There have been some surprising achievements arising out of the COVID-19 crisis. As a country we have built a series of intensive care hospital in a matter of days, some with as many as four thousand beds. Another example appeared this week from DAF Truck dealer, MOTUS Commercials who worked with a series of partners to get some specialist DAF LF trucks out the door to work on the much-needed blood plasma trials for NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

DAF LF Fleet for Blood Plasma Trials
DAF LF Fleet for Blood Plasma Trials

Luckily, the eight DAF LF180 trucks had already been ordered, but they were originally destined to carry out essential product movements of blood and blood products. In order to make the convalescence blood plasma trials work effectively, the trucks were reassigned for this more urgent, frontline duty.

The A-Team

It wasn’t all DAF and MOTUS commercials, there were a number of third-party suppliers involved, including Fleet Trak, Thermo King, Webasto and sign-writers, AST.  Despite many of these businesses facing staff shortages due to sickness and furloughing – a collective, complex effort has resulted in a remarkable two-week turn-around.

John Lowden, National Fleet Engineering Manager at NHSBT, said:

Extremely impressed with the response from MOTUS and DAF, and all the companies involved in this true team effort. We’ve seen the transport industry rise to the challenge of the coronavirus outbreak over recent weeks and, here at NHBT, we’ve experienced British skill and ingenuity at its very best, and right at the moment when it’s needed most.

Reliability & Standardisation is Key for Blood Delivery

NHSBT now runs over 90 DAFs after standardising its 7.5-tonne rigid fleet specification 17-years ago, and selecting DAF as the preferred marque based on cab ergonomics, Parts availability and an extensive dealer network.

Lowden added:

 We really needed a single 7.5 tonne platform rather than a mix of makes and and, naturally, reliability has always remained priority number one for us. We review our transport operation periodically and DAF always emerges as our preferred choice. We have very few issues and we get first-class support from MOTUS.

Jim Locket, Truck Sales Coordinator at Motus Commercials Stoke, oversaw the project from start to finish. He commented:

 I received an email from NHSBT just two weeks ago requesting these vehicles as soon as possible, due to the commencement of blood plasma trials. We then made this order a top priority, organising the essential ancillary equipment and sign-writers and ensuring they carry out their work as quickly and efficiently as possible.

I’m really pleased to have delivered the eight complete DAF LF trucks to NHSBT in such a short space of time, making the long hours worthwhile to know that we’re helping such an important cause. I’m proud of all involved at our Stoke dealership, as well as our external suppliers too.

DAF LF NHS Fridge Truck
The DAF LF Refrigerated Trucks are to Enter Vital Duty