New DAF……or not!

Spotted today in deepest Suffolk, it could be the new DAF. Looks like a new DAF, has DAF on the fuel tank but according to a friend of mine who recently asked for a quote on a new DAF their isn’t one. Anyway what ever it is, I think, has potential. The driver was under strict instruction for no photos of the interior but it looks all new, although this one seemed to have the “normal” sized engine tunnel we all know the current DAF has. I wonder if the there will be flat floor version? This had a fairly large side air deflector on the cab but I can’t help thinking or feeling that the cab seems deeper than the current range. I think we’d agree that this would be the equivalent to the current Space Cab XF and there is likely to be a taller cab offering. Note the nifty blind spot camera on the corner deflector and also note the new gaffer tape on the windscreen! Really interested to see and know more about this, if indeed it is a new DAF. If like me you want to know more, you can sign up to the launch of the new DAF by clicking HERE: Start The Future. Hopefully we will see more of this new Dutch Delight over the next few months, I have to say I think these will be rather nice, then again if it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much, right?

New 579 for Peterbilt

Alright I’m a little behind on this one, but I am a sucker for a big American and I’ve always favoured a Pete’ over a KWhopper. I am on the Peterbilt mailing list, so here is a little bit of not so new news;

Peterbilt Motors Company announced a new era of class today with the launch of the bold and aerodynamic on-highway flagship, the new Model 579. Thoroughly redesigned, this major evolution of the Model 579 delivers outstanding improvements in Aerodynamics, Efficiency, Comfort, Technology and Uptime.

Peterbilt designers and engineers have delivered the most technologically advanced truck Peterbilt has ever built. The new 579 is also the most aerodynamic and fuel-efficient Peterbilt thanks to the new exterior design featuring a new sloped hood and optimized aero components, as well as the new 2021 PACCAR MX-13 and MX-11 engines and PACCAR transmission. Improved comfort will have drivers feeling right at home on the road with a 10% quieter cab and sleeper, additional storage, a new smart steering wheel and an improved Bluetooth microphone. Highlighting the New 579s innovative technologies is a class-leading 15” Digital Dash Display, delivering all the information drivers need in a clean, intuitive interface. In addition, the new 579 features Advanced Driver Assistance Systems providing drivers the latest safety technologies in the form of collision mitigation, lane departure warning and the new lane keeping assist (LKA), among others. Uptime is Peterbilt’s driving force. Peterbilt worked with over 50 of our customers to understand their unique operations and needs, incorporating their input into the design of the new 579. Validation units have already accumulated 1.5 million real world miles, and combined with the durability testing done at the PACCAR Technical Center, the new 579 is the most reliable truck ever designed by Peterbilt.

“The launch of the new Model 579 is a huge moment for Peterbilt and our customers. This new product is the result of five years of relentless focus on increasing fuel economy, taking driver comfort to new heights, and maximizing uptime. This new truck delivers the next level of performance for our customers and continues Peterbilt’s legacy of being the ‘Class’ of the industry,” said Jason Skoog, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president. The new Model 579 is available for order starting today (03/02/2021) in a day cab configuration, integral 80” UltraLoft sleeper and a variety of other sleeper sizes.

Developed over a five-year span, Peterbilt set out to perfect the look and aerodynamic shape of the new 579. Over 1,000 hours of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and over 7.8 million CPU processing hours were spent evaluating the exterior design of the new 579. This research resulted in an enhanced aerodynamic profile and a 7% improvement in fuel economy. Achieving this feat meant no stone was left unturned.

Key exterior features to the new 579 include a redesigned stronger Metton® hood that is narrower and more resistant to damage. This is topped off with Peterbilt’s iconic aerodynamic “bird” ornament, a bright stainless steel grille and improved Halogen or optional LED headlights. A new 3-piece bumper integrates the forward radar cover for collision mitigation, with a larger aerodynamic air dam, and provides both protection against damage and lower replacement costs. Improvements to the aero mirrors, fairings, side skirts and closeouts help improve the overall aerodynamic shape with the revised A-pillar vane redirecting airflow around the windshield reducing friction and helping deliver a 10% noise reduction in the cabin. Peterbilt designers infused the new 579 with a look that is both bold and elegant. Already the best in the industry, the interior of the new 579 features soft-touch materials with a fit and finish that delivers an outstanding driver experience. The 579 UltraLoft with an integral sleeper provides 70 cubic feet of space, offering more storage than any comparable integral sleeper. Drivers will feel right at home with plenty of headroom from the eight-foot high ceiling. The cabin has room for small appliances, including a 1.1 cu ft microwave, a 32” TV, a tall wardrobe closet, multiple power outlets and optional bunkbeds with a clever fold-away ladder. Multiple windows provide plenty of natural light and additional ventilation. At night, interior lighting from dome LED lights and three directional spot/reading lights provide added convenience and safety. New sound abatement technology helps minimize outside noise creating a quieter cabin, both on and off the road. Small additions like a fixed cup holder and the option for multiple USB charging ports in the center console make life on the road more comfortable.

