Road Transport Expo 2022

In International Truck Stop, September 202210 MinutesBy Will ShiersOctober 12, 2022

An exciting new industry event burst onto the British truck scene this year.

Like any self-respecting journalist, I spent considerable time at this summer’s Road Transport Expo (30 June to 2 July) hunting down free booze. But then, I felt like I deserved it. After all, Britain’s newest and largest truck trade show was partly my idea and helping to plan it resulted in a rather stressful 18 months.

With 185 exhibitor stands, including no less than 10 different truck manufacturers, it was a complete success. So I reckoned that justified several glasses of celebratory free gin and tonic (thanks Smart Witness), champagne (thanks Volvo), beer (thanks MV Commercial) and Guinness (thanks Van Hool)!

However, you’ll be pleased to hear that I did manage to have a good look around the show. Here are a few of the highlights.

DAF Trucks

On the DAF Trucks stand were examples of its New Generation range. The XF, XG and XG+ were crowned International Truck of the Year 2022, and as the UK jury member, I took the opportunity to officially hand over the trophy to DAF’s UK marketing manager Phil Moon.

DAF will no doubt be hoping to do the double with its XD (CF replacement), which will get its official launch at the IAA Transportation show in Hannover, Germany, in September.

Dennis Eagle

British refuse truck-maker Dennis Eagle has embraced the move to electrification. With 62 of its 27-tonne 6×2 eCollect wagons already finding buyers, it is Britain’s best-selling zero-tailpipe- emissions truck by far. At the show, it launched a 4×2 narrow-track version, which is expected to account for 25% of its electric truck sales.

The 18-tonner is fitted with three battery packs, instead of five in the 6×2 version. This provides it with 180kWh of power, giving it a range of about 130km, which the manufacturer says is comfortable for a full day’s work. It can be charged from 15% to 100% in just 3.5 hours. Dennis Eagle says it expects the new truck to account for roughly 25% of its electric truck sales.


This was Britain’s first public showing of Fuso’s new 7.5- tonne narrow cab Canter. It is 300mm skinnier than the regular version, which has enhanced the vehicle’s manoeuvrability and is likely to boost its popularity with companies operating in sectors that require access to areas with restricted space, such as scaffolders. The truck features a revised front end, with new LED headlights and optional Sideguard Assist. The one pictured had a factory-fitted Scattolini three-way tipper body.

Isuzu Truck

Isuzu Truck UK, which last year celebrated 25 years in Blighty, said its F135.240 attracted a lot of attention at the show. The 13.5-tonner, its highest GVW offering over here, has a 7.4-tonne payload. Also featuring on its stand was a pair of N75 7.5-tonners. Isuzu is currently the UK market leader in all 7.5-tonne sectors, excluding boxes and curtainsiders.


Iveco is beating the gas drum loudly in the UK and offers CNG- and LNG-powered trucks. And while it showed examples of both, the vehicle that grabbed my attention was this rather tasty 395kW (530hp) S-Way. This top-power rating was announced last year, and this was its UK show preview. It also featured new aerodynamic A-pillar covers, which with other efficiency enhancements, contribute to a claimed reduction in fuel consumption by up to 3%.


One of the big stories from the show was the British launch of the Mercedes-Benz eActros, which could be found with numerous other zero-tailpipe-emissions trucks in the show’s Urban Zone.

The three-axle rigid on display was a 400 model, fitted with four 112kWh lithium-ion batteries and having a maximum range of 400km. The 300 version has three batteries and does 100km less on a charge. All eActros feature Mercedes- Benz’s electric axles, twin electric motors (330kW), and 2-speed transmissions. Both models have a maximum power of 330kW, the equivalent of about 440hp. I recently drove one in Germany and reckon it’s the best battery-powered truck so far. But then, this market is moving at an incredible pace.

Renault Trucks

Probably the best electric truck in the world? Renault Trucks certainly believes so. But I would have been more impressed if Renault had taken a leaf from tanker manufacturer Van Hool’s book, which was serving draught Guinness next to the Irish brewer’s tanker on its stand. I am rather partial to a drop of Carlsberg on a warm summer’s day!

The 18-tonne dray, which is about to go on the road, is one of two battery-electric (BEV) Renaults ordered by the brewer, the other being a 26-tonner. Renault also showed an 18-tonne Hyva- bodied skiploader BEV, one of two trucks ordered by Recycling Lives last (northern) autumn.

Renault is really going for it with its range of eTech electric trucks, and reckons 50% of everything it sells in Britain will be battery-powered by 2030.


Scania demonstrated its broad range of alternative-fuelled vehicles, showcasing examples of CNG, LNG, battery electric, and plug-in hybrid trucks.

“We have a range of fuels to support a range of applications,” explained sales engineer Rupert Barnard. “As the technology develops, you’ll see customers moving across in different ways, but it has to be right for them. That’s why we are here with the full range.

“Customers are looking to the future and where they’re going in their road maps. It’s a case of aligning what we’re doing with what they’re doing, working together and collaborating to move forwards. At the end of the day, we all have the same aims.”

Delegates wanting to experience Scania’s hybrid could do so on the road in the Ride & Drive Zone, but by far the most popular vehicle here was its mighty 770S.


Fox Group MD Paul Fox arrived at Road Transport Expo by helicopter to officially take delivery of his two Volvo FE Electric tippers.

“Our industry is looked at as a dirty industry, but the technology that is out there is fantastic,” he told me. “We have a fleet of electric plant; dumpers, excavators and a loading shovel, and this was a natural progression for us. The days of the dirty muck- shifter, and fossil fuel getting burned, are on the way out.”

The trucks have been spec’d to do a 40km journey seven or eight times a day. Fox has also committed to several Volvo FMX Electric eight-wheel Tridem tippers.


Amid three days of highbrow business seminars in the Knowledge Zone, which included talks by traffic commissioners and senior accident investigators, was ‘Talking Trucks with Volvo and Scania’. Hosted by myself, this was light-hearted banter between demo drivers from both Swedish truck manufacturers. While Scania ultimately won the willy-waving competition (770hp v 750hp), Volvo’s Kawasaki green, ‘slammed’ FM tractor that pulls its hospitality trailer certainly won the Iron Mark some points!

Tevva unveiled the first hydrogen fuel-cell truck to be designed and mass-produced in Britain. It will have a range of up to 496km and goes into production in 2023.

Best question from the audience went to the man who asked whether Scania would be mounting the batteries on its most powerful electric trucks in a V formation!