A huge congratulations to Watts Truck and Van who found out last week that they’ve received two awards at the highly prestigious Commerical Motor Awards 2020 and were highly commended in a third classification. The teams collected the very well deserved ‘Sales Team of the Year’ and ‘Franchised Dealer of the Year’ Awards in a virtual ceremony and were highly commended in the ‘Aftersales and Maintenance Provider of the Year’ category.

Simon Griffin, Principal Dealer was delighted at the news. ‘I’m really pleased for the whole Watts team and that we’ve received such recognition against some strong competition. Our staff have worked really hard this year, in very difficult circumstances, to provide an excellent service to our customers and to pick up both awards, is very exciting for us all.’

John Thurston, Group Chairman, also added his congratulations. ‘This really is fantastic news, no other company was mentioned three times and for these awards to be won following the other great successes last year of winning the DAF Sword of Excellence, DAF Dealer of the Year and also Simon’s Dealer Principal of the Year from Commerical Motor is a real testament to the hard work and dedication shown by everyone across the whole business. Very well deserved, well done.’

Key highlights – Sales Team of the Year 2020 – Winner

In the last 12 months, Watts Truck and Van achieved their highest ever operating profit with the Truck Sales team contributing 20% of that total. 322 DAF trucks were registered in the year, compared to the 286 sold by Scania, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo combined. This total volume equalled an outstanding 38.2% market leading share in South Wales, which even surpassed DAF’s record of a 30.5% share nationally.

Recent high volume deals delivered include a total of 52 vehicles to the film and TV support company Facilities by ADF with a variety of challenging specifications. In addition, the team have achieved 112% of their Paccar Financial target, 144% on selling Repair & Maintenance contracts, and 100% of the DAF Connect telematics target, as well as selling 16 used trucks.

Key highlights – Franchised Dealer of the Year 2020 – Winner

Watts Truck and Van have also achieved DAF Category AA for the fourth year running, which is the top level for a dealer based on achieving manufacturer targets set in 20 disciplines covering the whole business from quality of workmanship/MOT First Time Pass Rate in Service, to Parts Sales & Truck Sales volumes, recruitment of apprentices, Repair & Maintenance Contract Sales, Manufacturer Mystery Shop and Personnel Training Standards.

As a family business, Watts as a group is very much focused on the future in terms of investment in people and premises. Everyone has a personal training programme and clear career path in the business. At Watts Truck and Van up to 6 apprentices are taken on every year and where possible the company promotes from within to nurture talent. The new £2m site was opened in Swansea on March 1st last year when DAF Trucks MD Robin Easton presented the team with the UK Dealer of the Year award for scoring the highest number of points in the national Dealer Target Programme, and the Cardiff premises has been purchased from the landlord, so that will be the next project for development. 

The DAF Sword of Excellence for maximum points in Aftersales disciplines is also in the trophy cabinet, and the Parts team is also a previous winner of the Paccar Parts Dealer of the Year.

Key highlights – Aftersales and Maintenance Provider of the Year 2020 – Commendation 

At Watts Truck and Van customer service is key across the board, but in particular in their maintenance and aftersales care. For 3 years consecutively Watts Cardiff has achieved 100% MOT first time pass rate and the team operates to strict quality & environmental controls.

DAFaid roadside assistance is a top priority and the 2 breakdown technicians have achieved a year-to-date performance of 24 points out of 25 from the key discipline targets of Departure time within 15 minutes of job acceptance; Response Time better than or the same as the current 12 month rolling average to ensure standards do not slip; minimum 90% of jobs repaired at roadside to maximise customer delivery time; DAFaid workshop jobs to be prioritised and completed within 36 hours; and 100% availability of technicians for call-out as the number 1 priority.

Close customer communication ensures the service scheduling runs at a minimum of 95% plan to actual; over 85% of inspections are uploaded on to the DAFcheck customer portal the same day; R&M and warranty claims are submitted within 3 days; and the technician training performance ensures 100% are trained to DAF Basic Level, 70% to Intermediate, 40% Advanced together with one Master Technician leading the team of expertise.

A huge congratulations once again and good luck in their submission for “Responsible Business of the Year (SME)” with the Business In The Community (BITC) Awards which should be announced soon.


Watts was featured in DAF’s recent news update as great example of how we can support our customers in the fight against Corona virus


This will be an Easter like no other Easter.

I do hope that all of you, and your families are keeping well, and offer prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery to any that are ill at home, or in hospital.

My personal thanks to everyone for the tremendous team spirit of cooperation and understanding which is enabling our Companies to continue to care for their employees and provide our customers with any products or services that maybe required.

