2021 awards Fleet Truck winner

MT editor Steve Hobson (far right) presents the trophy on behalf of Texaco Lubricants to Laurence Drake, MD of DAF Trucks with host Alexander Armstrong

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

A range of fuel efficiency improvements introduced in 2017 including new engines, aftertreatment systems, transmissions and rear axles contributed to a 7% fuel efficiency improvement.

The two most popular 6x2 fleet tractor configurations are the market-leading FTG 6x2 twin-steer and the FTP pusher axle 6x2, the latter boosting payload by 500kg and freeing chassis space for bigger fuel tanks or ancillary equipment. Both come with the Space, Super Space or low-height Comfort cab options.

The Super Space cab is still one of the largest around, while the bunk remains the benchmark for driver comfort. Storage capacity has been emulated but never bettered by rivals and a deadlock bolt on the cab doors provides extra security at night.

For operators heading in to London, DAF offers a factory-fitted safe system covered by the vehicle warranty to comply with the London HGV Safety Permit scheme.

Aftersales 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 with 90 minutes. All vehicles come with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty plus a third-year driveline warranty, free DAFaid cover and a three-year DAF MultiSupport Preventative Maintenance package.

DAF’s dealer network is the largest of all the OEMs, with 135 sales and service locations in the UK and Ireland. The average annual test pass rate for DAF dealers is almost 98% and there are 59 ATFs in the network.

“I feel very excited to have won the award for the third time on the trot, which is obviously quite exceptional. It was a real surprise”

Laurence Drake, MD, DAF Trucks