Gritting and Gritters

Gritters or Salt Spreaders?

Salt SpreaderIn the UK Salt Spreaders are sometimes also referred to as Gritters, gritters have been used for many years in the UK to grit the public highway, latterly they have now found a use gritting car parks and hard standing on private property such as supermarket car parks, distribution centres and manufacturing plants.

Typically Gritters are attached to HGV lorries / trucks, a PTO system is fitted to the lorry which provides hydraulic power to the gritter in many cases a snowplough bracket is also attached to the lorry to mount a snowplough, the snowploughs need to be light so as not to overload the front axle of the lorry.

Latterly the use of tractors for gritting has become more extensive; in November 2013 the law changed which meant that tractors could grit using red diesel. This is a big milestone since previous to this tractors needed to have their fuel tanks drained of cheaper red diesel before filling with more expensive white diesel – this was a major barrier and meant that very few tractors were ever used for gritting. Tractor mounted snowplough

The use of tractors for gritting is now becoming common place which makes sense because there are over 500,000 tractors in the UK many of them stood down during winter, based on this and with the tightening of council budgets tractor gritters are a cost effective alternative to traditional gritting methods. Tractor gritters are now used extensively to provide extra resilience to the front line gritting HGV fleet, this includes the tractors from the grounds maintenance department as well as local agricultural contractors and Farmers who have spare labour and equipment, but also some gritters can be fitted with the sophisticated technology as used on the HGV gritters and be used as an alternative to the front line gritting service but at a lower capital expense and maintenance cost.   

Tractors are ideal for use with gritters, where as a lorry needs to have a retro fitted PTO system tractors are fitted with a hydraulic system as standard and because tractors are designed to be used with a whole range of different attachments from various manufacturers and suppliers they have universal mounting and towing brackets which mean that no bespoke brackets or frames are required for them. Most tractors are 4 wheel drives which make them excellent for use in the snow and have a heavy duty front axle which means that they can be fitted with heavy duty well-made snowploughs without the risk of overloading an axle.