Winter draws on. Gritters and spreaders are coming out of hibernation as new metal join the fleet around the country ready to battle with what the UK weather brings.

The whole country complains that as soon as a drop of snow falls we come to a standstill but consider how it would be if the councils and their contractors did nothing about the problems of clearing the snow away.

Reliability is Key

Sir Robert McAlpine is already busy with preparations as the company puts eight new Scania P320 pre-wet spreaders into service for its motorway contract.

Proven reliability, an efficient working environment and the ability to stand up to even the most gruelling conditions, sees Sir Robert McAlpine, return to their local Scania dealer. The eight new salt spreaders come from long-term supplier TruckEast Ltd and will ensure the maximised maintenance of the M74 motorway and surrounding slip roads.

The new 26 tonners are Scania 6×4 rigids with a P-series day cab, advanced 9-litre six-cylinder engines (320hp) that deliver 1,600Nm torque and smooth 2-pedal Opticruise automated transmission.

Why Buy a Scania P Series?

As a tried and tested marque for Sir Robert McAlpine it was an easy decision to opt for Scanias with this latest purchase.

We’ve seen that the Scania is a highly reliable product, but also we’ve received excellent back-up service over the years from the local dealers, which is vital for the operation

Martin Mitchell, Plant Procurement Lead for Sir Robert McAlpine.

Specced as a day cab, the Scania P-Series is well-proven for demanding conditions and offers the drivers great visibility, which has improved more so with the latest generation. The only change in the latest order was an increase in engine size, intended to combat the steep inclines with greater power and aid fuel efficiency.

“It’s a great cab for our operation – comfortable, lots of storage and easy to drive for long periods with plenty of all-round vision,” comments Martin. “The driver is seated in the perfect position to see clearly when clearing snow next to the central reservation and also when controlling the overspill from the snowplough blades,” he adds.

The Gritter Body

The body itself is a nine cubic metre pre-wet spreader complete with E-plough, designed and fitted by Econ Engineering Ltd and can hold 13-tonnes of material in both dry and liquid form. With a spreading capability of 15 metres, they will prevent ice formation and de-ice carriageways where necessary.

“The vehicles allow this winter maintenance operation to be carried out as safely and efficiently as possible. Our drivers can fully manage a range of salt spreading and snow plough operations from a single touch screen control box. In winter, the flow rate and spread of de-icing solutions, as well as deployment and angle of the E-plough, can all be controlled from the comfort of the cab,” concludes Martin.

Enduring tough conditions, the trucks will cover approximately 20,000kms per annum, and although they won’t be racking up the mileage, they must be consistently ready throughout the challenging winter months. The salt spreaders, which will cover a 60-mile radius for this specific contract, will soon be joined by Scania’s lowest cab with six L280 4×2 traffic management vehicles hitting the road later this month.