The DAF CF Electric was awarded the prestigious Green Truck Logistics Solution 2019 at the recent Transport Trade Fair in Munich, Germany. The DAF CF 450 also received a nomination due to its low fuel consumption of only 23.3 litres per 100 km (12.12mpg).
Logistics network Contargo was also rewarded for deploying the DAF CFs into its operation in Germany. The fully electric vehicles which collect and deliver containers at the inland port of Duisburg, are part of the drive to test new technologies with the aim of providing resource-efficient logistics. Using electric vehicles is not something Contargo are doing for the benefit of its media profile; the company spent two years analysing whether electric vehicles are commercially viable in their business before going ahead with their decision to take on the DAF CF Electric.
In tests run for the award by Germany’s leading truck news publications, VerkehrsRunschau and TRUCKER, the DAF CF Electric reduced carbon emissions by 38%, even when using only electricity sourced from the usual grey-and-green energy mix. The plan for Contargo is to switch to green electricity at all the terminals it uses which, according to Jan Burgdorf, Head of Testing and Technology at VerkehrsRundschau and TRUCKER, could decrease CO2 emissions well-to-wheel by almost 90%.
Contargo is a subsidiary of Rhenus Logistics and joined the field testing of DAF electric vehicles in May this year when they took delivery of two DAF CF Electric trucks. Speaking about joining the field tests, Jurgen Albersmann, Managing Director at Contargo, said “One of our targets is to be de-carbonised by 2050. These trucks represent one important step towards that ambitious target.
The electric vehicles are just part of the ongoing commitment from DAF to reduce carbon emissions and provide the best vehicles in terms of fuel economy, reliability and driver comfort. Speaking at last year’s IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover where the new range of DAF Innovation Electric vehicles were showcased, Richard Zink, Director Marketing & Sales, and member of the Board of Management of DAF Trucks said “DAF has always provided and always will provide a complete range of excellent trucks that offer the industry’s lowest operating costs, best transport efficiency and highest driver comfort. We are building on a rich, 90 year heritage that has resulted in our market leading position. Our strong capabilities will enable us to create trucks and power trains which lead us into the future.”
There are 3 types of DAF electric vehicles currently being field tested: the CF & LF Electric Innovation Trucks and the DAF CF Hybrid Innovation Truck.
The DAF CF Electric first went in to field tests with Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo back in December 2018. Speaking of the reasons for taking part in the long term field trials Jumbo CEO Frits van Eerd said “Introducing this new electric truck is the next step towards our goal of implementing a sustainable strategy for our vehicle fleet. By 2020 we hope to have reduced our CO2 emissions from Jumbo’s vehicle fleet by 50% compared to 2008.”
Hot on the heels of the Jumbo field test, the CF Electric also went in to operation at Tinie Manders Transport in Geldrop in the Netherlands. The DAF Electric CF is attached to a fully electric refrigerated trailer and joins a fleet of 50 vehicles in the family run business. Speaking of their involvement with the field tests Eveline Manders said, “We have been involved from the outset and we are curious to see the results in practice. Zero emissions combined with the minimal noise levels of the truck will allow us to meet the increasingly stringent legal requirements for inner city transport. ”
In March 2019 the DAF CF Hybrid joined the field testing when Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn took delivery of three DAF CF electrics and two DAF CF hybrids. Albert Heijn has more than 1000 supermarkets across Holland, Belgium and Germany. The CF Electrics are initially being limited to journeys between the distribution centre in Zaandam and supermarkets in Amsterdam, with the hybrids supplying stores further away from Zaandam without any emissions.
The large scale testing of electric vehicles will allow data to be collected and analysed in terms of both technology and operational aspects. The results will guide the final production models. Richard Zink said “Electric trucks will be part of future urban life in Europe. The data we collect about electric vehicle technology and operational usage with our test partners will be engineered into the specifications of the final production models, ensuring that the vehicles will seamlessly satisfy the market’s needs.”
For more information on any DAF model, please contact Watts Truck & Van’s Truck Sales Team:
*Newport – Kristian Seddon 07810 157060
*Swansea – Gareth Rees 07967 589105
*Cardiff – Ben Adams 07966 007362
DAF Trucks is expanding its range of products in the UK to include new models and axle configurations. The new range includes:
- 8×4 ‘tridem’ configuration for CF and XF
- XF with 8×2 ‘FAX’ set-up
- XF in popular 8×4 ‘FAD’ configuration
- 10 tonne front axle
- 7.5 tonne non-steered trailing axle
These new developments underline DAF Trucks’ commitment to expanding its presence in UK industry sectors such as construction and waste handling.