“Beautiful on and off the road, the new Model 579 raises the bar to a whole new level of aerodynamic performance and driver comfort. The boldness of the exterior design combined with the elegance of the interior space set the new 579 apart from the competition,” said Jason Skoog, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president.

The Peterbilt Digital Display fully integrates with electrical and safety systems found on the new 579 including the Bendix Fusion Advanced Driver Assistance System. The state-of-art 15” Digital Display features a fully customizable user interface (UI), delivering an almost endless combination of digital gauges on the main screen at any one time. Operators control the digital UI through one of three different Drive View Zones. Minimized View eliminates everything but the speedometer and tachometer for minimal driver distraction. Basic View represents traditional information found on analog dashes with Air & Oil Pressure, Fuel & DEF level and Water temperature all prominently displayed along with a speedometer and tachometer. The Enhanced View builds upon the previous views displaying the maximum number of gauges from a list of over 30 information sources. The beauty of the Peterbilt Digital Display is that operators can fine-tune the information shown to suit their individual needs through the easy to use controls found on the all-new steering wheel.

Prior to trip departure the Digital Display has the ability to run through a visual Systems Check, inspecting 13 systems and providing a green checkmark with each passed test. Post-trip, a detailed Trip Information screen provides a breakdown of important metrics of the most recent journey.

Moodys Mediterranean Magic

He’s done it before and he’ll probably do it again, Mr Moody has created another belter in his own colours. Remember the 143??

This Volvo F12 had lived a life in the Mediterranean and was looking for a new owner after a good service for its Sicilian owners. MM was tipped off about the truck and soon enough she was on her way to Grimsby.

A number of months and a lot of £’s later and the end result is just perfecto! The angle in the photo above is much the same as looking at your favourite pin up on a centre page spread, it just looks absolutely spot on, it’s that good I’m not sure I’d show my mother!

Built in 1987 the truck is one of the last of the F series off the production line, before the launch of the FH. She’s got 385bhp and a 12 speed manual box, with the best gear stick you’ll ever find in a truck! Truck restorers please note how much of a difference it makes to the truck if you use period parts, look at the small hole wheels!

Not content with making the rust free exterior look like a million dollars, the interior has been given a freshen up and looks as box fresh as it can be. It looks like a copy of the Volvo brochure, not a lot wrong with it in my head. Well done Mick and the team, I look forward to the next one! The question you’ll walk asking while reading has the following answer; Yes it will be at some point but it’ll be up for at least half the price of a brand new one and some!!

The Waiting Game

Written by Tudor Services: We are almost at the end of one of our most frustrating experiences in transport and possibly the longest post Brexit delay for any company so far. I would like to be very clear that this was not our customers fault in any way but the importors fault. 22 days in total from the load arriving in Santander port to the truck boarding a ferry back to the UK with the load having never left the port.


Five different agents from the UK, Spain and even one from Portugal as well as a Spanish transport company that we work with were consulted to try and get this load into the country and with pretty much no feedback from the importers the whole time.
It was hard trying to find out exactly what was delaying us. As it turns out the importer had adopted an attitude of burying their head into the sand expecting the paperwork to sort it self out and they will get their goods in the end which of course there is no possible way of this happening as their are documents that have to be signed by them with a notary meaning there is no way around it they cannot have an agent or anyone else to do it on their behalf.
So this affair started when we got off the boat on the 3rd of February the boat was like a ghost ship going out with no more than 12 trucks on board which is unusual for this route. The driver was not allowed to stay in the port overnight so was allowed to leave without the trailer where he parked at a well known stop in Hoznayo 15 minutes away. When he arrived there were several other trucks there without their trailers who had been there for several days and as some eventually got cleared to leave some had to wait a few more days and every time a boat arrived more trucks would turn up to fill the spaces left by the person who had been waiting before them. After waiting for seven days we decided to leave our trailer in the port and borrow a trailer from a Spanish company so the driver could come home and returned a week later to return the loan trailer then to head back to Santander to see if we could finally push the trailer on through with some fresh agents involved who eventually got to the root cause of the hold up and they explained to us that the importer is doing absolutely zero to assist and do their paperwork that they are legally obliged to do if they want to import the goods.


