When Leyland Trucks made the first DAF LF vehicle in 2001, they could hardly have envisaged what a success story it would become.
The following year it was voted International Truck of the Year and the market-leading LF is now the best-selling truck in its category the UK.
And the Leyland workforce has just celebrated producing the 125,000th LF vehicle.
The truck was officially handed over this week by Ron Augustyn, managing director of Leyland Trucks and Ray Ashworth, managing director of DAF Trucks Ltd.
The proud recipients were Calor Gas representatives David Brown, fleet asset manager, and Iain Carr, operations manager.
At the handover ceremony, Mr Augustyn said: “We are really proud of this production milestone, the efficiency of our factory and the commitment of all our staff who have made Leyland Trucks one of Britain’s most successful manufacturers.”
Leyland Trucks is a centre of excellence for light and medium truck development and manufacture for PACCAR Inc, the global truck group
Its 60,000 square metre factory is home to more than 750 staff and a 16,720 square metre PACCAR Parts distribution centre
Leyland makes the LF for UK and export, plus DAF CF and XF models for UK sale.
The production milestone adds up to a heritage of truck production and engineering excellence in Leyland dating back to 1896.
Since it became part of PACCAR Inc in 1998, Leyland Trucks has seen substantial investment and growth. A team of 100 design engineers develop innovative, cost- effective and environmentally efficient vehicles.
Leyland Trucks exports 40 per cent of production to Europe, as well as supplying countries further afield – from Israel to Malaysia, Australia to South America.
The plant has been used as a model for the new PACCAR factory in Ponta Grossa in Brazil, which opened in October 2013, with production engineers from Leyland Trucks heavily involved in the design and installation of the new South American facility.
Mr Ashworth said: “I am really proud to have the opportunity to sell trucks which are built in this country, not only the LF, but also the CF and XF, too. Our customers often comment on the benefits that this provides.”
David Brown, of Calor Gas, added: “The DAF LF has proved very reliable and an essential part of our delivery fleet, so we are delighted to have this unique model.
“It will soon be working hard delivering gas cylinders.”