The DAF Truck factory in Leyland, UK has restarted its operations after ceasing production due to the COVID-19 crisis.
DAF has introduced new hygiene and social distancing measures at the UK factory, which has a workforce of around 1,000 employees.
This is in line with similar measures at DAF’s operations in the Netherlands and Belgium. Hundreds of workstations have been assessed and adjusted, while tasks have been separated, routes altered and work schedules modified.
Measures have also been implemented to enable workers to maintain a safe distance and cleaning products have been made widely available. As a precaution, production staff are now also wearing face masks.
Ivan Shearer, HR Director at the Leyland plant, told the TNB, “There has been a huge amount of work done from distance signage and markings, to new egress and access, as well as temperature screening gates.
“Those returning have had to be re-inducted so they can acclimatise to the new measures and we have issued a new handbook in line with the new protocols. We have done everything we can, and the reaction has been extremely positive. The trade unions have been very supportive and I think the staff are pleased to get back to work.”
The plant builds the full range of DAF vehicles include the LF, CF and XF, and also has the design team for the LF on site. At present the plant is producing around ten trucks a day but that will ramp up in the weeks and months to come.
DAF President Harry Wolters said, “I am proud of the creativity and dedication displayed by our employees.
“For the moment we are less concerned about production figures. Instead, the safety of DAF and Leyland Trucks employees is our number one priority. That’s why the production volume is still relatively low. We will only crank it up when it is safe to do so. We are very glad that we are in a position to supply our customers with trucks again because transport plays a vital role in the smooth functioning of society.”
It is for this reason that over the past few weeks DAF has maximised its efforts, together with its extensive dealer network, in the provision of service and parts to its customers.
For example, all of DAF’s workshops were kept open and the helpdesk was available 24 hours a day. And this will continue to be the case.
“Service is part of our DNA; we will always be there for our customers,” added Wolters. “All of the staff at DAF are aware that without transport, everything will grind to a halt.”