Video: Orange gritters take to the roads

THE site of a yellow gritter in the region has been consigned to history after being overtaken by a new fleet of state-of-the-art orange vehicles.

Russell Claydon

THE sight of a yellow gritter in the region has been consigned to history after being overtaken by a new fleet of state-of-the-art orange vehicles.

Costing more than £100,000 each, the advancements in technology in the machines mean they will be capable of making the highways safer quicker than ever before, whilst also saving money.

The orange gritters, which have now officially taken over from the ageing yellow fleet in Suffolk and Essex, will spread less salt but in a much more efficient way.

Speaking at the launch of the fleet today in Great Blakenham, Ranjit Mistry, the Highways Agency's winter maintenance manager, said: “The new vehicles are updated in new technology and have intelligence built in to give us information we need that the old vehicles did not have.”

Utilising an onboard computer that can calculate spread rates and is constantly fed the latest weather and road information, the fleet will also disperse pre-wet salt onto the roads in the region for the first time.

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Mr Mistry said: “Because we are going to be using different technology to salt the network we will be using less salt, so there is a reduction in the cost.

“Secondly, because of a reduction in salt there is going to be less impact on the environment.

“Thirdly, there vehicles are obviously more modern so they will be more efficient in fuel and spreading the salt accurately.”

He added drivers will notice snow coming off the roads quicker with the new vehicles and also a reduction in scattering when they drive through the grit, due to it being pre-wetted.