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UK’s top 4 trucking brands: Here’s all you need to know

All you need to know about the UK's top 4 trucking brands

There are more than 40 million vehicles on the UK’s roads, of those around 600,000 are trucks. That’s a lot of vehicles, a lot of torque, and a lot of competition among trucking brands to get as many of their trucks shifting goods from A to B as possible.

Lots of drivers have their preferred make and model of car – and the same can be said for trucks. We all have our own set of criteria when choosing a vehicle. Even if two people work at the same company or live in the same neighbourhood, one person’s top trucking brand is not necessarily going to be the same as another’s.

Our choices are based on different factors: how powerful the engine is; how much room there is in the cab; how much tech is featured in the vehicle; or how many miles to the gallon it can do.

Most popular trucking brand names in the UK

According to data from Statista, DAF Trucks is the leading heavy goods vehicle manufacturer in the UK. With just over 7,000 units registered in the first nine months of 2020, it takes the top spot by a wide margin. DAF is followed by Scania (with 3,200 vehicles registered during the same period) and Volvo (with 2,900 vehicles registered).

However, vehicle registration figures don’t always reflect drivers’ favourite trucking brands and models. You also need to take into consideration driver preference and the opinion of industry experts, which leads us to the International Truck of the Year Award. 

In 2020, the top three spots went to:

  1.     Mercedes-Benz Actros
  2.     Iveco S-Way
  3.     Volvo FH I-Save

But do those findings really tell the full picture? These awards are simply the opinion of experts internationally. What happens when we take a closer and more specific look at opinions about top trucking brands in the UK by the people who actually drive them?

According to a recent driver poll carried out by the UK driving community forum TruckNet UK, the top three trucking brand names are Volvo, Scania, and Mercedes-Benz. This would seem an accurate measure, given that these results come from skilled people who drive trucks day in, day out.

A final look at internet search volumes for trucking brands tells a similar story. Volvo (110k), DAF (12k) and Scania (12k) are the top-ranking truck brands by volume, which reinforces their status as some of the UK’s most popular trucking brand names.

Top trucking brands in focus

Want to find out more? Here we take a look at the top trucking brands in the UK and review each one. We’ll look at how each brand is different and what functionality each offers the driver.

Volvo Trucks

Since the first Volvo truck rolled off the production line in 1928, the company has become synonymous with reliability, safety and quality. Today, Volvo Trucks is the largest producer of heavy trucks in Europe. Volvo Trucks are often lauded for their outstanding mechanical reliability, torque power, and driver comfort.

In short, reliable, fast and comfortable – what more do you need in a truck? Volvo Truck stunts aside, safety is in their DNA, and Volvo Trucks offer a range of active safety features to help avoid human error (the cause of about 90% of all traffic accidents) and actively work to cut fuel costs.

DAF Trucks

DAF Trucks is able to boast one key selling point no other trucking company can: it is the only major commercial vehicle manufacturer producing trucks in the UK. Its Leyland-based factory produces more than 15,000 vehicles a year and the company aims to set the industry standard for performance and productivity.

As well as winning the coveted ‘Fleet Truck of the Year’ award 16 times, DAF Trucks are recognised for their advanced design, low operating costs and superior driver comfort. They’re also pretty reliable as its oldest commercial-use truck reveals.

Scania Trucks

If you want to make a lasting impression, how better than to give your trucks the catchy motto: King of the Road? Scania was founded in Sweden in 1891 and during that time, innovation has been key to the company’s success.

Scania Trucks are renowned for their reliability, fuel economy, and exceptional uptime. For operators looking to rent vehicles rather than buy, Scania Truck Rental lets them get a taste of Scania, with many customers becoming long-standing Scania devotees as a result. The success of this model has led to its adoption by Scania markets worldwide.

Iveco Trucks

Iveco is well known as a company that embraces the latest engineering technologies. As well as distribution vehicles, Iveco also produces a range of state-of-the-art fire engines. Iveco is committed to meeting the demands of transport today without compromising on comfort, safety and performance. And just as an aside, there is some discussion about what the ‘S’ in Iveco’s S-Way stands for: sexy or strong?

And finally… Volvo versus Scania

Depending on where you live in the world, the Volvo v Scania ‘debate’ may (or may not) be on your radar. This feud between two of the top trucking brands in the UK has been described as something akin to religion. 

Drivers are full-on devotees to either one brand or the other and a common pastime is verbally trashing the other brand and making a case for why their preferred brand is the best. This long-standing rivalry doesn’t look set to end any time soon, but competition is fierce and this only makes for better trucks.

Want to find out more? Discover which trucking company is the best in the UK and the best trucks on show at Truckfest.

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