While the familiar XF – a multiple winner of this award over previous years – will be replaced shortly, DAF has made a series of improvements to the current model to keep it at the top of the sales tree.

A range of enhancements introduced in 2017 – including new engines, after-treatment systems, transmissions and rear axles – contributed to a 7% fuel-efficiency improvement.

The XF Super Space cab remains one of the largest on the market, providing a high-capacity, no-nonsense working and living environment. The bunk remains the benchmark for driver comfort, while the storage capacity has been emulated but never bettered by other manufacturers.

The range of standard features to improve driver safety and mpg includes adaptive and predictive cruise control, forward collision warning, advanced emergency braking system, lane departure warning and an electronic braking system with improved vehicle stability control to help prevent jack-knifing and overturning.

After-sales service has been key to DAF’s sales success over the years, with DAFaid roadside assistance often cited as the best on the market. Dealers attended 65,000 breakdowns in 2020, of which 80% were fixed at the roadside within 90 minutes. DAF’s dealer network is the largest of all the OEMs, with 135 sales and service locations in the UK and Ireland.

The judges said: “The XF has been around and is a tried-and-tested model – but there is a new model due next year.”



The new MAN TGX was 10 years in the making, with the latest incarnation developed on four pillars: excellent driver fit, great efficiency and economy, optimised uptime and being a strong partner.

In developing the new cab, the voice of the driver was extremely important. Over five years MAN engaged with 700 drivers from 12 different countries to produce the “perfect drivers’ truck”.

The new design brought improved visibility, better aerodynamics and safer access to cab driver assist features, including turn assist, lane change support, lane return assist and adaptive cruise control.

A feature unique to MAN is EasyControl, introduced in response to drivers who said they would like to be able to control certain functions from outside the cab. The result is a programmable panel in the door that can operate functions such as the PTO and exterior lighting.

With three engines and three cab variants, the TGX covers the vast majority of fleet applications. This vehicle is about 8% more fuel-efficient than previous versions, helped by the fact that peak torque starts at 930rpm, so MAN could install a taller final diff ratio.

For some years MAN in the UK has operated its Up Time Principle (UTP), with a dedicated team that does nothing but work on unscheduled stops and get the vehicles back in service as quickly as possible.

The dealer network has gone from 67 to 72 service locations in the past two years to keep pace with MAN’s growing market share; since the launch of the TGX in Bilbao last year, MAN has doubled its share of the UK 3-axle tractor market.

One of the judges said: “Previously I would never have one on my fleet, but now I have a TGX and am well impressed with it.”

Volvo FM

Volvo FM

The Volvo FM has been around for 22 years, with the latest key revision to the model last year. Representing 22% of Volvo’s UK sales, it is the OEM’s most flexible range, with variants from 18-tonne rigids to 44-tonne 6x2 tractors, including a low cab for car transporters, 8-wheeler tippers, a crewcab for the fire market and a 10x6.

The latest model retains the two-step entry but the cab has been modernised with more space, better storage and improved vision.

Alongside the new dash is a digital display with up to four screens, including one for load indication if required, while the higher bunk has an improved mattress.

The FM comes with 11-litre or 13-litre engines rated at between 330hp and 500hp, with LNG options rated at 420hp or 460hp that reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20%. A diesel 420hp FM achieved more than 10mpg at 40 tonnes in a recent Commercial Motor roadtest, a new record.

While the I-Shift gearbox is now 20 years old it is still rated as the best in the business and is available with Dual Clutch for even faster gear changes.

Two full electric FM models will be available next year, with motors rated at 330kW and 490kW. Volvo now has 79 dealer points covering the UK, of which 27 are wholly owned, with an average 97.5% first-time annual test pass rate.

The judges said: “We know what it does – it’s not the cheapest to buy, but it is the most reliable and the safest truck on the market.”