CF and XF 8×4 with double-drive tandem and steered trailing axle
The new CF and XF configuration adds to an already extensive range of trucks available. The FAW, a four axle CF or XF rigid with a tridem consists of the SR1360T tandem with a single reduction or the HR1670T tandem with a hub reduction and a steered rearmost axle. These will be available ex-factory later this year.
The 8×4 ‘FAW’ chassis has a GVW of 32 tonnes and can be manoeuvred with great precision due to the steered trailing axle and the turning circle of about 15.6 metres makes it ideally suited to transporting loads to sites where there is relatively little space. The new chassis is ideal for operation as a concrete mixer, tipper, for bodywork with a rear mounted crane or a combination of a loading crane with a hook lift system.
The ‘FAW’ joins its stable mate tridem rigid, the single-drive DAF CF ‘FAQ’ in meeting the demands for highly manoeuvrable four axled rigid vehicles that give access in some of the tightest locations previously only accessible to six wheelers. The FAQ’s single drive axle and three steered axles minimise tyre scrub and yard damage whereas the new FAW’s double driven tandem bogie gives it an improved traction for off-road use.
XF ‘FAX’ 8×2 rigid with two steered front axles and steered trailing axle
The popular CF configuration of an 8×2 rigid with 2 steered front axles (8 or 9 tonnes) and a steered trailing rear axle (7.5 tonnes) is now also available as the new ‘FAX’ XF.
The new XF offers a 32 tonne GVW and a 44 tonne GTW drawbar and its steered trailing ensures maximum manoeuvrability. This vehicle is ideal for delivering building materials and for when there is a need to have a crane mounted behind the cab.
XF ‘FAD’ 8×4 rigid with two steered front axles and double drive
The traditional 8×4 set-up with two steered front axles and double drive rear bogie is now available as an XF in the UK for operators who want maximum cab space and storage. Typical applications include use as recovery vehicles for use with heavy lift and long reach cranes.
XF cab appeals in rigid configurations
Operator demand for the larger cab for certain applications is the reason the new ‘FAX’, ‘FAD’, and ‘FAW’ ranges have been introduced. Whilst the CF is the ideal choice for some, increasing numbers of operators require the additional space, storage and comfort that comes with an XF cab, especially when there is a lot of kit that needs to be stored in the cab or operations are double manned. The excellent sleeping and living space makes the XF the ideal workplace for drivers too.
10 tonne front axle
In the second half of this year a 10 tonne front axle in the CF and XF ranges will be added to the existing options of 7.5, 8 and 9 tonne front axles. This addition is good news for the construction sector where high front-axle loads are commonplace, normally when a heavy crane is mounted directly behind the cab. The parabolic suspension with three leaf springs in the new 10 tonne front axle will reduce the risk of overloading with diminishing loads and will be available for configurations of the CF and XF which feature single front axle and are powered by the PACCAR MX-11 or MX-13 engines.
7.5 tonne trailing non-steered axle with single wheels
The new 7.5 tonne trailing non-steered axle with single wheels features a newly-designed die cast axle housing. Whilst it has greater rigidity and is more robust than its predecessor, its weight has been reduced by 10kg. The static load capacity has been increased by a substantial 25% to 26 tonne which is of great importance if a load rests briefly on the rearmost axles during loading and unloading. A typical example of this is roll-on-off containers.
Again, the construction sector is set to benefit with this new model as it is ideal for use on payload sensitive work and for container delivery systems where vehicles are equipped with rear mounted cranes. The new trailing axle is also used on the FTR tractor unit variants of the CF and XF which makes it ideally suited to low loader work above 44 tonnes.
Summary of vehicle configurations
CF and XF 8×4 FAW tridem rigid with double-drive and steered trailing axle
- Maximum traction for on/off road operation
- GVW of 32 tonnes, GTW of 44 tonnes
- Excellent manoeuvrability
XF FAX 8×2 rigid with two steered front axles and steered trailing axle
- GVW of 32 tonnes, GTW of 44 tonnes
XF FAD 8×4 rigid with two steered front axles and a double-drive tandem
- GVW of 32 tonnes, GTW of 44 tonnes
Summary of axle range expansion
New 10 tonne front axle
- Avoids overloading with diminishing loads
- For use with heavy cranes directly behind the cab
New 7.5 tonne non-steered trailing axle
- Die cast, ultra-rigid axle housing
- Lower weight, higher payload. Static load capacity of 26 tonnes.
If you would like further information about these new vehicles, or any truck in the award-winning DAF range, please get in touch with the Watts Truck & Van Sales Team:
- Swansea – Gareth Rees 07967 589105
- Newport – Kris Seddon 07810 157060
- Cardiff – Ben Adams 07966 007362
Simon Griffin was recruited as the Dealer Principal at Watts Truck & Van Limited at the end of 2012, but has been involved in the industry for most of his life. He recently spoke to Commercial Motor magazine about his life in the industry.
