Cheshire East is an area in the North West of England that is home to a variety of visitor attractions, such as the Jodrell Bank Observatory, Tatton Park and Quarry Bank Mill. It is important that the roads around these attractions are kept clear of ice and snow in the winter months. Appointed contractor, Ringway Jacobs, began their search for a reliable gritter manufacturer and supplier which could fulfill these needs and more importantly could offer a gritter on a tried and tested Mercedes-Benz chassis.
Having worked with the local authority since 2011, Ringway Jacobs began its current contract with Cheshire East Council in October 2018. The agreement that covers 1,400 miles of highway and is worth around £600 million over 15 years.
The highways service provider turned to Econ Engineering to meet their gritter needs and to see how their vehicles could be adapted to their exact road gritting needs. Econ supplied them with eight new Econ gritters, all of which were based on an Arocs chassis.
The 9 cu m and 6 cu m gritters are purpose-designed to spread de-icing dry rock salt at a width of up to 12 metres. All eight vehicles are fitted with powerful Econ E ploughs whose power-angling function enables the operator to alter the direction in which the snow is ejected, without having to make manual adjustments on the move.
The vehicles have also been specified with Econ’s E-Drive route guidance technology. This operates the spreader automatically, allowing the driver to concentrate on the road ahead in challenging driving conditions.
Underlining Ringway Jacobs’ commitment to safety, the trucks are also equipped with recordable five-point camera systems, ‘turning left’ warning alarms, and nearside proximity sensors to protect vulnerable road users, as well as a reverse radar which supplements the standard-fit reverse alarm and camera.
Ringway Jacobs’ Head of Fleet, David Bonehill said: “We favour Mercedes-Benz chassis for gritting applications because of their inherent reliability, and for the power they give us for pushing on the plough.”
He continued: “This significant investment in new Econ vehicles that meet Euro VI emissions regulations reflects our determination to deliver services using the very latest, environmentally-friendly equipment.”