Our Group maybe only a small cog in the national picture, but it does play an important role in keeping the country going; by supporting transport fleets that serve the food industry, including those crucial ones that are supplying the Nightingale hospitals,  and delivering oxygen equipment to our hospitals.  We have also offered warehouse space to the Government.  In addition, I am sure there are many acts of kindness I do not know about.

This Easter, for some traditions of a lifetime will be broken, and travel restrictions will mean absent faces at family gathering and no away days in the countryside.

Possibly we will even contemplate a different way to live our future lives.

To conclude a, small word of comfort and hope for the future – our Group has never been in better shape; we have the resources – people, facilities and finance to survive this terrible pandemic which is changing the way we live.

Keep safe and God bless you all at this very different Easter time.

“We’ll Meet Again” 

Yours gratefully,

John C. Thurston – Chairman, Watts of Lydney Group


This month saw TWT Logistics Ltd take delivery of another 6 new DAF vehicles; 4 XF480FTG Super Space Cab Tractor units and 2 CF290FA Space Cab curtain-siders.

They join a mixed fleet of more than 90 vehicles, of which DAF makes up about 50%, servicing a number of industries both nationally and internationally.


Started in the late 1980s TWT Logistics Ltd originally started off dealing in the print industry and very quickly built themselves an excellent reputation for handling time critical consignments. Working practices were soon established at the heart of the company’s service culture, enabling it to develop tailor made logistics solutions for many blue-chip organisations and more than 30 years later, the company has diversified and grown still further.

Important to the owners at TWT Logistics is the efficiency, safety and comfort of their vehicles. With fuel prices high, getting maximum performance from their vehicles is essential. That’s why all their newer vehicles are kitted out with telematics, allowing the company to check that they are getting the best performance from their vehicles. Driver training also plays a big part in obtaining those efficiencies. In-house training courses provide the most up to date information about adjusting driving practices according to vehicle as well as the geography surrounding regular client deliveries.

Safety features also play a big part in all new vehicles ordered. A substantial amount of money is spent on ensuring that the most up to date safety features are in place to help their drivers and other road users. White noise reversing alarms, 4-way cameras and windows in the lower parts of the passenger side door to enable drivers to see other lower road users are all fitted on new vehicles ordered. 

Talking about safety and good practice, Trevor Taylor, Managing Director of TWT Logistics said “We are a member of the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS). We are currently a bronze member and are well on our way to getting to silver.”

The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) is a voluntary accreditation scheme for fleet operators which aims to raise the level of quality within fleet operations, and to demonstrate which operators are achieving exemplary levels of best practice in safety, efficiency, and environmental protection.

Whilst still voluntary and currently mainly beneficial for the building trade site work and for work in Greater London, it is the belief that in future, there could be a compulsory requirement to hold a FORS accreditation when doing any work in larger cities. It is also the belief that some of these higher safety standards that are currently in place at TWT Logistics, may well become qualifying factors in obtaining the silver FORS accreditation. “There isn’t currently a need to have the more stringent higher safety specification to obtain a basic FORS accreditation” said Trevor, “but we feel that it’s the way things will go. We are always striving to be a leader in innovation and so we are trying to stay one step ahead. Some people who already have accreditation may find themselves having to try and retrofit some of these safety measures.”

Finally, driver comfort is the reason that TWT Logistics Ltd always have top of the range Super Space cabs. The nature of the business means that for the longer trips drivers are doing everything in their cabs. “The more luxurious cabs mean that even if you’re 6 feet 6 inches tall, you can stand up inside to dress etc.” said Trevor. “There are driver shortages and we know that if we give our drivers the best cabs and look after our staff, we are more likely to retain them.”

Whilst the fleet is a mixed fleet of curtain-siders mainly, approximately 50% of it is DAF. The longevity, efficiency value for money and comfort of the vehicles is one thing, but the service received from the dealer also goes some way to explain why TWT Logistics keep returning to purchase DAFs.

Originally buying from Cardiff Truck, who were bought by Watts Truck & Van, TWT Logistics have been buying DAF vehicles for more than 25 years. “The service we get from Watts is second to none” said Trevor “I’ve known Ben Adams, the Sales Manager and Simon Griffin, the Dealer Principal, for some time now and the service is excellent.”

The most recent additions to the fleet are the last few of a number of orders placed over the last 12 months and they have premium specifications for that driver retention.

“Watts are very responsive,” said Trevor “if you’ve got questions they get right back to you. If I had to sum up their service, I could do it one word – impeccable!”

