be loaded by its driver and on the road by 4.00am. Each one follows a sequenced route, usually returning by lunchtime. Every route varies in distance but on average each truck will carry 48 stacks of product, delivered to around 25 shops.

Vehicle management The varying route lengths can cause a problem when it comes to fleet management, particularly when older vehicles get close to or exceed tightly controlled total contract distance obligations. In many instances the transport management team must constantly reroute or even relocate vehicles to ensure they avoid any potential penalties. Steve and his team have worked very closely with DAF Trucks to ensure the full Repair and Maintenance packages are calculated over a fleet average and not on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis - testimony to the MultiSupport offering from DAF Trucks. Family is the key to the success of this remarkable business. A family-owned business must always plan and a good family business will always look after its staff. Warburtons can boast great staff retention rates. In many cases this involves many generations of local families at many locations. Finally, a family business never spends. It invests in the company’s long-term future and always with the right partners. DDM


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RIVERSIMPLE RASA Hydrogen fuel cells will probably replace diesel power for trucks. Could this alternative to batteries be viable in cars too?

Words: Gareth Jones


Photographs: Riversimple

s any trucker will tell you: big is beautiful, but I’d have to add that small can be equally appealing. UK start-up Riversimple provides strong evidence of this. Their diminutive and fiercely innovative car, RASA, employs a mindset where size, or rather the lack of it, is a core value. As we explore the possibilities for future transport, electric cars are a near certainty, but battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) have their drawbacks. Put simply, 12

batteries are heavy and take time to recharge. The RASA sidesteps both those issues by being powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The idea is simple: the fuel cell reacts hydrogen with oxygen to create electricity and water. Water & simplicity - you can see where the name of the firm comes from, although Hugo Spowers, the company’s founder, explains that the name Riversimple was chosen because: ”A river is always benign”, and that


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Looking to all-the-world like a cartoon drawing of Ed Straker’s car from Gerry Anderson’s UFO TV series of the 70s, this is Riversimple’s Rasa, from the Latin term tabula rasa: ‘blank slate’ WINTER 2020/21 DAF DRIVER

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the whole ethos of the car is to be as least impactful on the environment as is possible. In some peoples’ minds the idea of driving around in a car with a highly-pressurised tank of hydrogen on board, conjures up images of the Hindenburg. Whereas the gas bags on the Hindenburg were simply made of cotton coated with gelatine, the hydrogen tank in the RASA is made from multiple layers of carbon fibre. In the unlikely event of the tank being struck in a road collision, it would be far more difficult

to pierce even than the steel or aluminium we currently use to create petrol tanks. Plus, if the tank were to be compromised, the escaping hydrogen would shoot out vertically and be far less likely to ignite than petrol which falls to the ground and spreads out to cover the largest area it can, until it is one molecule thin and really ready to ignite. So in effect hydrogen is inherently safer to use as a medium of energy storage than gasoline. The fuel cell was first proposed by Welsh inventor Sir William

Robert Grove as far back as 1838. Fast forward a hundred and thirty years and NASA realised that his invention was the perfect way to create electricity for the Apollo spacecraft during the lunar missions of the 1960s. Fast forward again to today and this pollution-free system is ideal for driving a highly efficient eco-minded car. Being a small start-up, Riversimple is unable to spend tens of millions developing a bespoke fuel cell large enough to provide enough electricity to

shift a five-seat passenger car, instead they are using stock, off-the-shelf components. The fuel cell unit in the Rasa comes from an industrial forklift truck, and only produces around 8.5kW (about 12BHP). Riversimple simply scaleddown the size and weight of the vehicle to match the power output of presently available, proven technology. Rasa also makes use of supercapacitors to store and deliver the energy to the four small, lightweight in-wheel motors. The whole system, including the ultralight carbon fibre monocoque

Above: The fuel cell stack used in Rasa, weighing just 73 KG More than just a city car the Rasa has a range of 300 miles



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chassis, gives the car an all-up weight of just 580kg. But how scalable is this technology? Is what works in a small two-seater practical as a drivetrain for a 40-tonne truck? Hugo Spowers explains. “Whilst battery electric trucks are good for shorter journeys a decent range would need a battery pack that weighs around nine-tonnes, obviously that has a dramatic effect on the amount of payload carried, and eats into the profit margin of haulage companies. The relative low-weight of a fuel

cell & hydrogen tank is a far better solution. The technology is absolutely scalable. For use in HGVs you either build a larger fuel cell, or perhaps even better, string a bunch of smaller fuel cells together in series. This provides a certain level of redundancy too. If one fuel cell develops a fault, you simply swap that one out instead of replacing the entire unit.” There is one more advantage to hydrogen as your storage medium for energy over batteries. While the time

taken to recharge BEVs can be measured in hours, a hydrogen tank can be filled in minutes, in fact in less time than it takes to fill a petrol tank providing equivalent range. You can’t buy a Rasa, instead Riversimple’s business model sees users leasing a car on a mobile phone-like-contract, with a pay-per-mile, or rather per-kilowatt used, and every couple of years swap their car for a model upgraded with the latest technological refinements. Riversimple is currently building a small

fleet of cars which will be loaned to local governments and individuals for use in an extended beta trial. This car is small in every way, designed and built by a small, agile, innovative company. If the hydrogen it runs on is created by electrolysis using electricity harvested from renewables such as wind, wave or solar energy, then the environmental impact of the car is small too and that truly is an attractive idea with big implications. Like I said, small is beautiful. DDM


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ALL IN THE FAMILY The secret to getting a classic 27-year-old DAF 3300 ATi tractor is to keep your ear close to the ground and be the first in the queue to buy it. Brian Weatherley learns how some Irish ‘early birds’ caught their worm. Words: Brian Weatherley

Photographs: Rob Reilly


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Ex-Irish Military 3300ATi now faithfully converted into a 1993 Cabintrans replica tractor unit.



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his is a story about a classic ‘Barn Find’ truck – except it wasn’t found in a barn. Followers of social media will doubtless already know that an immaculately restored 1993 DAF 3300 ATi Space Cab, entered in the recent Virtual Truck Show organized by DAF Trucks, walked-off with the ‘Best Classic DAF’ trophy. The on-line event (organized as a ‘stand-in’ for the Peterborough Truckfest which was hit for six by the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown) attracted over 700 entrants, and an audience of over 55,000 viewers. Despite some stiff competition, DAF 3300 registration number 93-D-9299 was clearly the people’s choice for classic champion–but what’s the story behind it? It turns out to be a real family affair that starts back in the 1980s with Danny Murphy, eldest of four brothers based in Tallaght, to the South West of Dublin, and his company CABINTRANS. As its name suggests the business concentrated on hauling temporary buildings to customers throughout Ireland, along with containers and abnormal loads. Danny’s two younger brothers, Alan and Ken, both worked for the company driving trucks and within the CABINTRANS fleet there were a number of classic DAF 3300 and 3600 Space Cabs. Like today’s DAF XF, the original Space Cab was a popular choice with Irish operators, rivalling premium Swedish tractors like the Scania 111 and Volvo F12 Globetrotter. Although Danny has since stepped back from the business – it’s now run by his son Damian under the name Danny Murphy Crane Hire – Alan and Ken continue to drive trucks, having been joined along-the-way by their 33-year old nephew, Brian Callery, who entered the 3300 ATi in the Virtual Truck Show. “We’re all truck drivers,” he says, before adding “Since I was about 18 all I’ve ever done is be a truck driver.”

