The Truck Pages braved the weather at this year’s Road Transport Expo at the NAEC in Stoneleigh. Unlike other UK truck shows, this one actually had some truck manufacturers taking part. All the major truck manufacturers had a presence and most of them had pushed the boat out with impressive displays.

So, what were the highlights? If cranes, lifts, software, refrigerated units and all things ‘ancillary’ are your thing, then you should probably spend all three days there as there were hundreds of stands covering all elements of road transport.  We’ve picked out a few areas that we think you may be interested in.

Used Truck Deals

Truck Pages is a used truck website, so it’s only fair to mention the number of used truck marketing opportunities on show. Most manufacturers included some used trucks on their stand, with a MAN TGX sold on the first day. Independent remarketers were represented with EM Rogers, Smith Brothers, Thomas’s Group and Asset Alliance with busy stands, whilst franchised dealers Northside had a range of new and used trucks on show.

MAN TGX TopUsed Display
MAN TopUsed TGX and TGE for sale – later in the day the sold sign appeared on the TGX
Used Renault Range T
Used Renault Range T available for purchase

It is refreshing to see truck dealers reaching out in different ways to reach their market – let’s hope that there were more deals done on the day.

Asset Alliance Stand RTX
Truckpages Advertiser Asset Alliance putting on a good show
Thomas's Group RTX 2024
Thomas’s Group had protection from the weather
Smith Brothers Stand RTX 2024
Smith Brothers were hoping for crowds to join them on their outdoor tables

Electric Trucks

It may come as little surprise that the truck makers were all focusing on their electric truck offerings. The term ‘watershed’ was on the tip of every manufacturer’s tongue when talking about the size of the changes required to make the change away from diesel powered trucks.

It was the first time that the MAN TGX eTruck has been seen on these shores and, although we have seen the DAF LF electric before, the company brought along the rebranded XB electric for the first time.  Renault demonstrated their right hand drive E-Tech T tractor unit with six 90 kWh battery packs to deliver 540 kWh of power. The E-Tech T offers a range of up to 300km on a full charge and up to 500km with an intermediate fast charge (250 kW) of an hour. Also on show was a day-cabbed E-Tech C 6×2 rigid, with 4,100mm wheelbase, operating at up to 26 tonnes. Its two E-Tech motors are powered by four 90 kWh battery packs delivering 360 kWh with peak torque of 530 Nm. Power take-off comes from the electric motor powered by the vehicle’s 600V electric network.

RHD Mercedes eActros  600 prototype
Right Hand Drive Mercedes eActros 600 prototype on show

Mercedes brought along a right hand drive prototype of their eActros 600 in camouflage livery with the new ProCabin which, the manufacturer claims, will last up to 1.2 million kilometres over ten years and still have 80% of battery capacity left. The eActros 600 tractor unit is specifically designed for long-distance distribution, with enough battery capacity to offer a range of 500 km on a single charge. With the ability to top up during statutory driver breaks, this means the truck could potentially cover up to 1,000 km in a day. Meanwhile, Megawatt Charging System capability means the batteries can recharge from 20% to 80% in around 30 minutes.

Volvo FMX Electric tridem RTX 2024
Volvo FMX Electric tridem Thompsons tipper

Volvo had some impressive kit on their outdoor stand including a tridem 8×4 electric FMX tipper, alongside a left hand drive model of their new FH16.780 Aero tractor unit.

Renault were demonstrating their right hand drive version of the E-Tech T range. The 44 tonne E-Tech T runs on two E-Tech motors, with six 90 kWh battery packs to deliver 540 kWh of power. The E-Tech T offers a range of up to 300km on a full charge. 