Simon started out in the family firm of Griffin Mill Garages in Pontypridd which became the UK’s third Volvo truck dealer in 1968 and was eventually incorporated into the Volvo Wales & West region.
Despite qualifying as a French teacher at Oxford University, truck sales was in the blood and Simon returned to the truck industry, working for Griffin Mill then Volvo Wales & West until 2005, before spending eight years at Isuzu Truck UK becoming General Manager, responsible for retail sales and new dealer recruitment.
When asked about his memories of the first item he ever sold, surprisingly the answer was not a truck! “The first item I ever sold, well there were two actually: Welsh cakes and second hand books at the church jumble sale.” His first truck sale came 10 years later when working at the family run business in the school holidays. “I sold a Scania 111 to a timber haulier in mid-Wales that had been taken in as a part exchange,” he said.
Watts Truck & Van is also a family-owned business and started life as an ironmongery in the Forest of Dean in the 1880s. It can trace a line of selling what are now DAF products directly back to taking on the Albion franchise in 1922. The company has gone from strength to strength, this year winning the UK DAF Dealer of the Year Award. In addition, the MOT First Time Pass rate scores across all 3 depots in Swansea, Newport and Cardiff are outstanding, and for the 3rd year running all three depots have achieved the highest DAF Category A standard.
Investment in staff and premises as well as maintaining excellent customer relationships are big factors in the success of Simon’s team at Watts Truck & Van. When asked, “What is the secret to building a good relationship with customers and ensuring repeat business?” Simon said:
“By looking after customers – clearly if you want repeat business you’ve got to do it properly. You need to be a careful listener, be helpful, and if you make promises, you’ve got to keep them. You need to do what you say you’re going to do and whenever customers have serious problems you have to show you care. So acting on those problems to find a solution with urgency is very important.”
Despite being a busy Dealer Principal, there are times when Simon still gets involved in individual deals. As he explains, “I have worked in South Wales for many years and know several customers very well, but we have a very professional sales team with great in-depth technical knowledge and good customer relationships. So where there is a customer that I know very well, we work as a team to try to win as much business as possible.”
That care that Simon is clearly so passionate about does not stop once a sale has been made either. The after sales experience is just as important. He has a friendly, efficient, well trained team who have attended all the DAF training programmes. That, combined with technical staff who know the product really well means that customers get all the assistance they need to get the best operational performance and value from their vehicles. This level of expertise was recognised by DAF at its national awards last year. “We won the aftersales DAF Sword of Excellence for scoring maximum points in our service and parts targets, and this year we have been named UK Dealer of the Year” said Simon.
What does the future hold?
As a family business Watts is very much focussed on the future in terms of staff and premises.
“We make sure that everybody has a personal training programme and has a clear career path in the business. Up to six apprentices are taken on each year; one service and one parts in each of the three depots.” The DAF Trucks National Dealer Apprentice Programme has been running for 22 years and produces technicians who form part of a highly skilled workforce committed to quality.
In terms of premises, the new truck centre in Swansea has just opened and the Cardiff site has just been purchased from the existing landlord which will be the next project to invest in.
Future truck industry challenges involving lower emissions mean there will be more electric and hybrid vehicles on the road. DAF themselves currently have all electric and hybrid vehicles in live testing with customers. To meet those challenges Watts Truck & Van are installing 4 charging points at their new Swansea depot and will also do the same at their Cardiff and Newport depots in the coming years.
“We are a very forward-thinking company offering the best facilities for staff and customers,” said Simon.
When asked to summarise in 10 seconds why someone should buy a truck from Watts Truck & Van, Simon said “With a DAF from Watts you buy a top quality product for the driver and the company boss, which will be handed over in a professional manner so that both can get the best out of it.”
Watts Truck & Van were named UK Dealer of the Year at the DAF Trucks International Conference in Spain.
Dealer principal Simon Griffin said “We are extremely proud to have won this award. The hard work of our staff and the support of our customers have helped us achieve the extremely high standards required; we thank you all for your support.”
The MOT First Time Pass rate scores across the 3 depots in Swansea, Newport and Cardiff were outstanding, and for the 3rd year running all three depots also achieved the DAF highest category A standard.
There are a large number of targets to achieve and they take in all areas of a dealership, including the fabric of the buildings themselves. Truck sales, service, parts, training and demonstrator vehicles are just some of the areas covered. The way the programme is structured, there are very high levels of success required across every aspect of the dealership, which is why winning the award means so much to us at Watts Truck & Van.
DAF Trucks Managing Director, Robin Easton, kindly presented the engraved award to the Watts Management Team on St David’s Day at the company’s new Swansea Depot.