Very frustratingly on the 22nd day the truck is now boarding a ferry back to the UK loaded with the goods all for the sake of something that would have taken the importer half a day maximum to get sorted. The ferry coming back is absolutely packed to the rafters as the case is that bringing goods to the UK is still reasonably easy and smooth but as many like us are finding exporting to the EU can be a very different matter. To say we are annoyed would be an understatement at the moment.
Again I want to point out that our customer has been great the whole way through and has been doing everything they can to try and get to the bottom of this mess and has taken care of us and kept us informed along the way.
I’m sure the remainers are ready to chime in about Brexit and though these new measures are here because of Brexit it is not the root cause of the issue with this load this is down to overwhelming incompetence and unprofessionalism on the importers part.
However this ordeal will not deter us from the international transport market as this is the doing of an individual not a country or industry as a whole and although there are some hurdles to deal with now with new paperwork and guidelines it’s nothing that cannot be learned and streamlined with the right attitude from the people involved.

Wilson Wednesday

It’s been a while since we did a Wilson Wednesday but like the last time we did one, I’ll say it again, I’d like to make these more regular……. Come on HCW drivers let’s make it happen this year. Starting above we have one of the longest serving drivers on the fleet, John Stocks in WIL2580. Loaded from Belgium with some agricultural machinery heading back to the UK.

Sneaked in from Friday last week as it makes an interesting photo. Taken by Neil Jarrold this was a local job by every bodies standards. Kent back to Suffolk with a big old DAF.

Nice photo that one. Taken from N5HCW’s offside camera looking at the 8×4 Volvo that is L100HCW, with top Wilson subbie Mike Tasker lingering in the background. The two Wilson trucks are loading in Holland tomorrow with 36 ton drums. Tasker is off to Belgium.

Holiday haulage with Geoff Tarbun in WIL2219. Geoff is the elder statesmen of the fleet therefore isn’t worked that hard. Pictured here heading for Italy to load an in gauge load back to the UK. Must been a long day as he hasn’t even had time to wash those wheels!

Finally this week we have Ady in his few week old 650S, R80HCW. Loaded from Germany back to Yorkshire. The Krone forage trailer is a big piece of kit, even on a wafer deck trailer it sits about 4.30m high. Permits all the way back to P&O at Europoort with this one!

A nice little catch up with the pro’s at HC Wilson. Right trucks, right trailers, doing the job as it should be done. Looking forward to the next WW already. Thanks chaps!!

European Boat-MAN – Part 2

Monday 11th January – Woke up at 0730, two other trucks, low loaders, had arrived in the night ready for a busy and cold day loading. I’m up and dressed and start on setting up the truck with timbers etc, ready for my loading spot. Crane rocks up at 0800, gets set up and is on with loading the German registered Glogau Yacht transport R730. These are some seriously sized boats going out today, 5m wide and upwards of 13m length! It takes them longer to get out of the gate than to actually crane the boats on. A Polish low loader is up next, another 5m wide and super long boat loaded and another 20 minutes to get out the yard. I get the go ahead to come in and get in position by half 9, loaded and secured down by half 10, all going well so far. We’re 3m wide and 4.3m high so the marker boards and beacons go on, now it’s just the usual waiting around all day for them to finish their last jobs on the boat. Meanwhile my next important job is swapping alcohol with my polish electrician mate, Grappa for him and Vodka for me! Time ticks by but, unbeliveably and also unprecedented, I get the green light to leave by midday, so just an hour to wait for my 24h to finish and then on my merry way at 13:30. Being Convoy Cat 1, there aren’t too many rules to hinder my journey, unlike the German and Polish low loaders who are running at cat 2 and 3, they will have to wait until 22:00 to leave, have escorts and a whole host more regulations to adhere to. I run up to exactly 4h30 just  into Germany, take a quick break then carry on west to the AS24 just before Hannover. I’m heading Belgium and Paris way on the return leg, as its ever so slightly quicker. With just over an hour left on a 9hr drive, I keep on and make it to an Autohof (the only places in Germany with space at that sorta time) on exactly 9hrs drive! Its 23:30 now, so straight to bed for me. 738Km done.

Tuesday 12th January – 0800 and up, I wander into the Autohof to make use of the facilities. I pay for the privilege of a space to park and at a cost of 14 euro for just 9 hours, I don’t feel like i’ve had a bargain, but needs must I suppose. Its absolutely pissing down and I set off at half 8. I make my way down to Wuppertal and across to Dusseldorf, avoiding traffic at Cologne. Heading down the 44 now, I clear Germany at Aachen and i’m into Belgium. I make it past Liege and pull up on 4h28. (as you can tell, I don’t like to waste minutes and with the least amount of stopping as possible!) I’m heading for Paris now, but its early evening so its not an ideal time for the worst city in europe traffic wise. I pick up some more diesel in Vemars Total, the last services on the A1 before gay Paris. I had thought about staying here for the night but, its rammed at half 5. I head on and use the A104, finding space in a services, luckily! Its half 6 and i’m on 8H45 and i’ve covered 702km today.