Back to Civvy Street So where does the award-winning 3300 Space Cab figure in all of this? Back in early 2013, word reached Alan, Brian and Ken that one of five original 3300 ATi Space Cab 4x2 tractors, then run by the Irish Defence Forces, was about WINTER 2020/21 DAF DRIVER

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OPERATOR PROFILE to be struck-off charge and offered for sale. As a restoration project it seemed too good an opportunity to miss, not least as it could be brought back to life as a former CABINTRANS motor. “Danny had a few of those old Space Cab 3300 and 3600 DAFs years ago in the 1980s,” confirms Brian. “So when we heard this particular one was coming up for sale, the plan was to try and buy it and do it up in the same colours and livery as one of Danny’s. It was a collective idea.” But where exactly was the 3300? Brian again: “We got the word it was going to be traded through Westward Scania down at Strokestown, in County Roscommon.” As interest was bound to be high, they had to move fast. “We got a friend of ours, Donal O’Keefe, on the case, and he talked to the lads there at the Strokestown dealer. He told them we’d heard it was coming up for sale – and we were interested, and don’t sell it to anyone else before we get there”. Long story short, Alan and Ken put in an offer of €18,000 euros which was enough to seal the deal, and on the 15th May 2013 the brothers became the proud new owners of the classic DAF 3300 ATi. “The sales manager down in Strokestown, told them there was an awful lot of guys in the UK who wanted to buy it, and in Ireland too,” confirms Brian. “But I think Donal was the first phone call in to them, so his name was on the truck…it was just a matter of asking the price and paying it. We were the early birds that time!” For a 30-year old truck, 93-D-9299 was in unbelievable condition. Up until its retirement it had been based at the Irish Air Corps’ Casement Aerodrome at Baldonnel where it pulled a tanker trailer. Unusually, it sported a dark blue paint scheme rather than the usual military olive drab. “It was refuelling aeroplanes at Baldonnel, so was never actually on Irish roads! It only had 47,000km on it when we got it” Brian reports. Well maintained The first job was to get it back to Danny Murphy’s yard before the hard work could start. Not a problem as the 3300 ATi was perfectly roadworthy. “Mechanically it was well-maintained,” explains Brian. “It had been serviced, had new filters and everything. You could literally get in it, turn the key and go. It was that good.” 20


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The ex-Irish Defence Forces Cabintrans replica 3300 ATi gets a warm reception at the DAF Ireland offices

Although the Space Cab tractor was Brian’s first experience in restoring an old truck, Alan and Ken were more than familiar with the marque having worked on the same models in Danny’s fleet, including helping to prepare a 3300 he used to haul a trailer load of humanitarian aid to Bosnia in the mid-80s. “The run was called ‘The Tallaght Drive to Bosnia’” says Brian, “They all worked on his DAF before Danny headed off.” Despite being in such good condition, looking at Brian’s ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots it’s obvious work was still needed to get 93-D-9299 looking like a CABINTRANS motor in its prime. So how did Alan, Brian and Ken go about things? “We had a good picture in our heads as to what way to go and

what we wanted on it,” Brian remembers. “We were trying to keep it as close to the original ones Danny had run – though obviously that was in the ‘80s. So we were just trying to work with whatever we had.” St Patrick’s Day debut The good news, says Brian, was that: “We didn’t really need a whole lot of parts. The cab was spotless, we got lucky. Our friend Ger Dungan sourced a sun visor for us, Johnny Dowling also helped with the fabrication while Tony and John at O’Donnell Motors sand-blasted all the chassis and did the paint-job.” But what about inside the cab, surely after 30-years it needed some TLC? “We actually did nothing much on the inside,” he says. “We gave it a clean around the seats and console

but there wasn’t any one thing we really had to do.” And so on March 17th 2015 a fully-restored 93-D-9299, resplendent in its CABINTRANS heritage livery, proudly made its debut at the local St Patrick’s Day Parade complete with flashing beacons on the roof. “Danny’s original 3300 had them as they’d have been hauling wide loads and modular buildings,” Brian says. Since then the stunning 3300 ATi Space Cab has clocked up a further 5,000km attending truck shows and charity runs with Brian, its ‘official wheelman.’ “It’s Ken and Alan’s lorry, they own it. I just bring it to the shows and take it to competitions,” he says modestly, though clearly he’s part of the restoration

team. It’s a long way from the modern Scania he normally drives, although he insists “I enjoy driving the 3300. But it’s completely different, you know you’re doing your day’s work in it.” When not attending various events, 93-D-9299 is kept safely undercover at Danny Murphy’s yard. Meanwhile, has anyone offered to buy it? Brian responds with laugh “Plenty of people! But we’re not going to let it go. No chance, no way.” As for the next restoration project Brian says “I actually have a 3600 Space Cab at the moment, so that could be on the cards. Maybe in the New Year. I’m just contemplating whether to sell it or do it up with help from my Uncles. Then we’d have two classic DAFs.” WINTER 2020/21 DAF DRIVER

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Who needs a low-deck tractor unit? It’s a specialised market with a loyal following in the entertainment business, as DAF Driver finds out. Words: Dean Barrett


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How low can you go?


ow Deck tractor units are something of a niche product in the UK. Though they are much more common on the Continent (DAF sells around 5,000 Low Deck chassis in the EU per annum), take-up in this country is around 100-150 in a typical year. But 2020 has been anything but typical. Looking at the market share and market statistics up until the end of September, DAF’s Marketing Manager, Phil Moon, reckons the UK’s 2020 market volume will be 33-34,000 units. “That’s down a lot on last year, which was a high year,” Moon tells us. “We started 2020 thinking we’d see between 42-44,000 new truck registrations, so we’re about 10,000 units down from that expectation.” But the market wasn’t down continuously. The market saw 24

registrations stalling mid-year, with April-June particularly hard hit. “But actually, the latter part of the year was quite robust,” says Moon, “so was more of a gap than a general reduction. The latter part of 2020 was quite strong – October saw one of our highest ever weeks for order intake, so the market is quite buoyant with lots of people purchasing new vehicles.” In terms of position in the overall market, DAF’s 2020 market share was just under 32%. “It was another great year for us. Our record in 2019 was 30.5 per cent, so we are 1.5 per cent higher than that,” Moon reveals. Even though the country is still dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the run up to the January 1, 2021 Brexit deadline was also looming at the time of this test. Fortunately

concerns about potential tariffs on both parts and new vehicles have been headed off by the last minute trade deal. “A no-deal Brexit would mean imported components and trucks would be subject to tariffs,” says Moon. “Whole vehicles would see a 10 per cent levy, whereas components that go towards assembling a truck would be subject to four per cent.” The upshot is there’s going to be a price increment for all new vehicles in 2021 – potentially made worse if there’s a reduction in the value of the pound against the Euro. These concerns were contributing to a fair bit of buoyancy in the market at the time. Another issue for manufacturers is that the end of the Brexit transition period also marks the end of validity for European

Whole Vehicle Type Approvals (WVTA), which truck-makers have been relying on to allow vehicle registration in the UK. “Manufacturers have already had to apply for provisional approvals to a UK scheme, and they will start to be used from January 1, 2021,” says Moon. “These then have to be transitioned into a full UK approval, and we have two years to do that. We’re hoping at the moment they will be a mirror image of the EU approvals, but there’s a lot of work still to be done to get there.” The show must go on In Britain, the main takers of Low Deck trucks are hauliers serving the entertainment industry. The ability to run lower and maximise volume is essential for tour operators lugging show and staging equipment across this country and far into Europe.