Also announced recently was the news that DAF Trucks retained its dominant position in the UK truck market in 2018 ending the year with a 27.2% share of the market above 6.0 tonnes GVW – achieving an unrivalled 24th year as market leader. Importantly, DAF Trucks achieved its highest order intake for its trucks since 2007. Watts achieved market leadership of South Wales again with a share of 30% of 2018’s new truck registrations and 330 orders in the year.
The excellent fuel economies of DAF trucks combined with their reliability of performance and driver comfort are some of the key reasons DAF Trucks continue to be the market leaders. Their commitment to innovative design and the quest for better fuel efficiencies and lower emissions is not just based on the vehicles of today, but also those of tomorrow. The DAF CF Electric Innovation truck began real life, on-road testing with customers last year and the DAF LF Electric Innovation and CF Hybrid Innovation trucks join it this year.
Watts Truck & Van
Watts Truck & Van have depots in Cardiff Newport and Swansea with the latest vehicles available for you to test drive. But it’s not just the vehicles we supply. With our three depots and 14 dedicated parts delivery vehicles, we uphold our commitment to our customers of at least two parts deliveries a day. We have a state of the art stock management system which affords us almost 98% first time pick, along with the latest all makes electronic parts catalogues. Our £1.3 million stock holding allows us flexibility to move parts between depots and achieve our primary objective of getting them out to customers quickly and satisfying local demand.
But it’s not just vehicles and parts we supply; our centres can provide everything an operator needs to run the workshop, from soap for the washrooms to the most cost-effective vehicle spare parts, making us the ideal one stop shop solution for your business.
Every DAF truck that comes off the production line has already been through rigorous development and testing before it reaches the customer.
This ensures that our trucks meet our very high standards in relation to safety, reliability, performance, operating costs and the environment. To ensure you get the maximum return from your trucks for your company, the same high standards are also applied to our DAF Genuine Parts.
That’s why it pays to ‘go genuine’ when it comes to parts!
- DAF Genuine Parts come with a quality guarantee and UK-wide warranty
- Maximum lifespan and performance
- New OE componentry and competitively priced
- Parts 100% tuned to your DAF truck
- A genuine DAF part will come with an assurance that it will integrate completely with the other original components on your vehicle. The quality of the materials used, the measurements and controls used in its manufacture will all have passed DAF Trucks stringent quality tests. Pattern parts will not always be subject to such testing.
- Buying non genuine parts online can be a nightmare. Online auction sites sometimes offer cheap reproduction or fake parts that sometimes need modification to fit and subsequently easily fail prematurely.
With the introduction of a new complete hub kit for the DAF CF and XF, DAF Trucks is underlining the importance of its Genuine Parts Programme.
The new hub kit offers long-term financial benefits thanks to its durability and reliability and contains all the essential parts needed for an effective and reliable hub replacement. The kit, made up of hub, brake disc, ABS ring, wheel bolts and associated fittings, is available under a single part number to simplify ordering. As with all DAF Genuine Parts, the kit is made up of the highest quality, essential components to ensure an optimum lifespan while benefitting from a full manufacturer-backed warranty available throughout the DAF Dealer network.
Not forgetting, of course, that when DAF Genuine Parts are installed by a DAF dealer, you not only have the warranty on the parts but also on the cost of installation. You are not only buying the part, but also the expertise and service. And because those parts are designed for your truck, you can be sure that they function properly and result in the optimum performance from your vehicle. Using non-original parts can have a negative impact on fuel consumption, which in turn leads to a negative impact on your profit margins.
“Where our customers demand superior replacement parts, DAF Genuine Parts provide the peace-of-mind of a quality guarantee,” says DAF Trucks’ Parts Marketing Manager, Glen Crompton. “Over the longer term, DAF Genuine Parts offer improved durability and reliability to deliver maximum uptime. Quite simply,” he says, “it pays to go genuine.
Why buy your Genuine DAF parts from Watts Truck & Van?
Watts Truck & Van Ltd is your DAF dealer for South Wales with branches in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea and the fully trained 33 strong regional team have a combined experience of more than 130 years.
Last year Watts Truck and Van Ltd were crowned UK parts Dealer of the Year at the annual DAF Dealers UK Conference. In addition, they also won the DAF Sword of Excellence after finishing top of the 133 DAF dealers in the network with 100% achievement of all service and parts disciplines in 2017.
With three depots and 14 dedicated parts delivery vehicles, we uphold our commitment to our customers of at least two parts deliveries a day. They are supported by a state of the art stock management system which affords us almost 98% first time pick, along with the latest all makes electronic parts catalogues. Because of this, Watts Truck & Van Ltd can ensure an overall strategic view of parts requirements ensuring that the right parts are in the right place at the right time. Our £1.3 million stock holding allows us flexibility to move parts between depots and achieve our primary objective of getting them out to customers quickly and satisfying local demand.
