Daf is keen to see the debate about urban logistics move away from London to the North at next month’s Freight in the City Summit in Manchester.

Phil Moon, marketing director at Daf UK, said: “The challenges in this area do differ from those in London with operators much more reliant on motorways and A-roads to interconnect towns and cities along the M62 corridor.”

In terms of vehicle choice for urban distribution, the manufacturer said flexibility is the key to handle a range of operational conditions, as many operators may not be able to afford the exclusivity of a dedicated city vehicle.

“So they still need a vehicle that is equally at home on the motorway and can deliver efficiently over a long range with nationwide back-up when it’s needed,” Moon added.

Fleet efficiency is also a vital area to explore before making procurement decisions.

Moon said for some operators there may be a belief that urban distribution is best served by smaller models, however this could lead to more vehicles on the road, increasing the cost and environmental impact per delivery and adding to city congestion levels.

“Enabling larger vehicles to operate safely and efficiently in the urban environment should be the aim, along with consolidation of loads wherever possible to minimise the number of vehicles serving any area of the city,” he added.

At Freight in the City on 3 March, Daf will be bringing along one of its latest urban distribution vehicles, a 12-tonne LF180 rigid from local dealer F&G Commercials Manchester.

The manufacturer said that for many operators, the LF is “the ultimate urban distribution vehicle”.

Available from 7.5 tonnes- to 18-tonnes GVW, it is designed to have excellent manoeuvrability with a tight turning circle, easy cab access and a high payload.

Moon said: “At 12-tonnes GVW, the LF is a particularly urban friendly vehicle. With a low chassis mounted on 17.5” wheels, the vehicle affords the driver good visibility, easy cab access and a low loading height, but with a generous body and payload allowance of 8.5 tonnes. This is one of the reasons that some operators who would have previously taken a 7.5-tonnes GVW vehicle are moving up to the 12-tonne LF.

"The LF at 7.5 tonnes is also available with a Silent Mode, enabling the vehicle to meet the Quiet Truck standard which in some European Cities enables the vehicle to operate through the night to avoid periods of peak congestion," he added.

Silent Mode is currently offered on a range of CF and XF configurations powered by the MX-11 engine, as well as the LF at 7.5 tonnes GVW.