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TRUCK TEST DAF has a whopping 95 per cent share of the Low Deck market in this country. “This is largely down to the design of our chassis, but also the Super Space Cab and the strength of our DAFaid international back-up service, which is of benefit to operators going out from the UK and across Europe,” says Moon. Typical operators are the likes of Stardes and Brian Yeardley – but DAF reckons Redditch-based Fly By Nite probably has the single biggest Low Deck fleet in the UK’s entertainment sector. Straight frames and flat floors The major benefit of a Low Deck chassis is it enables use of a straight frame trailer. A flat floor makes it far easier to quickly load wheeled transport cases or forklifted items without having to contend with a step,

Left: DAF’s expertise with low deckers shows in the attention to detail Below: DAF takes no less than 95 per cent of the UK low deck market


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Choose air or steel suspension for the FT front axle

and it also offers maximum volume for operators that frequently have to work within the European 4 m overall height restriction. But when you lower a vehicle chassis, it throws up problems with ground clearance and approach angles. So operators need a set-up that offers a low ride height, but also the flexibility to increase it when required – for example, when getting onto a ferry or moving over exaggerated road humps. DAF offers two front axles for Low Deck chassis. The first is an 8-tonne 163N which uses lowered parabolic suspension on a single leaf steel spring. But by far the most popular option is the air-suspended 161N 8-tonne axle, which gives drivers more control over ride height. An air-suspended front axle


permits a Manoeuvring Mode, which enables the chassis to be raised up to 50 mm at the front and 60 mm (laden) or 85 mm (unladen) at the rear. This is activated via a dashboard switch at a vehicle speed below 30 kmh, and deactivates when the truck exceeds 30 kmh. Outside Manoeuvring Mode, drivers can also select a lowered ride height of -70 mm, or a raised height of +130 mm depending on requirements. FT can be specified with a lowheight fifth wheel, or dualheight version which is manually air-controlled so it can be raised or lowered as necessary. A low-height fifth wheel means there’s a greater chance of the trailer clashing with the tractor chassis, so DAF offers a chassis protection beam to protect the catwalk from damage.

“IT’S PERHAPS EASY TO SEE WHY DAF HAS SUCH A LEAD IN THE UK’S LOW DECK MARKET.” DAF’s Low Decks can be spec’d with a range of different engines: an MX-11 at 450 bhp, or MX-13 at 430, 480 or 530 bhp. Available gearboxes are a 12-speed automated TraXon, or a 16-speed manual. DAF’s Low Deck family also includes an FA 4x2 rigid, plus three 26-tonne 6x2s in the shape of FAN with rear steer, FAR non-steered single wheel or FAS with twin-tyred non-steer rear axle.

Redditch-based Fly By Nite has got touring logistics down to a fine art. Having worked with such high-profile major acts as Lady Gaga and Stormzy, it’s operation is bolstered by its bespoke state-of-the-art rehearsal studio in which artists can rehearse before a tour, and the logistics team can streamline the get-in and get-out of staging gear. Fly By Nite runs a large fleet of Low Deck DAFs, so it’s perhaps


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Fly By Nite is a big low deck customer

fitting that we’ve come to the rehearsal studio to test drive an XF530 FT Low Deck tractor unit. With these trucks doublemanned for a lot of the time, the choice of cab is important. Drivers often stay in their trucks for the duration of a tour, typically only sleeping elsewhere when taking a 45-hour break. If drivers are in the truck for week after week, storage for two people’s equipment is important. DAF’s Super Space Cab is therefore ideal as it provides an abundance of lockers and has two good-sized bunks. It’s also very comfortable to drive, as we were reminded when we made our way out of Redditch and joined the A435, headed north for the M42. I’ll take the low road Accelerating onto the motorway at Portway, we found the FT pulled very well indeed. The test truck was packing the 530 bhp 13-litre lump and was loaded to 32 tonnes, so in fairness performance was never going to be a problem at this weight. Once up to speed, we engaged Cruise Control and settled in for a pleasant drive. DAFs have always been good driver’s trucks, and we detected no obvious difference to handling characteristics when driving this Low Deck compared to a normalheight chassis.

After a short stint on the motorway, we came off at Junction 3 and headed down the A441. The automated TraXon offered a smooth ride through some twists and turns, and the effective MX made short work of the (admittedly few) hills we encountered before we arrived back at base.

was certainly fun to take this silver FT for a spin. After a few minutes of finding our feet, we were soon block-changing through the ranges without too much trouble (though we managed to stall it at a roundabout, but less said about that the better!).

Overall though, it’s perhaps easy to see why DAF has such a lead in the UK’s Low Deck market. The range it offers has the flexibility operators need to get the job done both at home and abroad, and its back-up is second to none. DDM

Also available to drive was an XF530 FT Low Deck with the 16-speed manual gearbox, which we took out for a drive along the same test route. The manual truck was decked out with all the safety kit required for operation into London. Fitted at the factory for XF and CF, these items include in-cab monitor, buzzer and LED, nearside camera, audible leftturn warning, ultrasonic sensors and optional rear-view camera. These are all covered by a twoyear vehicle warranty. Traditionally, manual gearboxes have been simpler to maintain,. However, the recent introduction of the more reliable TraXon automated ’box is beginning to change minds. In Europe, the switch from manuals to automated transmissions is all but complete, but manual takeup in the UK is markedly higher in comparison. It’s been a while since we last drove a manual (and it was in a left-hooker to boot), but it WINTER 2020/21 DAF DRIVER

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TOP OF THE TREE With a passion for forestry and a deep-rooted (pun intended) understanding of the forest’s off-road demands, timber specialists Woodgate Sawmills near Monmouth know very well what’s expected from its trucks. DAF Driver went down to the woods in the hope of finding no nasty surprises. Reproduced Courtesy Of Trucking Magazine Words: Ronnie Hitchens

Photography: Karl Hopkinson


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he middle of a forest isn’t the first place you’d expect to see a 44-tonne artic. Tight turns, low-hanging branches, ‘variable’ terrain, and flora and fauna just inches from the wheel-nuts; it’s an environment better suited to the BBC’s Autumnwatch team. Nevertheless, the towering conifers are, in fact, the natural domain for the company’s latest DAF XF 530 ‘FTS’ dual-mounted 6x2 tractor and its similarly specced DAF stablemates. For nearly 70-years and for four generations, family-run Woodgate Sawmills has worked the UK’s many woodlands, hauling fallen trees back to their mill in the Forest of Dean for


processing and onward delivery. On any given day, the company’s distinctive green trucks can be seen shifting Pine, Douglas Fir, Spruce, Larch and Cedar for use in building and construction, as well as Beech and Ash logs for firewood. Demanding environment “There’s no denying that it’s a demanding environment to operate in,” explains company director, Andrew Humphries. “Our knowledge and experience have been handed down through the generations, enabling us to build a comprehensive understanding of the forest. We know what tools are needed. It’s absolutely crucial that the drivers have the right vehicles and the right equipment to

“THERE’S NO DENYING THAT IT’S A DEMANDING ENVIRONMENT TO OPERATE IN.” complete the job safely and efficiently.” Since 2005, Woodgate has placed its faith in DAF, steadily growing its fleet of just one to a trio of top-of-the-range tractor units plying their trade today. The first DAF, a 53-plate CF 480 low-cab sleeper replaced the firm’s ageing J-reg Scania, and remains in regular service today. “It’s been an excellent motor for us”, says Andrew, “we

bought her on the used market at 18-months old, so she’s been with us for a long time. It tends to work locally to the mill nowadays, but our long-term experience with it has helped shape the specifications of our subsequent vehicles”. The next arrival, a then brandnew XF 510 was followed 12-months ago by a 19-plate XF 530. “Our latest XF is a very highly spec’d example and handles the biggest jobs”,


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OPERATOR PROFILE Andrew says, “We always go for the biggest engine and the latest gearbox available at the time. Our loads are often close to 44-tonnes, and we can be running at that extensively off-road. Forests aren’t typically the most accessible places to venture, and a mix of narrow lanes and steep hills are part and parcel of the job.” The company also operates a pair of 7.5-tonne DAF LFs, which are used locally to supply smaller deliveries of firewood. Getting the spec right To cope with the oftenunforgiving conditions, Woodgate’s trucks are

appropriately spec’d, aimed squarely at alleviating some of the stresses of log and timber transport. Naturally, all three units benefit from a dual-mounted rear bogie and lifting tag-axle, with the latest 530bhp unit running full rear air suspension to provide extra bogie articulation when required. Front-facing lightbars, rear-mounted working lights and beacons have also been added to maximise visibility when operating under lightstarved woodland canopies. To power the vast array of trailer-mounted equipment, including the innovative self-weighing crane, each truck has been fitted with an aftermarket wet-kit.