Local business Peter Harding Freight International had this to say about using DAF Genuine Parts
“You get good customer service from DAF. The parts are reasonably priced and you get a warranty which means you can return or replace them without any fuss.”
And it’s not just the quality and service of the DAF Genuine parts the team at Peter Harding Freight International are happy about. Having recently had to replace a DAF part they had this to say about Watts Truck & Van
“We recently had to get a part replaced, so I got on the phone to Martin at Watts and within 5 minutes it was sorted. A replacement part was on its way – it was quick and easy and there was no problem.”
“You get good communication and service from Watts. Most of the time they have the parts we need and if they don’t they let us know straight away so we can make alternative arrangements until they can get the part to us, which are normally the next day.”
The Watts group has been around in some form for more than 160 years and it is the imagination, enterprise, planning, hard work and opportunism of its early founders that set the company on the road to success. See our Group heritage video
The very early years
The story of Watts began in the early 1800s in Devon with Joseph Watts, a carpenter, and his wife Prudence. Their son David, also a carpenter moved away from Devon to Lydney and it was here he met and married Elizabeth Stephens from Clearwell, Gloucestershire. Whilst It is with this couple that the very first Watts general store opened it is their son Josiah who set the foundation for the future.
In 1880, having completed an apprenticeship with an ironmonger in Bristol, Josiah was determined that he would operate his own business. He moved back to Lydney and with a £300 loan from his uncle bought the stock and goodwill from a local ironmonger and also took on the lease of the premises. These premises he later bought too. The business thrived and he quickly earned a reputation for being a hard worker and providing a good service. The variety of his wares increased and he had the ability to supply all sorts of businesses and by 1900 his business was described as a ‘Furnishing, Builders, Agricultural & General Ironmonger, Cutler and Tool Merchant’
The next generation
In 1905 Josiah’s son Arthur joined the business and 2 years later was followed by his brother Joh. This was at a time when the combustion engine was changing the face of transport and it was Arthur’s interest in all things mechanical and his experimental work on engines that can really be credited with much of the early growth of the Watts Group. Arthur himself owned a motorcycle and the brothers also bought a car in 1910. It was at this time that Arthur and John built their first garage in the garden behind the shop which gave Arthur more space and scope to work. So forward thinking was Arthur that he installed electricity in both the garage and store before it had arrived in Lydney as a whole.
By 1912 the Company were agents for both Triumph motorcycles and Ford vehicles.
Whilst Arthur’s interest in engines grew, John’s thoughts at this time had begun to turn to passenger vehicles.
The First World War
Arthur and John were both called up, along with many of their staff. The business was kept going by remaining family and those not yet called up for service. That war experience broadened Arthur and John’s experience of motors and engines with both of them working on engines during their war service. It also opened their eyes tgo the opportunities for the future. On returning from their service they continued with their complementary skills in the business; Arthur concentrating on engineering and John on transport. They had seen that war department vehicles were now beginning to be bought and converted in to buses and goods vehicles and it was this insight that led to the major change to dealing in commercial vehicles.
The Birth of Watts Garage Ltd
In 1920, spurred on by what was happening with war department vehicles, Arthur took a calculated risk. He took out a bank loan, went to Salonika in Greece and bought 200 vehicles, most of which were chain driven Albions that were now surplus to requirements following the war, along with tons of spare parts. This was all shipped back to Avonmouth and Newport in the UK and then driven or towed back to Lydney; a huge logistical undertaking. The vehicles were housed in an aircraft hangar that had been purchased from Salisbury, dismantled and then re-assembled in Lydney – another massive undertaking.
Over the next few years the vehicles were converted and repaired as necessary and sold across the country to all sorts of businesses; brewers, oil companies, dairies, transport, and haulage businesses to name but a few. Some chassis were also used to start the South Wales Valleys Bus Service.
At this time the building of the first commercial Watts garage was completed in Lydney. The purchase and conversion of the vehicles and the opening of the garage led to the development of Britain’s principal fitting works for the maintenance of diesel engines and the repair of commercial vehicles.
Watts became one of the first distributors of Albion vehicles when appointed in 1922 to South Wales, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. The association continues today as through mergers and acquisitions, a line can be drawn from Albion to DAF.
The Continued Growth of Watts
For the next 20 years the company continued to grow and thrive with Arthur and John still working together but in their own areas of interest. John set up a bus service that ran throughout the 20s and 30s. He was instrumental in forming companies that were later to become the Red and White Bus company which were the largest to operate out of South Wales.
Arthur continued his interest in engines, working to invent and improve wherever possible. The 20s saw him develop better efficiencies in diesel engines. He also invented an oil vaporiser for bus operations based on the Fordson tractors they sold.
In the early 30s Watts were instrumental in converting fleets of passenger vehicles and lorries from petrol to Gardner diesel and in 1935 became the sole Gardner dealer for Wales and the South West of England.