Wednesday 13th January – I’m doing well for time this week so I take an 11h break and i’m up and on the road at 0530. I continue around the 104, then pick up the a4 into Paris as the traffic is still pretty quiet. A86, A6, past Rungis and I’m clear of Paris within an hour. I run out my 4 and a half and pull in just north of Poitiers on 4h25. I chill out for 45 minutes and then do a further 1hr30, stopping for some lunch. Out the corner of my eye I spot a tudor services Merc parked up in a services south bound on the a10, then via FB later see it was in fact the owner himself en route to spain and being questioned by the gendarmes! Other than that brief excitment, its a very quiet and boring drive between Paris and Bordeaux. There is no traffic at Bordeaux again and I run my time out as far I can get to Spain. It runs out at the last services before the border and I’m on 9h56 driving time. I make use of the car bays again as it’s a tad busy being evening in a french services. Good quiet day and 842Km covered.

Thursday 14th January – Still doing really well on time and also as we’re not able to arrive in Lisbon until friday morning, I take another 11hours off. I’m across the border at Irun again in the dark, no police at all this time and pull in for diesel at the as24. I do 2 hours more, which gets me to Miranda do Ebro, I stop for a break and take some pictures as its particularly cold and snowy here! By chance, while I was up in Poland, they had another disruptive amount of snow but I’ve managed to skirt it again! The rest of the morning is almost all in freezing fog, it takes a long time for the sun to make it through the clouds and finally at 11:30 it actually feels like day time! I make it to the As24 by Salamanca on 3h47 for the last fuel stop. I have a bite to eat and start the last 4h to home. Unfortunately, now the sun is up and burnt through the clouds, I’m driving straight into it for the duration of the last leg, which really plays havoc with in cab temperatures and also ones eyes! All good though, PT-ES border crossed without worry and just the hilly, absolutely dead road down to home. I park the truck just near the house at 17:15, on a respectable 9hr38 drive, 826km. Its 15 degrees down here, so a walk with the Wife and the dog, a bbq to follow and its time for bed. 

Friday 15th January – I’m up and away down to Lisbon at 03:30, arriving in the Marina just after 5am, Lisbon like most cities, has a curfew for abnormal loads and only permits them into the city between midnight and 6am. I found out the hard way that they do enforce it, so I follow that rule now! There are no cars blocking the entrance this time and the security guard is on hand to open the gate for me. I catch a couple of hours more sleep, and wake up at 8. Unfortunately I can already see that the tide is on its way out, which means that unloading the boat is going to be delayed somewhat. My fears are confirmed and the boat is booked to be lifted off at higher tide circa 2pm. I spend some time having breakfast with the bosses and helping with some maintenance on the existing house boats we have down here and the time soon passes. Finally we get down to business, slightly later than planned but all goes well without any hitches. The new owners are there too, to watch their investment hit the water. I’ve had 9hrs off by now so I finish tidying up the truck, strap down and hit the road home. No dramas on the last stint, just under 2hrs back to the house including a quick stop for a new air duster and pressure gauge. I make it home just within daylight, a 9 day trip complete and not far off 7000km.      

Great 2 part blog thanks George @. Can never get enough of drivers diaries as I’m not out there doing my own. Please send another as and when you want to. Also if any of you readers are keen, then feel free to email me, long or short with some photos and I’ll happily publish them on TBUK.

European Boat-MAN – Part 1

I think it started on Instagram and the rest is history! My love of the #littlebigcabclub trucks, is becoming the stuff of legend, so when asked by another member of the club if he could send in a guest blog, what else could I say but yes. George Turner or @european_lorryist as he’s know on Instagram spends a lot of his time driving an LX cabbed MAN TGL collecting house boats from Poland for his business in Portugal. To good a story to miss right?? Over to George for Part 1, Part 2 will follow in due course.

Wednesday 6th January – The truck is always at home with me which is a nice little bonus with this job. I pop out to the little MAN and fire the night heater up, its the first time since living in Portugal its cold enough for an iced over windscreen. Card goes in at 9am and I head off in the direction of Lisbon. A quick pit-stop in Torres Novas to exchange a drop link for my own van, and onwards down the A1 to the capital. My company franchise & transport house boats, and I arrive in the marina in good time without issue. I’m only here to pick-up some paperwork and a few interior fixtures for return to Poland. All this only amounts to around 20 minutes and I’m back up the road and home by half past 1, just a little food prep and laundry to do for the off in the morning. 283Km today.