For more information about TWT Logistics Ltd and the services they offer, visit their website at


Our very own Dealer Principal of the Year, Simon Griffin, has recently been featured in Commercial Motor Magazine where his outstanding achievements for Watts Truck and Van have been put into print.

Commercial Motor article

The former Wales Students rugby captain has proved an able leader at Watts Truck and Van, where he has built a tight knit team who he praises for their hard work and dedication.

In the UK, DAF trucks is a market leader with a record share of 30.5% and thanks to Watts Truck and Van it dominates the South Wales market with an impressive 38.2% share. To put it into perspective in 2019, WTV sold 322 DAF Trucks compared with the 286 trucks that Scania, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo sold combined.

The CM article touches on Simon’s enthusiasm, drive and commitment to the success of the business and also makes reference to his sporting history as he now captains the team of 110 players at Watts.

From his early years in the family business Griffin Mill, a Pontypridd Volvo Truck dealership, Simon has always been involved in trucks, as the article jokes he was born with an order pad in his hand. As Griffin Mill’s operations manager and alongside his colleagues, he oversaw an impressive five fold increase in sales during a recession and grew the business from two to six locations. He has certainly been an asset to the Watts team since his appointment as Dealer Principal in 2012 and he continues to drive the business forward today.

Simon at the South Wales Wheelchair Sports

There is also mention of the many investments that WTV make in both their staff and in the community including organisations such as Business in the Community, South Wales Wheelchair Sports and the Kids Cancer Charity.

Our Chairman, John Thurston gives the last word: “Simon is not frightened to take difficult decisions and somehow they are implemented with the goodwill and co-operation of all employees.”

To read more you can subscribe to Commercial Motor Magazine or read a scanned version of the article below.


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Rob George of Dragon Logistics is an owner operator working mainly in the recycling industry. He started out in the business 16 years ago and for the last 8 of those has been an owner operator, running his own truck.

On his second DAF truck now and having had other brands of truck before, we asked Rob what it was that made him move to DAF.

What you get for your money,” he said. “My truck is a workhorse, not a status symbol and what you get with DAF costs a lot more with other companies. For what I paid for the DAF I would only get an entry level type truck with some of the others.

Having done his research when he bought his first DAF truck, Rob was clear in his own mind, that his next truck, when it was due, was also going to be a DAF.

Rob’s recent DAF purchase is far from entry level! He has gone for a top specification Super Space Cab with air suspension, exclusive leather interior, auto air conditioning/climate control, Alcoa aluminium wheels, 530 brake horse power engine, 12 speed Traxon automated gearbox and MX Engine Brake“ It’s got everything in it,” he said. The reason behind his choices, he explained, were all about performance and longevity. Thinking about the longer term, he knows that when he’s ready to move on or maybe even retire, if he wants to sell his truck, he will get a good return on it.

The first DAF truck he had was a mid lift axle, and this time he has decided to go for a rear lift axle.  The change has made a real difference in his day to day work. With the rear axle lifted the truck has a much tighter turning circle and Rob is finding he has much greater manoeuvrability, especially in tight spaces.

The improved engines and gearboxes in the new models are also having an impact, not just on fuel performance but generally in the comfort and usability when driving. “The gearbox is a lot more responsive, ” he said, “and you get a lot more with the whole system.” He went on to say that the driver systems are more intuitive, and is particularly noticing this in the gear changes, explaining that the system is now almost anticipating what you need to do. “The auto kickdown means that there is no loss of speed or momentum. When you’re driving a car, you can make up 10 mph easily, but when you’re driving a 40 tonne truck, it can take a minute or two and that has an impact on the fuel consumption. With the new auto gearbox, I’m not losing any speed.”

And on the subject of fuel consumption Rob was pleased to say that he is getting an extra mile per gallon from the truck. Now, that may not sound like much to you and I as car drivers, but to truck drivers, that’s a huge improvement. Many trucks only do 8 miles to the gallon, so to get an extra one makes a massive difference to running costs.

“When it comes to DAF” said Rob, “For the price paid, the performance and the service, I am more than happy.”

Rob bought both his DAF trucks from Watts Truck & Van in Newport, part exchanging the first one when buying the current truck. He dealt with Sales manager, Kris Seddon when he bought the first truck and went back to him for the second saying “I was very pleased with the whole process. It was flawless! I handed in my old truck on the 25th August and the new one was delivered on the 1st of September. I just handed over my keys and it was all sorted.”

As with his first truck, he has decided to take the 3 year full repair and maintenance package from Watts, so the team at Watts do everything for him; 6 weekly checks, MOT, servicing and any repairs if there are any knocks or accidents.

“They are as good as gold” he said, “I have no qualms working with them. They are courteous, polite and pleasant to deal with.”