Arthur also became involved in boiler-making. Initially he developed a conversion for existing boilers to improve performance, but in 1935 Watts went on to develop and manufacture their own gravity fed boiler and stockers. They began with just 4 models which increased to 23. By 1950 the factory were producing one thousand boilers a year. The boiler business continued to grow and it was eventually sold to Allied Ironfounders in 1960.
In the 30s Arthur, concerned by the expendability of tyres also turned his attention to the process of retreading and by 1938 had installed plant for the process at the back of the premises in Lydney. The tyre division had been born and in 1953 Watts Tyre and Rubber Co. Ltd was formed. The company became the manufacturer of Tyresole products for Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and South Wales. Watts began manufacturing industrial tyres in 1961 and became one of the largest suppliers of solid industrial tyres in the world. Watts sold its interest in its tyre manufacturing and servicing companies in 2008.
During the Second World War Watts were involved in the repair and overhaul of many types of military diesel vehicles but their commercial vehicle work continued.
Modern Day Watts Garages
Today, Watts Garage Ltd is known as Watts Truck & Van Ltd and the business continues to thrive. Watts have 3 centres serving South Wales, based in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. They supply and maintain vehicles and run 13 dedicated delivery vehicles for parts distribution. They are the current holders of the DAF Trucks UK Sword of Excellence for being the best Aftersales Dealer, as well as being Top Performing Sales Dealer and UK Parts Dealer of the Year. Investment continues with a new purpose built facility opening in Swansea in February, into which the current Swansea centre will relocate. Interestingly, it will be opening 100 years after the building of the first Watts garage commenced.
Watts Truck & Van Ltd are distributors of DAF commercial vehicles as well as providers of spare parts to the motor industry in general.
Watts Group Today
Watts Group is still a family-owned business and the head office remains in the Gloucestershire town of Lydney, where it was founded. There have been many changes in the business over the years resulting in the current 4 divisions which employ over 200 people in the UK.
- Watts Truck & Van Ltd
- Urethane: Producing castable polyurethane products for a large range of applications, from high speed motor sports components to durable street furniture.
- Plysolene: A manufacturer of extruded thermoplastic sheet, the core products of which are; Plyform high impact polystyrene, Plysolene PIB (Polyisobutylene) membrane sheeting, and Plyload damp proof course.
- Properties: Watts Properties owns and manages a varied portfolio of retail premises, trade counter properties and industrial units in the UK
Watts Group has a proud history and an enviable reputation built on more than a century of innovation and achievement. The group is passionate and dedicated to its people, businesses and community responsibilities.
This was the DAF theme for their attendance at the IAA 2018 in Hannover at the end of September this year. Showcasing its innovation capabilities throughout its 90 year history, DAF Trucks exhibited its full industry leading product and service range incl
The IAA Commercial Vehicles Show takes place in Hannover every two years and is the world’s leading trade show for transport, logistics and mobility. At this year’s show there was an emphasis on the innovation path in the commercial sector. And as with many other areas of industry, hot topics of discussion were automation, connectivity, safety and security, environmental protection issues and electric mobility.
DAF Trucks has been a world leader in innovation and in its 90th anniversary year has grown to be the premier truck manufacturer in Europe. DAF’s heavy duty market share in Europe has grown in the first half of 2018 and DAF is the heavy duty market leader in the UK.
Trucks at the show included the new LF, CF and XF vehicles, all of which have received awards this year. The LF distribution truck was awarded ‘Fleet truck of the Year 2018’ and the CF and XF were voted ‘International Truck of the Year 2018’ thanks to a 7% fuel efficiency improvement achieved as a result of technical innovations. Also on show were a selection of lighter vocational vehicles which included the CF 8×4 mixer chassis and the unique 6×2 XF with BDF frame for demountable bodies.
With innovation, environmental issues and electric mobility being such a hot topic, there was much interest in the DAF electric innovation trucks. On show were the LF Electric and CF Electric for medium and heavy duty city distribution as well as the CF hybrid for mid-range distribution with zero emissions in urban areas.
Committed to strengthening its industry-leading positions in fuel efficiency and low emissions these vehicle solutions have been developed to champion the need for improving air quality in cities as well as reducing CO2 emissions whilst achieving the best overall efficiency.
DAF LF Electric Innovation Truck
The DAF LF Electric is a 19 tonne fully electric truck for zero emissions city distribution. Powered by a battery pack of up to 222 kWh, it provides a range of up to 220 km when the truck is fully laden. Battery packs are modular and so can be scaled to the range required by customers. The 220 km range is ideal fro city distribution.