Thursday 7th. January – Not a particularly early start, loaded the last of my bits and bobs into the truck and I’m on the road at 08:30. Its always quiet on the A23 heading up to the Spanish border at Vilar Formosa, just a quick stop to drop in 50 euros of diesel to last me to the AS24 at Salamanca, AS24 are a bit thin on the ground in PT. Arriving in Salamanca I fill up with 250L worth of diesel, which is not far off what it holds, running a bit close to the wire here! I carry on another hour or so and pull in on 4h29, half way to Tordesillas. A quick bite to eat and back on the road, N/E direction, Burgos, Vitoria-Gasteiz, AP 1, AP 8. Plenty of snow over the hills at Miranda de Ebro, but its all running smoothly thankfully. A few days before this they had been over run with snow and shut the motorway, as they do in Spain. On 8h48 driving and at a quarter past 7, I pull into Itziar Services just before San Sebastian and make use of the empty car park as all truck spaces are occupied. One thing about being in a little truck is not needing to worry about parking, one can manage to find something suitable regardless! 757Km today.

Friday 8th January – 11h off and on I’m the road by 06:30. Cross the ESP/FR border at Irun still in darkness and not bothered by the Gendarmes this time. Usually they’re quite perplexed why an Italian truck with an English driver with Portuguese Documents is heading for Poland empty. I’m usually asked 3-4 times if I’m carrying more than 10k in cash, and then subsequently searched for the said non-existent cash! Carrying on I feel a bit tired, putting it down to having a month out the saddle and a relatively early start, I stopped just after castets for a quick 15 minute snooze. Still dark at this point, but the gendarmes are set up in this particular aire and doing checks on unsuspecting drivers, fortunately again, they left me alone. I clear a traffic free Bordeaux nicely by 10am and head east for Clermont Ferrand. Pick up some more diesel at Perigueux, then over the hills of the a89, snowing at points but all good and keeping at 90ks for the duration! I have to make a bit of a detour to avoid the closed N79 west of Moulins, but then rejoin the n79 for a frustrating 70kmh drive through the road works. I pull in on 10h03 at the last aire before the A6. Loads of space here, but then I suppose its friday night in the middle of france. 833Km today.

Saturday 9th January – Another 11 hours off and card in and I’m away by 05:30. It seems like what trucks are here, are all leaving as well, quite a busy rest area for the time. I crack on for an hour and a half along the A36 heading for Germany, when again like yesterday, i’m feeling pretty tired! I pull in for a 45 minute snooze this time, by which time its daylight again, albeit still white and frosty. Its a fairly long and boring road the a36, but I eventually cross the non existent border and head up the 5 towards Heidelberg. Another road with not much to see on it, as well as being a quieter than normal saturday morning. At Rastatt I pull up for a supermarket sweep, I just end up buying mostly alcohol for home and the lads in Poland though. The supermarket is quiet and i’m back on the road in 20 minutes. A quick AS24 diesel stop at Karlsruhe, then up to the 6 and heading east for Nuremberg. Fairly uneventful drive apart from a small detour north of Nuremberg to avoid an accident. Parked up at half 5, pitch black and again i’m pushing the boundaries on 10h 02. I’m about an hour south of Leipzig. Living the dream on a saturday night so cook some super noodles, hot dogs and had a can or two of Desperados. 856Km today.

Sunday 10th January – Its a half past 4 start on a Sunday, but i’ve only just over 600km to do, so it wont be a particularly strenuous day. 1H30 drive down, I top up the tanks again, plus remember to fill the separate night heater tank this time, its been working over time the last few nights! Onwards and up to Berlin, then east across the border into Poland at Frankfurt-Oder, never any police or problems here. 20Km along the A2, a quick interval for a ticket at the toll booth, then onto the hugely uninteresting drive to Poznan. A little snow in the air again, but solid KM covered, I head north after Poznan on the S5 and stop at Marathon Int. Transport for a final diesel top up, then just 1hr30 left up to Bydgoszcz. A little detour for the new motorway roadworks and I’m outside the boatyard nice and comfortably at 13:30. I Start my 24h rest and immediately set about changing the drivers front wheel as a previous small crack in the alloy has developed into a crack across two of the wheel nuts! Its a quick 30 minute job with the use of a long bar, it takes longer to get the spare wheel off its hanger! I stay put for the evening, cook some more dinner, a few cans and an early night ready for loading in the morning. 662Km, 7h48 drive today.