Indy builders' merchants invest in economic recovery

Colin Barnett
June 18, 2020

South Wales DAF dealer Watts Truck and Van Centre reports that independent local builders’ merchants are at the forefront of the recovery of the area’s economy, and are investing in new trucks to aid the task.

While most of the large national chains shut down completely, the smaller businesses have found ways to remain open throughout, to service the ongoing needs of the construction sector. LBS Builders’ Merchants has expanded its fleet with a new LF210 FA 12-tonner for its head office at Llandeilo, while its newly opened depot at Barry has taken an LF290 FA 18-tonner.

Further west, Gwent-based timber merchant, Terry Howell has added two new DAFs to its Newport depot fleet. It’s also taken an LF290 FA 18-tonner, together with an eye-catching XF530 FTR 6x2 tractor. The new Super Space Cab flagship features comprehensive auxiliary lighting all round from Kelsa, including an illuminated headboard, Alcoa Dura Bright wheels and a Jost sliding fifth wheel, with Xtra leather seats with DAF exclusive trim on the inside.

All are backed up by repair and maintenance contracts at Watts’ Swansea, Cardiff and Newport branches. Dealer principal Simon Griffin reports that the greatest bottleneck in new truck supply continues to be the backlog at body-builders. However, he and the rest of the DAF network have the benefit of the on-line body facility at Leyland Trucks. Its output for the DAF Ready-To-Go programme, which can supply bodies from stock for short lead-time requirements, is now 50% higher than pre-Covid-19 levels while it catches up with demand.

About the Author


Colin Barnett

Colin Barnett has been involved in the road transport industry since becoming an apprentice truck mechanic and worked on Commercial Motor for 27 years

Share this article

Vehicle Type