An essential piece of kit for both XFs is the Central Tyre Inflation System

Woodgates is a family business with Director, Andrew Humphries, pictured here with son Ben


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OPERATOR PROFILE The Woodgate DAFs are worked hard with narrow forest tracks to negotiate. High power isn’t a luxury for this work

An essential piece of kit for both XFs is the Central Tyre Inflation System, which Andrew is keen to highlight as a benefit to both the operation and the environment. “The system’s benefit to us as a business is two-fold,” he says, “By allowing us to deflate and then reflate the tyres remotely from the cab, we can increase the surface area of the tyres to provide better traction on loose or unstable surfaces. The forest floor is awash with tyre-shredding debris,” he says, “and punctures are a constant worry. The onboard compressors allow us to maintain a safe pressure in the tyre so that we can make it back to base. From an environmental viewpoint,” adds Andrew, “the ability to reduce the pressure in the tyres helps to minimise the impact of our trucks in the forest. It sounds like a minor thing, but it’s a real advantage and a distinct benefit for our clients.” Reliability and support With Woodgate’s trucks spending a good proportion of their time off-road, DAF Driver was keen to understand whether the harsh conditions take their toll on the fleet. “We’ve been impressed by the durability of all our trucks”, says Andrew. “The CF and both XFs work well in the forest and, generally speaking, have been reliable. We don’t focus too greatly on fuel economy, because every job is different and motorway cruising isn’t something we do frequently. We managed to return 5.5mpg on a good run in the XF 510 recently, but you’re looking closer to nine mpg from the 530.”

The company is looked after by local DAF Dealer, MOTUS Commercials from its new Gloucester location, with the entire Woodgate fleet maintained on a full R&M package. “We get really exceptional service from



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the team at MOTUS – nothing ever seems to be too much trouble,” says Andrew. “We receive plenty of notice ahead of any planned maintenance work, giving us more than enough time to arrange our diary. It’s brilliant having a dealer that is flexible to our service needs – they’ll even have the truck in overnight if needed.” Despite the intensive nature of the work, the company has had to call on DAFaid only once, after the CF blew a turbo pipe on a steep hill. “We were back on the move within an hour of making the call,” Andrew recalls, “We honestly can’t see ourselves moving away from a full DAF fleet anytime soon.” Like father like son Andrew’s son, Ben, is also in the business. Ben gained his Category C + E licence at the tender age of 18 on a young drivers’ apprenticeship scheme at Wiltshire-based WTTL. He went straight onto forestry work in the DAF CF pulling a logging trailer, before ‘moving up’ to the latest DAF XF 530. It’s often an early start for Ben, and his colleague Mark, who together make up Woodgate’s primary drivers; customers tend to want their stock early in the day to catch the retail trade or to use on-site that day.

Andrew says. “Most of our trade is in softwood for fencing and cladding, though we do supply some timber directly into the construction industry. The drivers can be pretty much anywhere in the UK delivering, but the vast majority of our felled tree stock comes from forests south of Birmingham.” While all three of Woodgate’s tractors come with extremely well-appointed DAF Super Space


Cabs, the drivers tend to return to base most evenings, making use of the trucks’ overnight facilities as and when a job requires. “They love the trucks”, says Andrew, “The driving position is very comfortable, and the full rear air suspension on the 530 makes for a very smooth ride. Working with the loads that they do, stability is everything, and the trucks give them the confidence they demand behind the wheel.” Of course, tip-toeing a loaded 44-tonne artic on trails through dense woodland in the rain isn’t for the faint-hearted, and the drivers must always be alert to the ever-changing risks around them. “We have to be sure that the drivers are not only confident in their driving skills,” adds Andrew, “but they’re taking all the necessary precautions to keep themselves and those around them safe. Forest roads are often little more than a dirt track and can quickly become extremely challenging, even for a smaller vehicle. It’s a delicate balance of maintaining power without breaking traction, lifting the tag-axle as and when required, adjusting tyre pressures and being aware of the surroundings at all times. It can be a treacherous job,” he says, “but a combination

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of skill, experience and a cool head will see you right.” No good without wood It’s not just Woodgate’s trucks that are green. Sustainability is a big part of the company’s ethos. The mill’s kilns and central heating systems are fed from an on-site biomass boiler. A staggering 80% of Woodgate’s timber is Forestry Stewardship Council registered and sourced from forests committed to the replanting of new trees. “We’re always looking to the future,” Andrew states proudly, “people seem to assume mills produce a lot of waste, but we find a use for everything. Wood is a versatile material, and this has been evident throughout the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been busy supplying firewood for those spending more time at home and have produced hundreds of pallets for the distribution of food and pharmaceuticals. We see more and more people turning to wood as a safe, effective and renewable material,” he says, “and we’re confident that Woodgate will continue to play a leading role in supporting that trend.

“At the end of the day,” he adds, “it’s no good without wood; Grandad always used to say that.”




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ROADHOUSE BLUES Stardes Trucking & Logistics Words: Gareth Jones Photographs: Gareth Jones & lain Lewis



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hton thBrig Gare nk 1984 a Top R



Roadies Gaz & Red Alarm s on the Pretender

To ur 1984

Gaz Top BIO

Gareth Jones is better known to a generation as Gaz Top, the presenter of 1980s Saturday morning kids’ show Get Fresh. Before that he spent 5 years working for bands as a guitar roadie for Welsh band The Alarm touring the world with them and other bands such as The Stray Cats, The Beat, U2, The Belle Stars, The Boomtown Rats and The Mighty Wah. It was this connection to the music industry which allowed Gareth to make the transition to television when in January 1985 he became a VJ for Music Box a pioneering satellite music channel. Switching back to his real name in 1989 Gareth Jones became the presenter of How2 the longrunning children’s facts and fun show. Since 2005 Gareth has been the presenter and producer of Gareth Jones On Speed the longest running UK-made car podcast. With a background rich in science, engineering and technology Gareth produces material for TV radio, podcast and magazines.

z Alarm Re deye & Ga Road ies 1984

Gaz Top & Redeye AlarmRoadies 1983

crew Road Alar m 84



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Gaz Top Alarm Road ie on Side Stage (by Bainsey 198 4)

tardes trucks and me go back a long way. Before I was ever on telly—as a presenter explaining how things work—I was a roadie, loading trailers with huge noisy black boxes, lights and musical instruments. It’s how I got my old nickname “Gaz Top”. All roadies have nicknames: “Slouch”, “Redeye”, “Bobby Blue”, “Jos The Hat”. As for me, Gaz is short for Gareth (obviously) and Top because I had tall spiky hair, a style I kept, along with the name, when I made the jump to kids’ telly. Between 1979 and 1984, I was the No1 guitar tech for the band which became known as The Alarm. Yeah— you know‚ spiky hair and rabblerousing songs like “68 Guns”. And of course electro-acoustic guitars, which I loaded into the trailers along with all the other equipment. Which brings us back to trucks. Back in the day, The Alarm’s equipment was usually moved around by Stardes Trucking & Logistics, a firm who specialise in putting the roll into rock ‘n roll. And not only is the firm still going strong, but I had the joy of catchingup with its founder recently - a warm, determined and engaging Yorkshireman called Dave Steinberg. Over a socially distanced cuppa at the Stardes yard, Dave reminisced about how he started the company, seeing an opportunity and seizing it back in the 1970s. His first contract to supply a truck for the entertainment industry came from the comedy business: “I was working for Smiths self-drive at the time, I was killing time, eating sandwiches in a club whilst waiting to pick up a truck, when a chap there asked me what I did. I explained we supplied vans and trucks and he said, “Look I need a truck to carry my equipment around the UK as I’m doing a big tour, and I want my name written all down the side of the trailer”. That name was Jim Davidson.” Since that first tour Stardes trucks have hauled the gear of Manic Street Preachers, Arctic Monkeys, Whitesnake, Bjork, Kasabian, Wet Wet Wet, Emily Sandé, Elbow, Take That, Lulu, Leonard Cohen, Boyzone, Sigur Ros and countless other acts on tours in the UK, Europe and the Eastern Bloc.

