It may not top the charts of visitor attractions in the UK but Ripon, Yorkshire, boasts the world's only gritter museum, thanks to the proud restoration efforts of Econ Engineering Ltd. Opened in 2012, the gritting museum based in Ripon, Yorkshire, showcases Econ Engineering's engineering heritage, which includes a patent for the world's first flail mower in 1961 and its first salt spreader in 1970. The Econ gritting museum is a permanent showroom for fully restored vintage road maintenance vehicles, gritters, spreaders and snowploughs.
Econ Engineering Ltd is the UK’s largest manufacturer of gritters and salt spreading vehicles, and celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019.
Initially an agricultural vehicles firm, Econ left the agricultural market completely in 1994 and specializes in the highway and winter maintenance sectors today.
With 50 years of manufacturing gritters, snowploughs, multi purpose highway maintenance bodies and road patching bodies, Econ Engineering is truly a British winter success story.
In fact, the majority of the large 12 and 18 tonne gritting lorries seen on Britain's roads during the darkest days of winter are Econ gritter lorries.
Econ gritting lorries employ the latest technology with such advances as the Econ 4G control system.
the Econ 4G control system enables an operator to change between solid dry rock salt, spread via the spinner disc, and liquid de-icer, sprayed via the central and outer trajectory nozzles, which form part of the liquid dispensing system at the rear of the vehicle.
As mentioned in a previous GRITIT blog article, technology advances such as this are key to ensuring that gritting is as environmentally friendly as possible.
The Golden Gritter
This year, Econ celebrates its 50th anniversary, and is adding a golden gritter to its gritting museum - a one off gritter build built to commemorate Econ's golden anniversary.
The golden gritter will tour the UK in the autumn, visiting communities across the UK.
The Golden Gritter is an unusual gritter build, more striking than the high visibility yellow gritting lorries that Econ usually make for council gritting.
In addition to the golden gritter, the Econ gritting museum also boasts a fully restored ex-army 1972 Bedford gritter in red white and blue Jubilee livery that has been restored by the engineers and apprentices at the firm.
Econ Engineering use gritting vehicle restoration projects to train their engineering apprentices, a win win for Econ, public safety in winter and the noble quest of keeping Britain's roads open and safe in the depth of winter.