DAF CF Electric Innovation truck
The DAF CF Electric is a 4×2 tractor unit for up to 37 tonne GCW applications making it ideal for urban distribution requiring higher payloads and volumes. Based on the award winning and versatile CF series, the vehicle uses VDL’s advanced E-Power Technology for fully electric operation. The centre of the intelligent powertrain is the 210kW/286 hp electric motor which draws energy from the 170 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It has a range of 100 km, which is appropriate for high volume city distributions. A quick battery charge can be completed in 30 minutes and a full charge can be completed in 1.5 hours, which means loading and unloading times can be used to recharge batteries.
DAF CF Hybrid Innovation Truck
The DAF CF Hybrid has been developed for driving electrically with zero emissions in urban areas while offering a longer range to operate beyond those urban areas. Thanks to the latest, ultra clean diesel technology the combination of electric and diesel allows for the highest logistical efficiency. The electric motor is powered by an 85 kWh battery pack which allows a fully electric, zero emission range of 30 to 50 km.
The battery can be charged by the diesel engine during on-highway operations or by using a charger at a charging location. The vehicle has the ability to obtain a full fast charge in 30 minutes, but can obtain an 80% charge in just 20.
Outside of urban operations the vehicle is powered by the clean and efficient PACCAR MX-11 diesel engine, where the hybrid technology provides additional fuel savings thanks to smart energy management. Regenerative energy is captured when braking and also when using speed related controls. It is then used by the electric motor in conjunction with the diesel engine to reduce fuel consumption further.
All three trucks will be thoroughly tested to ensure that the developments provide value to DAF customers. The CF Electric will go into field test operations with customers this year and similar tests are planned for the LF Electric and CF Hybrid in 2019.
Positioned for the Future
“DAF has always provided and always will provide a complete range of excellent trucks that offer the industry’s lowest operating costs, best transport efficiency and highest driver comfort,” said Richard Zink, Director Marketing & Sales and member of the Board of Management of DAF Trucks. “We are building on a rich, 90 year heritage that has resulted in our market leading position. Our strong capabilities will enable us to create trucks and power trains which lead us into the future.”
For 90 years DAF have been innovative industry leaders with customer service, good value and reliability at the forefront of everything they do.
Watts Group, owner of DAF dealership Watts Truck & Van Ltd, has more than 100 years in the commercial vehicle industry and share those same values. Since the turn of the century Watts Group have continued to invest in and improve the business with a focus on customer service. That investment continues today with the relocation of the Watts Truck & Van Swansea depot in South Wales.
The work on the new purpose-built facility in the Enterprise Park in Swansea is going well and the relocation of the depot currently at Cwmdu Industrial Estate is scheduled to take place in Spring 2019.
“With the DAF, we are getting a premium truck at costs that make sense to us”
In August this year Knights of Old took delivery of the first DAF tractors to be added to their fleet. The 10 XF 530 FTG tractors join a fleet of 250 trucks and 400 trailers and are part of a significant business investment by the operator.
Scott Mason, Group Fleet Manager at Knights of Old, says, “Alongside this investment, we have been looking at managing operating costs, and the arrival of the New XF 6X2s is an example of that. Prices have been increasing steadily on everything from tyres to fuel, and truck prices have been no exception. With the DAF, we are getting a premium truck at costs that make sense to us. There has been a lot of talk around the industry about enhanced fuel consumption from the latest DAF models,” he says, “and we are already seeing fuel economies. We are getting well over 9mpg, and close to 11mpg, across the DAFs over a tough operating week. These are brand-new trucks, so the likelihood is that this will improve further as they settle in.”
When it comes to driver development, Knight Of Old are an industry front runner. The operator has apprenticeships, recruitment, and driver training operations under its Merlin Supply Chain Solutions business and driver acceptance of the DAF XFs was one of the major reasons quoted by Scott Mason for taking the 10 new vehicles. “We value our drivers highly and want to do everything sensible that we can to ensure they are happy in their work. They are enjoying both the space and comfort of the DAF big cab and the performance from the Paccar MX13 engine and TraXon gearbox. We’d heard good reports about the combination of this engine and gearbox long before we made our decision, and to date, we have only heard driver praise.”
The investment in the new DAF XFs is mirrored across the whole company with telematics packages running that allows Knights Of Old to monitor vehicle position and performance as well as driver behaviour. “The data we collect is turned into weekly league tables across our operating branches around the country, so that all drivers can see how they are performing as individuals and as operating centres,” said Scott Mason. If anyone is experiencing performance issues, their training academy steps in to help resolve any issues.
The DAF CF & XF range has won multiple awards this year, with both being voted International Truck of the Year.
DAF’s driver comfort, award winning design and excellent fuel economy backed by the Repair & Maintenance contracts at Watts Truck & Van Ltd Swansea, Cardiff and Newport has resulted in the XF Super Space Tractor being the most popular truck in the South Wales heavy truck market for the third consecutive year.