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OPERATOR PROFILE Rock ‘n roll trucking needs specialist equipment. The trailers Dave uses are low-loaders made to his exacting requirements. This includes his own interior lighting set-ups, load retention systems and security features as well as specific positions for the ramp, spare wheel carriers and toolbox. Not to forget the all-important load sensing perception, so that the roadies don’t overload the trucks.

Above: The Stardes office is packed with rock memorabilia

Becky has driven for Stardes for 35 years

Stardes began by taking a Jim Davidson tour on the road in the 1970s

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On The Road Stardes’ drivers are more than just truck pilots, they are often drawn into a tight team of people who are responsible for what is in effect the modern day equivalent of a travelling circus. The spotlight operator you see at the gig might even be one of Dave’s drivers earning a few extra bob during show time. Dave tells me that U2 request a specific driver for the merchandise truck he supplies: “Oh aye, they book him 12 months in advance to make sure they get him. He’s a trusted part of the team”. Gig promoters have a tendency to book let’s say challenging schedules, says Dave: “We had 15 trucks out on a One Direction tour and in order to get them back from Portugal to the next gig in London on time we rotated a team of 45 drivers. The show must go on, you remember what it’s like”. I remember it well. Gig, tour bus, hotel … followed by gig, tour bus, hotel … it all blurs, except for the time when you head-but your way out of a trailer. No really, that actually happened to me, or rather I did it. Way back in 1980, the band that would be The Alarm were supporting rockabilly revivalists The Stray Cats on a UK tour. I recall the last night was in Cardiff and I’d got wind that the Stray Cats’ road crew were planning to sabotage our set as part of the traditional end-of-tour shenanigans. As part of that, I was kidnapped, physically manhandled by a team of four and locked in the back of the trailer so I couldn’t scupper their plans. Being 19 years old at the time and full of the energy that comes from being in rock ‘n’ roll, the solution was simple: I stacked up a few of the spare amps and speaker cabinets in the trailer until I could reach the ceiling, and promptly head-butted my way through the glass fibre roof emerging fuming onto the top of the trailer. A burly security guard

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Specialised operations need specialised kit

Stardes often delivers over great distances to tight deadlines

“THERE’S NO SQUASH AND STRETCH WHEN YOU’VE GOT A SHOW EVERY DAY” looked on astonished as I demanded: “Get me down from here, quick!” Scrambling down the side of the trailer, hair full of glass fibres, I battled my way back into the venue only to arrive by the side of the stage at the very moment my rival roadies knocked over the entire back line of my band. Mercifully it wasn’t a Stardes truck that I’d head-butted a Gaz Top sized hole in, that was one of Edwin Shirley’s, another rock ‘n’ roll specialist trucking company. “The industry’s a lot more professional these days” Dave Steinberg says, less chaotic, better organised: “We can be asked to deliver over great distances with 38

very tight deadlines. There’s no squash and stretch when you’ve got a show every day, so we will fly drivers out to hotels en route to take over from any driver who’s over time. The gear just has to be there. The curtain goes up at 7:30, it’s going to be a very quiet and dark gig without what we’ve got in the back of our trucks. We should get some of the highly professional people working in entertainment production to sort out the Coronavirus testing and vaccinating, they’d get it done in a flash”. Tours Cancelled Of course since the advent of COVID-19, gigs have been on hold, but that doesn’t mean

Stardes has shut up shop. “We’ve had to adapt to general haulage, with equipment that is not ideally suited to the job, sometimes using two axle curtainside semitrailers in place of the usual Stardes specialist tri-axle box semis, but we are making it work”. The Stardes tractor fleet is currently 22 strong, each cab has a name on it “Shooting Star”, “Owain Glyndwr”, “Dame Vera Lynne”, “Merlin”, all named after steam locomotives, Dave’s passion. Every single one of them is a DAF FT 4x2 tractor, split more-or-less 50/50 between XF530s and XF510s. I asked him why DAFs? “I was probably the first in the business of rock ‘n roll

to choose DAF because when I started out I only had one truck, I couldn’t afford a backup, but what I’d got came with DAFaid, so I knew if anything went wrong DAF would take care of it, without that I couldn’t have operated”. No doubt that sort of assurance was a factor in launching hundreds of smaller haulage businesses. Loading In Seeing Dave again after such a long time, I tell him a tale I’ve recounted to friends on many occasions in the intervening thirty-something years. It’s about the single best bit of truck driving I have ever witnessed. 1986, I’m hanging out with my


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old pals The Alarm. A Stardes truck is delivering gear to the London Lyceum Ballroom in the Strand, arguably one of the trickiest load-ins with an artic you will ever come across. I can see it now in my mind’s eye: the truck turning up and the driver deftly tucking the whole rig - tractor and trailer - into a coned-off area so tight that the rig should have really been craned in from above. But this driver made it look easy. Then, to the great surprise of me and my pal Midge, watching from the sidelines, the driver’s door of the immaculately parked truck opens and out jumps a petite woman —not even 5 foot tall: “By ‘eck” remarked Midge, “I bet her dad had to fix

blocks to the pedals so she can reach ‘em”. “We actually did do that, we really did”, pipes-up Dave, loving my story, “That’s Becky!” “Best bit of driving I’ve ever seen” I repeat, and I add “She was a real talent”. “You can tell her that yourself”, says Dave “She’ll be here in ten minutes …” I think this gives you a sense of the kind of man Dave Steinberg is. Becky has driven for him for nearly 35 years. You don’t get loyalty like that without deserving it. The Show Must Go On Adorning the walls of Steinberg’s office is a massive collection of tour passes, and

even gold disks from artists he’s supplied trucks for. But for how much longer? He’s 78 and must have plans for what will happen to his company when he eventually closes the final page on his tour itinerary. “I don’t want to retire” he says flatly, “What will I do, play with me train layout? NO. I’ve got plans for what I call SNG - Stardes The Next Generation. I’ve got a good team around me here and I’m sure they’ll do a grand job when I’m not around. My last gig will be Hammersmith, you know why?” Yep I do, it’s an old roadie adage, Hammersmith Odeon (or Apollo these days) was always the last gig on the

tour. You’ll get paid at Hammersmith Odeon. With a matter-of-fact, northern wit that exudes warmth, Dave explains that when it is time to do the last load-out he’ll be moved to his final resting place on a “piece of 8x4”, in the back of one of his trucks. We laugh. Dave’s clearly in rude health - ready to repurpose his trucks from general haulage back to entertainment as soon as live gigs are widespread again. When things return to normal and rock ’n’ roll returns, look out for his trucks on the road — and perhaps give a passing salute to this unsung but essential part of show business. I always do! WINTER 2020/21 DAF DRIVER

