The DAF CF, Scania P-Series, Mercedes-Benz Actros and MAN TGX go head-to-head for Motor Transport Fleet Truck of the Year, sponsored by Texaco, when the Motor Transport Awards take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 4 July.


Daf CF


It’s rumoured that no transport manager has ever been fired for buying a fleet of DAFs. While we can’t verify the validity of this statement, it’s certainly easy to understand how it came about. Put simply, DAFs are a safe pair of hands, and a sensible business decision. And this helps explain why the CF has won the Fleet Truck award more times than any other truck.

Last year DAF launched its New Generation CF. While many of our judges have experience with the newcomer, and have largely good things to say about it, they jointly decided that the previous “old faithful” generation should be nominated. “It’s reliable, competitive on total cost of ownership, parts are cheap and drivers like them,” said one judge, summing up the sentiments of many. “They’re simple in design and construction, which makes them easy to maintain and repair,” declared another, “and we find them very good on fuel too.”

DAFaid was described as “still the best in the business” and the dealer network received widespread acclaim too.

Daf is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, and what better way too mark the occasion than adding to its bulging trophy cabinet?

P series2

Scania P-series

If Scania offered free griffin tattoos at a truck show, it would probably run out of ink within the first few hours – that’s how in demand they would be. No other truck maker could do this, as they don’t command the same level of respect with drivers. As expected, this high level of driver acceptance was mentioned on numerous occasions during the judging session. “The drivers love Scania,” commented one operator, “and with such an acute driver shortage this is a massive consideration.”

“When you have a Scania fleet you don’t struggle to find drivers,” said another.

Although Scania has recently launched an all-new P-series, it’s the previous generation that makes our shortlist, as these are the trucks our panel have had the most experience with. Adjectives like “robust”, “bulletproof” and “unstoppable” were used on several occasions. One operator revealed just how few parts his P-series rigids used compared with rival trucks on a mixed fleet.

While the truck was criticised for being “too expensive”, the general consensus was that a high upfront purchase price was made up for by class-leading residual values and a low total cost of ownership.


Mercedes-Benz Actros

When launched in 2012, the MP4 Actros not only looked fantastic, but set new standards in terms of fuel economy. And thanks to recent tweaks and improvements, its ability to sip fuel has improved further. Indeed last year an Actros achieved 8.65mpg in a Commercial Motor road test, setting a record for a Euro-6 44-tonner. As expected, the truck’s fuel economy received plenty of positive comments in the judging session too, with more than one declaring it to be the most efficient on their fleet. Praise was also heaped on driver comfort, particularly the high number of safety features now included as standard. Mention was made of “previous gearbox issues”, but these, and other “niggling faults” have apparently been fixed.

Despite most of the panel having only positive things to say about the latest Actros, and indeed it was described by one judge as “undoubtedly the best on the market”, others were less complimentary about the Mercedes-Benz dealer network. “Our local dealer is a nightmare to deal with, and doesn’t like answering the phone,” declared one judge. “We find the dealers to be quite arrogant,” added another.



It’s no secret that MAN had some problems with its D20 and D26 EGR engines at Euro-4 and Euro-5 but, according to our panel of operator judges, these issues are well and truly behind it now. In fact, they believe the current TGX is a hugely reliable and competent fleet truck. They praised the cab’s interior, which underwent a major redesign last year. “It’s really comfortable, and drivers love it,” commented one. “And I’m impressed that they listened to feedback on the position of the fridge, which is now flush with the bunk. And the gearbox controls have been repositioned on the dashboard, safely out of harm’s way.”

Others waxed lyrical about its “frugal fuel economy”, and “class-leading AdBlue consumption”. But there was some criticism for residual values, which were described as “poor”. The new TipMatic (ZF TraXon) came in for some praise, as did technical support provided by the head office.

MAN invented the diesel engine, and many of our judges believe it is still at the top of its game today.