The sub-flagship segment also competes at a high level. Five semi-trailer tractors from this class face the driver´s cab test: DAF CF, Iveco Stralis, Mercedes Actros, Renault T, Volvo FM.
If distances aren´t quite as far, if the number of overnight stays in the vehicle is very limited and if the payload is an essential consideration, freight carriers and trucking companies often prefer the DAF CF over the XF, the Volvo FM over the FH or the narrow Mercedes Actros over the wide Actros. This category of slightly smaller long-haul semi-trailer tractors is already well established in many sectors (tank transports, food distribution)—mainly also because these vehicles cost a few thousand less. Another important reason is that the class of compact long-haul semi-trailer tractors now offers enough comfort, power and space to satisfy the drivers too.
This wasn´t always the case. When Renault created this class with its G-series in the early eighties, it mounted a compact and already somewhat aged driver´s cab on a heavy-truck chassis and added a somewhat small, underpowered engine. The result was named the G260 or G290, and it was at best suitable for transporting red wine or fuel along the Rhône valley. It offered some driving comfort and space, but no more than absolutely necessary.