The team at Watts Truck & Van were also named Top Performing Sales and Aftersales Dealer of the Year at the DAF UK Annual awards in Manchester earlier this year. Operating from three parts distribution centres and running its own dedicated delivery vehicle fleet, Watts Truck & Van Ltd have fully qualified staff who are trained to the highest standards. But it’s not just vehicles they supply – Watts Truck & Van Ltd can provide everything an operator needs to run their business.
For more information about the award-winning DAF truck range, please get in touch with our Truck Sales Team.
Swansea – Gareth Rees 07967 589105
Cardiff – Ben Adams 07966 007362
Newport – Kristian Seddon 07810 157060
18 Tonne drop side with HIAB block grab
18 Tonne drop side with HIAB block grab
LBS Builders LLanelli branch take delivery of their first DAF LF FA 250 Bhp today, 18 Tonne drop side with HIAB block grab, another one added to their fleet.
Stock Sweepers has grown from humble beginnings into one of the market leading road sweeping manufacturers in the UK and it’s the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of Managing Director Jeff Stock that has made it happen.
Sweepers were not the starting point in business for Jeff. He began his career as an owner driver of a JCB 3CX in Wrotham, Kent, working hard in the construction industry and it was whilst building crash barriers on the M20 that Jeff came into contact with the road sweepers. They came along after building work was completed to clear the carriageways, and it was seeing this that sparked his interest and resulted in a little more digging around into the world of sweepers.
Following some advice from a fellow contractor, Jeff decided there was an opportunity to be had and alongside his business partner, bought his first road sweeper.
“We had never had a road sweeper before” said Jeff “We didn’t even know how to put the brushes down”. But the problem was soon solved when the retired father of a friend offered to drive the sweeper for them if they found the work. And that’s how it went.
The fleet was added to over the years with vehicles being purchased second hand and refurbished and that heavy machinery knowledge and experience from previous years came in useful during this time. Eventually a further 11 vehicles were added to the fleet and Stocks Sweeper Hire was born. Once bought and reconditioned, the sweepers were hired out to local authorities and private sector companies.
It was this experience that has directly led to where Stock sweepers are now” said Jeff. “Doing all that maintenance, stripping the vehicles down, remounting them; it taught us everything we know about how sweepers are built, how they work and more importantly why they stop working.”
He goes on to say that things go beyond even that. Doing all that work also allowed them to see how the vehicles could be built better, how the maintenance could be made easier and how they could be engineered from the start to make them more efficient and robust with a longer life span.
Taking this information into account, the hire side of the business was sold and the business focused its efforts into refurbishing, refitting and supplying sweepers nationwide, eventually becoming one of the UK’s top companies for reconditioning used road sweeper equipment. However, after ten years, Jeff and the team became tired of accounting for the weaknesses in existing machines. Using all their experience to date they began to develop their own parts which were lasting longer than others available on the market. The parts side of the business soon grew and became a major focus turning over more than £100,000 per month.
The development of the business did not stop there. With their extensive knowledge of refurbishing and operating sweepers manufacturing sweepers was the next logical step.
“We were fully refurbishing and remounting vehicles and using our own in-house engineered parts – if you considered the whole machine, we were actually producing a high percentage of it ourselves,” said Jeff. “All we had to do now was engineer our own body shell and we could produce a 100% new machine, fully designed, engineered and manufactured by stock sweepers.”
In 2009, following a little reorganisation within the business the company launched their S6400 and S8400 models. Since then, Stock Sweepers has grown into one of the leading road sweeper manufacturers in the UK and are the only British, family owned manufacturer in the industry.
Their vehicles are reliable, robust and innovative and their mission is to build the best sweepers possible. A ‘build it tough’ philosophy underpins the Stock sweepers design, meaning their customers, whether they be in the construction, municipal or civil engineering industries are guaranteed long lasting solutions to their requirements. Stock Sweepers have a huge commitment to provide excellent customer service and product quality and as a result they have an excellent reputation in the marketplace.
“We work tirelessly to uphold our high personal and professional standards – early mornings and late nights are all part of our commitment to going the extra mile for our customers” said Jeff. With the majority of their equipment built on DAF Truck chassis supplied from Watts Truck & Van Newport, Stock Sweepers are able to call upon further support from the Watts team and the collaborative effort of the DAF Trucks dealer network when required.
Stock Sweepers are based in the village of Mitcheldean and have two manufacturing facilities. Their sweepers are available in many different countries in North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Stock Sweepers remain true to their vision, which is building quality machines that have the longest working life achievable and minimum down time for their customers.
Stock Sweepers are not concerned about being known for selling the most number of sweepers – they pride themselves on providing the best sweepers possible and are known for building quality machines with a long working life.
For more information about their products visit the Stock Sweepers website