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Words: John Kendall Photographs: Karl Hopkinson


wo specialist tanker operators have chosen DAF to supply their latest vehicles. In the case of waste disposal and recycling specialist Hazrem Environmental, this is the first time that the company has opted for DAF trucks. It’s a different story for Harlowbased New Era Fuels, “The DAF marque has always been an integral part of our operation,” says Transport Operations Manager, Brett Jacobs. The latest DAF to join the New Era Fuels fleet is a CF 340 FAN 26-tonne rigid tanker. Hazrem Environmental, based in Crumlin, South Wales has taken delivery of four new DAF XF 530 6x2 tractor units. The rangetopping DAF models are equipped with the company’s Super Space Cab for optimum driver comfort, while to boost productivity, all four are specified with the DAF lightweight mid-lift FTP 6x2 axle arrangement. “We received some positive feedback from local hauliers on the 40

DAF XF mid-lift six-wheeler,” said Hazrem Director, Paul Goddard, “and it prompted me to explore the market in more detail. The DAF certainly offered an attractive whole-life proposition,” he said, “and the team at DAF Dealer Watts Truck & Van worked hard to provide an exacting specification to deliver better payload, savings on fuel and AdBlue, and an overall reduction in our impact on the environment.” Hydraulic wet-kits are fitted for operation with the company’s waste vacuum tankers. The new DAF XFs are all fitted with on-board axle weighing systems to ensure optimum payload as well as safe and legal operation. Compared with the company’s previous trucks, the FTP-equipped XF provides Hazrem with an additional 1.5-tonnes of payload. “The new DAF XFs now make up 60 per cent of our fleet,” said Goddard, “And initial indications are that the trucks are going to deliver substantial productivity gains. We’ll wait for 12-months before we can properly evaluate, but the signs are good.


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HVO is a renewable, green alternative to conventional diesel fuel which can be used as a straight substitute for diesel without modifications to the engine or fuel system.

“I’ve been really pleased with driver acceptance. They are very happy with the comfort and layout of the new trucks.” The new trucks will be put to work on the disposal of both hazardous and non-hazardous waste. They will be paired with ADR and non-ADR waste vacuum tankers for bulk liquid waste, and curtain-sided trailers for carrying packaged and drummed waste products. The latest New Era Fuels DAF is equipped with DAF’s ElectroHydraulic Steering (EHS) rear axle to enhance manoeuvrability on deliveries where access is restricted. The 26-tonner will be delivering fuel to both domestic and commercial customers. Spanish tanker specialist COBO has supplied the 20,000-litre

capacity tanker body, which is equipped with Alpeco metering equipment. The tanker carries New Era Fuels “Green D+ HVO” livery to promote the company’s Green D+ HVO enhanced Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel. HVO is a renewable, green alternative to conventional diesel fuel which can be used as a straight substitute for diesel without modifications to the engine or fuel system. As the livery suggests, HVO can offer a 90 per cent wellto-wheel reduction in carbon dioxide emissions as well as an 86 per cent reduction in particulate matter and 30 per cent reduction in oxides of nitrogen (NOx). DAF’s entire range of LF, CF and XF trucks can be operated on HVO, with no requirement for vehicle

modifications or invalidation of vehicle warranties. Since the vehicle will be supplying customers in and around London, it is fitted with Safe System equipment as required by the Direct Vision Standard which comes into force on 1st March, 2021, as are the other vehicles in the New Era Fuels fleet. New Era Fuels is also a member of the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) and has attained Gold accreditation, the highest level of membership. “For ADR-spec operations, we need a solid, reliable workhorse with a good range of safety features – and the DAF CF ticks all the boxes”, says Brett Jacobs, “The DAF total cost of operation is very competitive too, and the

service support from Harris DAF means our fleet is running at optimum uptime.” New Era CEO, Reg Geggus, added, “We are delighted that DAF Trucks is sharing a platform with us and making a determined effort to promote HVO. “As a direct alternative to diesel, it makes for a compelling case for truck operators who wish to make a serious reduction to their carbon footprint.” A further six DAF CF 340s are currently in build for the company and are due to be delivered in early 2021. All vehicles are being supplied, serviced and maintained by the local DAF Dealer in Lea Valley, Harris DAF. WINTER 2020/21 DAF DRIVER

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SKIP IT Words: Jack Sunderland Photographs: Hyva


s the four nations of the United Kingdom close their doors in lockdown once again, with working from home where possible the order of the day, many will look towards DIY, home improvement and upkeep as a way of keeping busy. While hardly a silver lining in overall business terms, that does mean that skip companies could once again find their products in demand. Often the first piece of construction kit to arrive on site and one of the last to leave, the humble skip has hardly changed over the last century. Typically defined as an open-topped waste container, its trapezoidal design making it larger at the top than at the bottom, that can be stacked and carried to site by a skiploading truck. The only real innovation has been an opening door at one end, that allows the user to run in with a wheelbarrow rather than having to lift it over the side. History of the skip loader There has, however, been a bit more development in the trucks that deliver and remove skips over the years. The idea of hauling material from one place to another is as old as the hills, but lifting a skip onto a truck to perform 42

this task, can be traced to a number of locations. The word skip itself, is thought to come from the old English ‘skep’ or the Norse ‘skeppe’, both of which mean basket. During the Industrial Revolution, the cotton mills of Lancashire had wheeled baskets called skeps, while coal was also dug and measured in skeps. The idea of carrying these containers on mobile machinery started in the 1920s, with UK truck manufacturer Pagefield among the first to use a winch to pull containers onto a truck chassis to haul to the dump.


S+D of Letchworth (Shelvoke and Drewry) also created a petrol-powered Freighter truck in the 1920s, which boasted sideways facing skips for Marylebone Council in London. This was perhaps the first truck of its type that could carry multiple empty skips within each other. At a similar time in the USA, George Dempster, of Knoxville Tenessee, had created a lift and carry vehicle for construction sites that would eventually become the Dempster Dumpster, a name that is still used in USA and Canada today. This was perhaps the first truck to use a hydraulic hoist to load and unload the containers, rather than a winch.


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Fellow Knoxville firm Brooks was also experimenting with the concept, launching the Load Lugger in 1938. This skip loader would boast twin hydraulic cylinders for the lift arms, along with stabilisers to keep the chassis level while lifting. Development of the twinarmed design has provided the operator with the ability to manoeuvre the skip and place it exactly where it is required, while stabilisers allow drivers to safely lift increasingly heavy loads. Indeed, safety and manoeuvrability have been the driving factors in skip loader design for some years.

The latest innovations include remote control systems, such as Hyva’s Titan Radio Remote and the Titan Weighing System. The remote control allows the operator to stand clear of the truck, giving them a clearer view of the work area, while the weighing system prevents overloading and removes the need for weighbridge use. A skip for every occasion While the traditional builder’s skip can hold around 6 cu yd (4.59m3) of material, it is far from the only choice for hirers. From 2 cu yd (1.53m3) mini skips, through to 8cu yd (6.12m3) heavyweights, there is a skip to meet the requirements of DIY homeowners

and professional construction users. Beyond that, hooklift and roll-off skips take capacities from 12-55 cu yd (9.17-42m3) for industrial and commercial use. This of course leads to a wide variety of chassis designed to carry skip-loading equipment. From mini skip deliveries by 3.5-7.5 tonne light trucks, right up to eight-wheeler hook lifts, for larger containerised waste collection. It’s a market in which DAF Trucks is a particularly strong player, both through customer-specific body building and thanks to DAF’s Ready To Go bodied range of vehicles.

