DAF Trucks UK MD Laurence Drake is upbeat about the industry - #TruckingBritainOutOfCovid19

Will Shiers
May 7, 2020

DAF Trucks MD Laurence Drake is positive about the UK truck industry’s continued recovery from Covid-19, and when you hear some of his figures, it’s easy to understand why.

“Our MoT first-time pass rates are at 98%, like in normal times, and our first-time pick rate on parts is back up to 98% too,” he told us proudly. “And as for DAFAid, no dealer or technician refused any jobs in the last five weeks."

But perhaps the figure he should be happiest with is new truck orders. “Sales initially dropped off a cliff, and we were down to 5% of what we would normally do,” he admitted, “but this week we are running at 45% of what our usual order intake is. It’s a low start but it’s going in the right direction.”

Drake reveals that at the height of the crisis, R&M contracts were frozen on 15% of its portfolio. However, in the past week, at the request of its customers, half of these have now been unfrozen.

There is more positive news in terms of dealer activity too. “Parts and service business levels dropped to about 65% when we first went into this, and now they’re running at about 75%,” he said.

So, considering these figures, Drake struggles to understand how the RHA believes 50% of the UK truck parc is currently sat idle. “I’m not saying it’s wrong. It’s just that in my DAF world I don’t see it,” he said.

Drake said he welcomes Commercial Motor’s new #TruckingBritainOutOfCovid19 campaign, believing that the industry needs more positive news stories at the moment. “When we talk to customers there are a lot of positive vibes out there,” he said. 


About the Author


Will Shiers

Will Shiers has held an HGV licence since the age of 21, and has been writing about commercial vehicles for the past 25 years. He started his career as technical editor on Motor Transport, before taking on the editorship of Truck & Driver. Since 2011 he has been the editor of industry leading weekly publication Commercial Motor. Will is the UK jury member of the International Truck of the Year.

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