Although some countries use very country-specific methods and apparatus, gritting around the world is carried out in largely the same fashion. Globally, the highest priority for gritting and snow removal tends to be urban routes, and most cities in countries that have regular snowfall maintain a fleet of gritting and snow clearing vehicles. Gritters are the first vehicles to be dispatched when snow hits, working the road for public safety and to keep the roads open.
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.
Modern technology and equipment has given us a tremendous ability to deal with snow removal, but this hasn't always been the case. Whilst there are no specific records of apparatus and methods used to control snow and ice in the middle ages, snow, ice and temperature were much larger problems yesterday than they are today.
Snow clearance takes many different forms across the world, and there are some phenomenal vehicles and crews in action tackling the hazards of the winter. At GRITIT, we've taken a peek at some of these winter heroes, and we've come across some awesome photos showing the snow clearance operatives in action.
Most people probably take for granted that our roads are gritted during the winter months. Because it's always happened, we just expect it to happen as usual. That said, there’s a lot more to winter gritting than meets the eye. The operatives responsible for keeping our roads open and safe have many things to consider, including: