The European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (EWVTA) initiative that was introduced a number of years back appears to have been good news for DAF Trucks and the US assembly unit, Leyland Trucks. The EWVTA initiative meant that it was no longer just the chassis of the truck that had to be approved, but the chassis and body complete. This was an attempt to improve safety standards in truck bodybuilding. The forecasts at the time was that the large bodybuilders and truck manufacturers themselves would benefit at the expense of the smaller bodybuilders, so commonplace in the UK at the time. News from DAF is that they have now produced their 10,000th ‘PACCAR’ body at the Leyland assembly plant where the UK’s right had drive DAF trucks are assembled. This is no small number in just a twelve-year period. The PACCAR body programme covers a range of box trucks, Aerobody and curtainsiders in standard dimensions – if a truck operator wants a really tall or really long body then they still have to look to bodybuilders elsewhere.
Truck buyers can specify bodies only on 4×2 rigid DAF LF and CF chassis. DAF tell us that some 500 customers have bought its ready-bodied trucks since the launch of the initiative in 2007. Customers include major fleet operators such as Ryder, Royal Mail and Enterprise. Bodies include box, Aerobody and curtainsider variants, with a myriad of options for length, height and width, column and tuck-away tail-lifts, load restraints and lighting, and much more, incorporating customer specific-requirements that can extend to full vehicle finish including complete vehicle painting and livery application.
Typical DAF Customer Profile
Operator Hallam Express in Sheffield is the recipient of the 10,000th vehicle – a 12.0-tonne DAF LF 180 curtainsider, one of an order for two LF 180s alongside six 18-tonne LF 260 curtainsiders. At a special production line ceremony, Hallam Express and 4S Distribution Managing Director David Simpson received the keys from Leyland Trucks Managing Director Brennan Gourdie, alongside Evans Halshaw’s Lester Freakley and members of the team from DAF Trucks and Leyland Trucks.
We were very pleased indeed with the ability to spec and acquire a complete bodied vehicle through our DAF Dealer Evans Halshaw in Sheffield,” said David Simpson, “The ordering process was very simple and, as you would expect, the lead-time is reduced substantially – it is a genuine one-stop-shop service. The same high-quality engineering is evident in the PACCAR body as it is in the chassis and we’re looking forward to an extensive, trouble-free service life from our DAF vehicles.
Jon Tinsley, Bodybuilding & Re-engineering Manager at Leyland Trucks, added,
Our PACCAR body programme is a match for any bodybuilder in terms of quality and choice. Over 500 customers and 10,000 PACCAR bodied vehicles to date is confirmation that operators see a clear advantage in specifying a complete vehicle through a single DAF Dealer acting as a single point of contact – a true one-stop-shop for acquiring a bodied truck – with the assurance of high-quality and a drastically reduced lead-time.
DAF – UK Market Leader
The 10,000th PACCAR body landmark comes soon after DAF Trucks declared its largest-ever share of the UK truck market in 2019, with 30.5% of the market above 6.0 tonnes GVW – up from 27.2% in 2018 and out-performing the company’s previous high of 30.1% in 2016. The record-breaking share results from 14,814 DAF registrations in 2019 – the highest volume for any manufacturer since 1988 (when DAF Trucks registered over 15,000 trucks and when the total UK market above 6.0-tonnes was almost 68,000 units).