Renault E-Tech T
The UK’s first right hand drive Renault E-Tech T on show

Hydrogen Trucks

Whilst the mainstream manufacturers are pushing the battery electric route, Volvo, MAN and DAF amongst others, are investing in hydrogen technology as well. However, the only hydrogen truck on show belonged to UK new start up HVS (Hydrogen Vehicle Systems) with their 4×2 hydrogen fuel cell powered tractor unit. This truck has been designed to cover the market segment that battery electric trucks will struggle with most – the long haul and triple shifted segments. With refuelling times of around 10 to 15 minutes and range of up to 600kms, the HVS truck could replace diesels in this duty cycle, assuming the operator has a mechanism to refuel. Cost is a barrier for operation – both the cost of green hydrogen and the capital cost of the truck from a low volume manufacturer.

HVS Hydrogen Fuel Cell Prototype 4x2 tractor unit RTX 2024
HVS Hydrogen Fuel Cell Prototype 4×2 tractor unit

Overlength Standard Trucks

After DAF stole a charge in the market for a cab benefitting from the revised dimensions regulations back in 2020, a second manufacturer, Volvo, has recently revealed their new Aero cab. This is not a totally new cab, but uses the existing structure and adds a more ‘raked’ profile below the windscreen – with nearly an extra foot in length by the time that you get to the bumper. The extension of the front means that the XXL cab can be specified even towing a 13.6 metre trailer thanks to the revised regulations. The new FH Aero truck itself looks great – when a design looks purposeful it also looks attractive.

Volvo FH16.780 Aero cab RTX 2024
Volvo FH16.780 Aero cab. Looks the part 100%

DVS Trucks

There are more changes coming to London’s direct vision standards later this year when most tractor units and many other trucks will have to reapply for a licence to operate in London. This will mean reviewing the onboard kit and making changes to the phase 2 where necessary.

DAF XD 5 star DVS RTX 2024
Five star DVS rating for the DAF XD 44 tonne 6×2 tractor unit

This is why manufacturers are making a fuss about having a minimum of three star ratings for their trucks. DAF have gone one step further and have put together a 44-tonne 6×2 DAF XD package that achieves a five star rating. The maximum 5-Star rating is achieved with a DAF XD in Sleeper High Cab specification featuring a deep windscreen and ‘Vision Dash’, plus deep side windows to achieve an impressively low ‘belt-line’. A large kerb-view window in the passenger door, combined with a folding ‘cinema-style’ passenger seat, offers an uninterrupted view of cyclists and other vulnerable road users, while the DAF Digital Vision System removes key blind-spots often experienced with conventional mirrors. A special protruding bumper design completes the features to deliver the maximum 5-star rating.

Volvo FM Low Entry RTX 2024
Volvo’s new electric-only FM low entry cab with tridem axle configuration

Volvo had a UK first on show – their new, five star FM low entry cab. This truck is only available with battery power, so expect to see few examples on the road immediately. It is an indication of the direction the municipal sector is heading in the UK – towards battery power.

Old Trucks

No truck show is complete without the inclusion of a few classic trucks. This was no exception, with EM Rogers bringing a series of aged Volvos – one of which was for sale. On the Scania stand, there was a superb 3 Series 143M 500 Scania tractor unit in Benneton Formula 1 livery from the nineties plus a 1967 Scania Vabis LB76H 4×2 tractor unit.

Scania 143M 500
Scania 143M 500 from the 1990’s still looks modern
1967 Scania LB76H
Less modern but well presented – a 1967 Scania LB76H

Show Trucks

The RTX show is no Truckfest, nor is it intended to be. However, there were a couple of eye-catching trucks that are worth showing here – especially the ‘Svempa Frost Fire’ 770S on the Scania stand. This Scania V8 has been built to celebrate Scania’s 60th anniversary in the UK.

On the Iveco stand, there was a show truck wannabe in the shape of an S-Way TurboStar. This one of 180 limited-run vehicles that hark back to the original TurboStar that found notoriety in the 1980s. This rare left-hand-drive 4×2 was shown in R.D. Williams & Sons Livery.

Svempa Frost Fire Scania 770S
Svempa Frost Fire Scania 770S – built to celebrate Scania’s 60th UK anniversary
Iveco S-Way Turbo Star RTX 2024
Iveco S-Way Turbo Star – Modern and retro combined