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CV sector shines in Queen’s Award 2020

23 April 2020 #Features & Interviews #TNB News

The strength, skills and success of the UK’s commercial vehicle sector has come shining through in the list of 2020 winners for the nation’s most prestigious business accolade.

Across all sectors, only 220 businesses were honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, each singled out for their outstanding performance in one of four categories – Innovation, International Trade, Promoting Opportunity (Social Mobility) and Sustainable Development.

And, as in previous years, businesses directly involved in, or on the periphery of, the commercial vehicle sector, were there in force. In all, eight businesses, including a number of SMMT members, were among the winners.

This week, TNB takes a closer look at some of those businesses flying the flag for our sector and for UK Automotive in general.

Congratulations to them all.

International Trade:

Drive System Design (DSD)

Engineering specialist, Drive System Design (DSD)’s Queen’s Awards recognises the sustained growth achieved from its Leamington Spa headquarters – where it serves a growing portfolio of global vehicle manufacturer and Tier 1 supplier customers – and continued expansion overseas.

Mark Findlay, Managing Director of DSD, said, “A growing proportion of DSD revenue has come from exports, even as our UK headquarters has continued to expand.

“The automotive industry has never experienced such a need for accelerated development of, in many cases, clean-sheet drivetrain technologies. DSD remains at the forefront of innovation in this field while expanding into defence, off-road and aerospace industries globally, demonstrating the impact of great British engineering.”

Leyland Trucks

One of Britain’s best-known manufacturers, Leyland Trucks, was honoured for its impressive and sustained growth in international trade.

Operating from one of Europe’s most advanced truck assembly facilities in the heart of Lancashire, Leyland Trucks has demonstrated outstanding year-on-year export growth to over 7,500 trucks manufactured and sold globally through DAF, a sister company within the PACCAR organisation.

Manufacturing the full range of DAF products – the LF, CF and XF – Leyland trucks are exported to six continents around the world, reaching customers as far afield as Chile, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan and Australia.

Brennan Gourdie, Managing Director at Leyland Trucks, said, “Winning a Queen’s Award is a tremendous honour and the ultimate testament to our international accomplishments.”

“Our reputation as an outstanding truck manufacturer, not just in the UK but around the world, is led by the passion of our great employees and of the exceptional DAF distribution network. Without them, we couldn’t have achieved our exporting success and this award reflects their exceptional commitment, talent and hard work.”

Priority Freight

Leading time-critical logistics specialist, Priority Freight was honoured for its impressive growth in a climate of economic uncertainty.

During this time it continued to grow by quickly adapting to the challenges and expanding its skills base and physical presence.

The company has also gained AEO certification across its operation. The logistics specialist is one of the few providers to be globally accredited for both Quality Assurance (ISO 9001:2015) and Environmental Management (ISO 14001:2015).

It proudly boasts a reaction time of under 15 minutes and an on-time delivery rate of 99.6%,

Neal Williams, Group Managing Director at Priority Freight commented, “We are delighted that the company has been recognised for its achievements in and contributions to international trade. Winning this award is great recognition for the company and a testament to our ongoing commitment to our customers. Our clients know they can trust us to deliver even when the options are limited or time-critical.

“This has been particularly apparent during the COVID-19 crisis where we have been supporting governments and companies to bring PPE in from around the world.”


Grainger & Worrall

Shropshire-based Grainger & Worrall was founded in 1946 and is an automotive casting specialist.

In response to the global automotive market moving towards ever more complex and structurally sound castings, particularly in high performance aluminium alloys, the company has developed the next generation of aluminium and non-ferrous castings.

Incorporating digital manufacturing and 3D sand printing technology the system enables customers to design, make and validate extremely complex components in short development cycles.

The system delivers exceptional benefits to automotive component manufacturers where reduced costs, improved efficiency, and the ability to rapidly create complex parts is highly valued.

By combining advanced manufacturing techniques with their extensive experience in the market, the company has created a novel system that is driving their continued growth and success.

Gray & Adams

Scotland-based trailer manufacturer Gray & Adams was honoured for its ground-breaking double-deck trailer design.