The Ready To Go line-up includes an 18-tonne DAF LF 4x2, from the Construction range, that comes with a Skiploader from Hyva. Also on offer at the heavier end of the range, is a 32-tonne CF FAD 8x4 chassis, equipped with Hyva’s Hook-loader conversion. While the introduction of the Landfill Tax in 1996 has seen the cost of skip hire rising steadily over the last decade, there is little doubt that the humble skip remains an essential part of the building and construction process. Which is good news for those companies hiring skips to lockeddown homeowners across the country. DDM

IN ASSOCIATION WITH With some 500 new skip loaders sold in a typical year, HYVA is a significant player in the market. DAF alone accounts for over half of HYVA skiploaders each year. Many of these sold through the DAF Ready to Go Programme. HYVA is DAF’s partner for the Ready to Lift skiploader programme, based on the LF Construction 18-tonne GVW 4x2 chassis. DAF claims the smallest turning circle in its class for this model, offering good ground clearance, a robust steel front bumper and an approach angle close to 25 degrees - big benefits on a construction site where space is limited. HYVA has built its reputation with truck systems that need lifting hydraulics, from tippers to hookloaders and cranes to skiploaders. The company prides itself on two key principles: the quality and innovation of its products and high quality customer support. One feature that particular stands out is the ease of use of the HYVA skip loader. Using information based on operator feedback has ensured it is the favoured choice. HYVA skiploaders are available with fixed or telescopic arms to provide a solution for a wide range of customer needs. Additional equipment that is available includes fully proportional remote control, giving precise feedback on tricky skip manoeuvres, container clamps and a choice of HYVA sheeting systems - either Auto or Easy Sheet.

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COMPETITION In association with

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE Your chance to win fantastic prizes every issue


DAF Trucks have supplied a 1:50 scale model DAF XF Tractor unit with a low loader trailer. Simply spot and mark the four differences on the images above. Once completed either cut out or photocopy and post to DAF Driver magazine, 4th Floor, 19 Capesthorne Drive, Eaves Green, Chorley, Lancashire PR7 3QQ Closing date: Friday 26th February 2021




EMAIL Terms & Conditions: Not suitable for children under 14 years of age. The winner will be notified within 30 days of the closing date either by letter, telephone or email. All entrants will be placed in a hat and selected at random by a third party. No money alternative will be offered. The winner’s name and county will be displayed in the next issue of DAF Driver magazine.

Winner from last issue: Stephen Hastings, Kent Winner’s details to appear in the Spring 2021 issue of DAF Driver magazine Special note: Would the winner from the Spring 2020 spot the difference competition, Thomas Fennelly of Co. Kildare please contact the magazine as we want to deliver your prize. See contact details above.

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14/01/2021 14:06


GOOD, BETTER, BEST You will no doubt be looking forward to the coming year with a mixture of trepidation and hope: worries about the long-term health of the economy will be on everyone’s mind, while the deployment of new vaccines gives us at least one reason to feel optimistic. By Richard Simpson, industry pundit


ith the change to the calendar year and the approach of the new financial year, pretty much everyone will be worried about money. As ever, haulage bosses will be thinking of ways to reduce cost and improve efficiency, while many drivers will just be hoping to hang on to their jobs. It’s a fair bet that, at some point, the dreaded KPIs (key performance indicators) will rear their heads. Those marketing business management systems, including vehicle telematics, love them. They allow the micromanagement of employee behaviour, and produce attractive ‘dashboards’ on computer screens, complete with pie-charts sliced up into green, amber and red, and lists of important things, each with a green tick or a red X beside it. Not only do they look good, they also make the people who use them look good too, at least for as long as there is more green than red on the screen. So, what’s not to like? The biggest danger is that a KPI culture makes ‘perfect’ the enemy of the ‘good’. If Joe can get 10 mpg and engage his cruise-control for 80 per cent of the time on his eastward-bound run down the M4 to Staines from 46


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Swindon, then where does that leave Sid, the only driver on the team prepared to run into rural Cornwall, who battles holiday traffic for half the year, bad weather for the rest, and has to thread his truck down what are no more than badly-tarred cart tracks when he gets there? He’ll be lucky to get 8 mpg, and won’t be able to use his cruise control even if he wants to. Joe gets sent home with a box of chocolates and a driver of the month certificate, while poor old Sid has to sit through a ‘debriefing’ in which he will be told how poorly he does his job, and that he will be first on the list to go if cutbacks are needed because he is such a bad person. There is little point in Sid reminding the manager that when he went on holiday and Joe got sent to Cornwall in his place Joe ended up following his satnav and got the truck wedged into a byway open to all traffic somewhere near Lostwithiel. There’s no KPI for that you see, so it doesn’t count. Drivers being human, they soon learn to game the system in much the same way that chimps in psychology labs learn which button to press to win a banana. Penalised for excess idling? Rev the engine, then it doesn’t count. It uses more fuel, but it’s not idling, is it? There are all sorts of other dodges, including coming the

long, easy way home rather than taking the short route over the hills. Better mpg, but the greater distance travelled means more fuel has been burned. Never mind, there’s another box ticked green because a KPI has been hit, so everyone is happy. And so it goes on. The medium becomes the message, the noise drowns out the signal, until eventually someone cries enough. The KPIs are being hit, but the job is no longer being done effectively. At this point, the pie-charts go out of the window, either literally or metaphorically, and common-sense prevails. At least for a while. There is, of course, another way. And it’s one which has worked across all kinds of businesses and even in sports. It looks at what the best practices are, and uses small incremental improvements to implement them across the piece. In road transport, truck tyre pressures are a classic example. Correctly set tyre pressures reduce fuel consumption, increase tyre life, and reduce breakdowns. Yet I recall attending a presentation given by the fleet sales manager of a leading tyre maker who said that most of his customers had no inflation checking process in place at all. If a driver noticed a tyre looked a bit flat, then he could defect the vehicle and it would maybe get blown up again.

Other than that, they were only looked at when the vehicle went in for a PMI, and they couldn’t be sure even then that every tyre on every truck and every trailer was checked at every inspection. If a tyre went bang while out on the road that was a problem which was ‘solved’ by summoning a roadside replacement, but no one was ‘wasting time’ on routine pressure checks. Why bother? They would all wear out eventually, anyway. There were too many tyres to check them all properly, so none were checked at all. Shocking. There are a wide range of other improvements that can be made: everything from putting the right engine oil in the truck to maximise DPF life, to making sure that cabs are adequately cleaned between driver changeovers to reduce the risk of colds, flu and covid sweeping through the company. No one of these is a gamechanger, equally none are particularly difficult or costly to implement, but in combination they can transform not just the profitability of a company but the job satisfaction of those working for it. I’ll close by, unusually for a transport magazine, offering a quote first attributed to a saint: St Jerome. “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better, and your better, best!” Happy New Year! DDM

14/01/2021 14:11

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With 134 dealerships located across the UK and Ireland, including 55 authorised testing facilities, you are never far from DAF. Plus at DAF, we offer back-up and support that is simply unbeatable. To find your nearest dealer visit locate-your-nearest-dealer/

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DIRECT VISION STANDARD The new Direct Vision Standard was introduced in October 2020, but becomes enforceable from 1st March 2021, requiring all vehicles over 12 tonnes, regardless of their star rating, to have a permit to access London. Those vehicles which meet the one-star rating, will be automatically eligible for a permit, but will still need to apply for one and those which are zero-star rated will need to prove that they meet the requirements of the Safe System.

Audible vehicle manoeuvring warning shall be fitted to audibly warn vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left.


THERE ARE TWO ROUTES TO OBTAINING THIS SAFETY PERMIT: B. Your vehicle is rated A. Y our vehicle is rated zero-star, but you against the Direct have fitted the Safe Vision Standard (DVS) System. and achieves a star rating of one or more.


4 5



1. ULTRASONIC OBSTACLE DETECTION A sensor system alerting the driver to the presence of a VRU shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle.


DVS KIT BEING INSTALLED You can see a film covering the installation of the DVS system on the DAF CF by scanning this QR code


05/01/2021 13:57



The DVS Kits available through TRP from all DAF Dealers include all the following:


• Select range 7” Digital LCD Monitor 3 & 4. CAMERA MONITOR SYSTEMS A fully operational Camera Monitoring System shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle offering comprehensive blind spot coverage.

