Watts Truck and Van are delighted to have been awarded the much coveted headline of ‘DAF UK Dealer of the Year’ after amassing the most points in DAF Trucks’ dealer target programme.

The road to get this accolade has not been an easy one. It required meticulous standards across the business and they faced incredibly stiff competition. Even though Watts Truck and Van are actually one of the smaller dealer groups in the UK DAF network, they still outperformed the other 34 dealerships who entered, some of whom were bigger groups and who had more resources and national accounts.

A 12 month analysis of performance was carried out across a range of parameters including Sales, Service and Parts and it goes to show that the investments that the company has made over the last year have clearly paid off.

The award itself was presented at the DAF Trucks International Conference in Malaga, Spain by Robin Easton, Managing Director of DAF Trucks and Simon Griffin accepted the award on behalf of Watts Truck and Van.

“This is such a great achievement for us and one that shows that the years of hard work, discipline and dedication of all of the team here at Watts have paid off.” said Simon Griffin, Principal Dealer. “It was an honour to collect the award on behalf of everyone that works here.”

As if all this wasn’t enough, every year for the past three years the 3 sites in Swansea, Newport and Cardiff have achieved category A status, which is the best there is, when competing against 140 other dealerships.

Outstanding performance throughout

So many parts of the business contributed to this achievement…

  • Watts achieved market leadership of South Wales again with a share of 30% and 330 new orders in the year. When you realise that the annual total national sales are around 600 – 800 new trucks…that’s an impressive
  • Under the exceptional leadership of Gareth Rees, the sales team achieved 230% of the annual target. Truck sales not only made a record-breaking contribution but was also the top performing DAF sales team in the UK.
  • The team at Rogerstone Truck and Van Newport continues to impress looking after existing customers and attracting new business.
  • Chris Roberts and his team at Watts Swansea Service have consistently achieved DAF Trucks category A status with high scores in several key areas, including MOT First Time Pass rate, DAFaid roadside assistance, DAFcheck workshop quality checks and apprentice development.
  • Martin Heaven and the Swansea Parts Team had another outstanding year providing excellent customer service through telesales, van deliveries and key account management.
  • A group whose contribution is often not praised enough is the Finance Department. Without their expertise and professionalism Watts Truck and Vans’ success would not have been possible.

Congratulations to everyone for their magnificent accomplishment. It goes to prove, if you have the right people, you can achieve great things.


Over the last 60 years, John Raymond Transport has grown from a regional haulier into a major UK operator.

The company has, in many ways, reflected the wider UK economy with the earlier years being dominated by heavy manufacturing, and in particular, the steelworks of South Wales. The company built on their experience and have gone on to service a wide range of customers that include retailers, food and drink manufacturers, and paper and building material specialists.

In September 2016, John Raymond Transport was acquired by Irish based transport company, Nolan Group. Founded more than 50 years ago, Nolan Group has grown to be one of Europe’s leading transport companies by scale and the shared resources and synergies within the group has added strength and resilience to John Raymond Transport.

With over 485 transportation units carrying more than 50,000 loads annually it is important for the company to have reliable, cost effective vehicles. And for more than 25 years, John Raymond Transport have been using mainly DAF vehicles to ensure they get the performance and returns they need.

Whilst using both Swansea and Cardiff Watts Truck & Van the main relationship was originally with the Cardiff site. However, Nolan Group have historically used the Swansea depot, and so following their acquisition of John Raymond Transport, the relationship with the Swansea depot has also grown, particularly at group level.

Talking recently about why the company uses Watts Truck & Van, Chief Operating Officer Geraint Davies said “We use Watts Truck & Van for the DAF product, the backup and support. Watts are focused, pragmatic and forward thinking. We have a very good working relationship and Watts certainly have a can do attitude.”

With more than 22 million km driven annually, vehicle performance and driver comfort is high on the list of priorities for the business. The majority of the fleet is now DAF as other truck brands have been replaced over the years. DAF XFs are the majority with some CFs in the fleet too. 

Talking about why they use DAF vehicles Geraint said “We’re an asset based business and we see that DAF vehicles give us several good years’ service. They are good value for money as they have a great whole life cost. The vehicles are robust and proven and the  overall performance of the DAF vehicles is great. Our driver feedback is good too, particularly with the XF. The drivers like the space and functionality in the cab, it’s very intuitive”

“The reason we use DAF and the Watts dealership” said Geraint, “is the product. The product is great and it’s got good back up. We have a good level of service at dealer level and that’s backed up by DAF.  Our relationship with Watts is very positive, particularly with the day to day contact. That contact with the service and parts desks is imperative for a successful relationship. They also undertake all the annual testing of our tractor units and trailers at their ATF facility.” 

The new Watts premises in Swansea has also been a big hit with John Raymond Transport and Nolan Group. “It’s a fantastic facility” said Geraint. “State of the art with all the facilities you would expect of a modern main dealer.”

With the emphasis on reducing emissions, John Raymond Transport are keeping an eye on the developments with current trials involving electric vehicles. The DAF CF electric vehicles are mainly being used for shorter, inland journeys and whilst they may well become part of future urban life across Europe, unfortunately for many long distance hauliers, electric alternatives are unlikely to be available any time soon, if at all.

“The current electric vehicles being tested wouldn’t really be suitable for our operations.” said Geraint “but we’re all duty bound to reduce our carbon footprint. If DAF electric vehicles come into operation that could meet our needs, then, of course, we would consider them.”

John Raymond Transport; for more information visit our website www.jrt.co.uk

● Established 1945

● Over 250 professional employees

● Over 485 Transportation Units

● Over 50 thousand loads annually

● Over 22 million km driven annually

● Over 350 thousand sq feet of warehousing