Its trailers can now be found at all points of the cold chain from farm to fork, with double deck trailers now on the fleets of most major supermarkets, including Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, as well as blue-chip household brands like DPD, John Lewis Waitrose, M&S and Warburtons.

From humble beginnings in 1957, the company has grown to become the UK market leader in temperature-controlled manufacturing, with an annual turnover in excess of 150 million pounds and employing over 700 people across the Group.

Joint managing director, Peter Gray, said, “In these challenging times, we very much hope the recognition this prestigious award brings will bring a small amount of cheer and encouragement to our employees in the North East of Scotland, and across the UK.

“We are massively appreciative of our highly skilled engineering teams and our manufacturing operatives that allow us to produce our world-class products. We would also like to thank our very loyal customers and partners, without whose assistance and support we would be unable to enjoy such highly respected recognition.”


Smart ticketing systems provider Ticketer was set up in 2009 and is now a leader in its field, with Ticketer ETMs customised for operators’ needs, driving insights, and providing valuable information to help fuel revenue.

Ticketer was awarded its Queen’s Awards by demonstrating how its unique, ongoing, product innovation has significantly improved its own commercial performance over the last five years, whilst aiding operators across the sector to enhance their passenger proposition.

John Clarfelt, Ticketer’s CEO, said, “This really has been a tremendous team effort, not just from the Ticketer Team, but from our customers, suppliers, and friends across the industry. 

“I really feel incredibly humbled to receive such a prestigious award. All we have done is bring alive what bus operators have asked the industry to deliver, and so we are proud to accept this achievement on behalf of our amazing friends and colleagues in the sector, who have been loyal supporters, and with us every step of the way.”


TruTac – a leading designer and supplier of software solutions for PSV and HGV compliance control – was honoured for its innovative contribution towards safety and drivers hours management within the bus and coach industry.

TruTac worked closely with the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) and leading PSV operators to design a range of cloud-based software tools for accurate recording of vehicle and driver activities, thereby replacing unreliable manual procedures and enabling operators to comply with the specific safety and legal requirements of the PSV Sector.

TruTac’s innovative software, which until 5 years ago did not exist, supports PSV and HGV drivers and operators whether working under EU or UK regulations, and the company works with many telematics and hardware providers to allow automatic and frequent downloading of data from vehicles and drivers.

Today, TruTac processes more than three million driver and vehicle records per month – an increase of more than 1.5 million per month from 2014 – a significant amount of data requiring innovative technology, such as the cloud, to deliver the results.

TruTac Managing Director, Terry Ramsey, said, “I cannot stress enough, the pleasure I felt when I learned that TruTac was being honoured with this prestigious award. As Managing Director, I know the amount of work, dedication and commitment that TruTac staff have put in over the years and this award recognises all of that. Accordingly, I want to thank all staff past and present who have played a part in TruTac’s fantastic success.”

Promoting Opportunity

Plymouth Citybus

Plymouth Citybus was honoured for its work helping disadvantaged people get into a job.

The company, which employs 561 people in the city, went to great effort to assist the “most vulnerable and disadvantaged” in finding employment.

It did this by helping to get them to their place of employment and for providing services that would otherwise have been scrapped when subsidies were removed.

Richard Stevens, Managing Director of Plymouth Citybus and Go South West, said, “This is a huge honour and really goes to show the amount of pride each and every member of the team takes in providing a valuable service.”

Plymouth Citybus’ Social Mobility programme, thought to be the only one of its kind run by a bus company in the UK, is designed to give city people from disadvantaged backgrounds an equal chance to do well.

Its aim is to help people who feel marginalised by a lack of opportunities – including young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, disabled residents, those from ethnic minorities and women – to find jobs and education.

The company works with people in long-term unemployment to guide them through the process of getting into a job through using the firm’s Work Academy in partnership with City College Plymouth and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Alongside Plymouth City Council and PLUSS, it helps to get those with disabilities to work and health and social engagements with a door-to-door transportation service.Cittybus also offers free travel to jobseekers attending Job Centre appointments.

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