• Select range flush mount side-view camera • Surface mounting adapter • Select camera 5 metre cable • Cornerscan® sensor system - Mute Function • Sidescan® turn indication trigger

All DAF Dealers have a full range of batteries in stock, including DAF Genuine Batteries, TRP Branded and Varta, to cover all applications.

• Low speed trigger module (12-24v) 5. ULTRASONIC OBSTACLE DETECTION RECOMMENDATION We also recommend additional front sensors with coverage.

• Speaking alarm • Latched cut-out switch for speaking alarm • Buzzer/display extension cable 2.5m • UDS Sensor Sleeve • UDS Sensor Mount & Pad Kit



THE VERY BEST POWER SOURCE FOR YOUR DAF FLEET DAF Genuine batteries are specifically designed for DAF high-performance commercial vehicles and represent the state of the art in acid stratification and vibration resistance. It is the only product in the market with mixing elements for easy recharging and resistance to deep discharge and is ideal for end-of-frame installation.








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• Removes dirt, grime & insects • Cleans without smearing • Reduces wiper judder • High Power concentrate • Helps prevent harmful bacteria • Professional use concentrate prevents freezing down to -20 • Retail use concentrate prevents freezing down to -10




Packed with everything a busy workshop needs - especially at this time of year, helping to keep visibility high and technicians, drivers and other road users safe through the dark winter nights.


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Hand Sanitiser 100ml Atomiser (Liquid)


Hand Sanitiser 500ml (Liquid) 2 X CODE Q865476



VEHICLE MAINTENANCE 05/01/2021 11:57



LARGE FIRST AID KIT BSI BS8599 CODE Q895774 CONTAINS: • 2 Burns dressings

• 4 Triangular bandages

• 4 Eye pad dressings

• 3 Foil survival blankets

• 4 Finger dressings

• 1 Microporous tape

• 8 Medium HSE dressings

• 40 Saline wipes

• 2 large HSE dressings

• 12 Nitrile gloves (Pairs)

• 100 Assorted washproof plasters

• 2 Resuscitation face shields

• 2 Conforming bandages

• 1 Shears and guidance leaflet

• 24 Safety pins




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• General purpose TFR • Removes general road grime and dirt • Premium is super concentrated (5L bottle makes up to 50L)



WINTER 46274 DM 275x210 DPS_WE.indd 2

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Now with a wide range of PPE cleaners and sanitisers, products also include: • Workshop lamps and torches • Sealants and cleaners • Screenwash and de-icer • Traffic film remover • Brushes, scrapers and squeegees • Hi-Vis and thermal clothing & gloves • Mini clamps, cloths & towels • Terminals & Connectors • First Aid kits

FIRST AID 05/01/2021 11:57


WINTER DRIVING The winter sun is delightful, but it can be ooooh so frightful…


he darker, shorter days of winter increase risk for all road users, not just us truckers. Insurers whose customers use black boxes say they see a 20% spike in accidents during the winter months. The winter months certainly present us with far more challenging road conditions. Downpours of rain bring standing water. Gales, gusting high winds, freezing fog and the increased risk of snow and ice all add to the day’s delights. The first thing to remember when driving in the winter is that it isn’t about how fast you are going but how fast you can stop. Remember the two second rule? In wet weather it should be at least doubled. You also go where you look, so if you feel


yourself sliding on ice look to the verge rather than at what’s coming towards you. Drive to the conditions and become familiar with your truck’s driving features, know what they are, how to use them and when to call upon them. Windscreens in winter need a different kind of TLC than in the summer months. Now it’s no longer about scraping the bugs off, instead it’s all about cleaning the inside. Windscreens are particularly susceptible to steaming up on the inside, especially in cold weather, so if you have air con use this as it works quicker to remove condensation. Heaters can blow dirty air at the glass and rags found in the driver’s door pocket often leave smears of grease, both of which help build a hazy film up on the

inside of the screen which can greatly impair visibility. It’s also worth investing in a decent screen wash to help prevent the water from freezing. A few minutes invested in cleaning the glass before setting off is well worth the time and, because a dirty screen could attract a fine, it can save you money. Remember a clean screen goes a long way to reducing glare from oncoming vehicles day or night. Personally I think too much airtime is given to ice and snow in winter and not enough to the sun. Think about it. We all know when snow’s about, we get adverse weather warnings, everyone’s talking about it, but when was the last time you were talking to another driver or heard on the weather report that it was going to be a sunny

day, so best have your shades to hand? Probably never. Because the sun sits lower in the sky during the winter, those clear and sunny winter days we all love, often result in blinding glare. It has certainly caught me out on the odd occasion, so keeping a pair of shades in my truck and another in the car is as important as keeping a spare set of warm dry clothes on board - because no matter how safely you drive, there’s still a chance you could get stuck somewhere in poor weather….. So it looks like it’s time to pack that winter emergency kit again…… just in case. Wherever you find yourself this winter, stay safe, stay well and remember to wash your hands!

Happy New Year Mandy x


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DAF now has Dealer Driver Trainers based across the country to help hand over new and used vehicles and we thought it would be good to get to know some of them a little bit better! In this edition we talk to Nick Williamson the DAF Dealer Driver Trainer for Motus Commercials covering Derby, Nottingham and surrounding areas. Q: When did you first join Motus Commercials and what was your first job there? A: I joined Motus Commercials on April Fool’s day 2019 as a Sales Driver and prospective Dealer Driver Trainer. It is difficult to believe it will soon be two years – I’ve enjoyed every minute.

Q: Do you have a top tip for a driver getting his new DAF? A: Accept the Driver Training on offer! Beyond that, they should experiment with the truck’s various systems so they feel confident & happy in both the truck’s, and their own, abilities.

Q: What did you want to be when you were at school? A: I did not have a clear idea what I wanted to be when at school but I did have an interest in lorries, plant and agricultural vehicles; pretty much anything that ran on diesel. I think this stemmed from working on a friend’s farm outside school.

Q: What car do you currently drive and, if money was no object what would you have? A: An Isuzu D-Max Fury. Money no object would be either an Audi e-tron or Rivian R1S. I take an interest in Electric Vehicle development and hope our next family car is an EV. Being 6’7” tall, I also need a lot of space!

Q: When did you take your HGV licence? A: A former employer put me through Class 2 in 2007 and a year later I paid for my Class 1 in an old DAF 75CF wagon & drag (bottom right) with a four over four gearbox, which would pull away in fourth gear! Q: What do you enjoy most about your role? A: Firstly, when a driver learns something about their new truck. What is obvious to me may not be to a driver, so anything I can help them with that makes their day easier makes my job worthwhile. A close second would be the variety. No two days are the same. I get to meet lots of new people and travel to the four corners of the UK.

Q: What other responsibilities do you have at MOTUS Commercials? A: I am the Transport Manager for the East Midlands region as I hold the Transport Managers Certificate of Professional Competence or TMCPC qualification. When not on Dealer Driver Training duties I also help organise & collect new chassis from around the UK. Q: If you wasn’t doing this, what would your ideal job be? A: Being a Dealer Driver Trainer is my ideal job but if not, I would run my own muckaway & recycled materials business using a DAF tipper grab.

Nick is married to Laura and they have a twoyear-old son Jack, who can, at a thousand yards, identify most car & truck brands and pronounce them – it must be in his blood! In recent years Nick has restored an exArmy AEC Militant Mk 3 recovery vehicle and is now concentrating on converting his garage into a dining room along with re-laying & widening the driveway. At weekends, he drives a DAF tipper-grab for his friend’s company based on the same farm he worked at while at school.


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