John Wayne

What do John Wayne, the Labour Party, Scotland, retirement and foreign hauliers have in common? They all cropped up in's quotes of the year. Find out who said what and when in our round-up of the year!


1.    Before Sucking Transport MD Peter Larner retired at the end of October, interviewed him about his 40 year career. When describing the medal he received as a thank you for arranging fuel deliveries to the US Army during the fuel protests in 2000, he said: It has the crossed flags of the UK and US on one side and on the other it says, in true John Wayne fashion: ‘You can’t duel without fuel’.”

2.    Road tolling was a hot-topic on the agenda at a fringe debate hosted at the Conservative Party conference earlier this year, prompting the FTA’s chief executive Theo de Pencier to explain why he felt road charging is unlikely to be introduced by a single political party: “The Labour Party floated ideas and got a slap across the chops for their pains if you like, which has clearly put off the current government from even discussing it. It is the elephant in the room.

“From our perspective, charging to use the roads, if offset against something like fuel duty, for example, we would want to seriously consider it, as we think there is a much stronger chance of continuous and the right level of investment in maintaining our infrastructure.”

3.    On the topic of road tolling, a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills report revealed that Scottish operators will have to pay the HGV Road User Levy if independence is achieved. This prompted many Scottish transport companies to share their concerns about an independent state would bring their businesses, including John Mitchell Haulage and Warehousing MD Iain Mitchell:

 “From what I’ve heard, the road user charge will be the least of our worries.  Scotland will not be viable anymore.”

4.    After 45 years in the business, former Daf marketing director Tony Pain retired in October, and was keen to hear the story of his career. Here is one of the lessons he learnt with the manufacturer: “I learnt to avoid two words in product marketing- ‘new’ and ‘technology’. ‘Proven’ is a much better word in the world of trucks as the audience is quite conservative and what matters above all is reliability.”

5.    In June the European Commission dropped plans to lift cabotage restrictions, a move that was welcomed by the industry. But many operators still see delivering to the Continent and competing with foreign operators as one of their main challenges. Kevin Hopper, MD at Brian Yeardley Continental, explained why he feels cabotage rules are still important: “With the influx of foreign hauliers now operating in the UK, [our] presence is being exploited by backload-clearing houses and [European] hauliers trying to reduce their costs. This will have a massive effect on the profit of UK domestic hauliers.”