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.”