Gritters don’t tend to be replaced too often, as they tend to work for a few weeks a year – especially the specialist 4×4 trucks that can’t be as readily repurposed for the (warmer) rest of the year.

With the new emissions requirements in London councils are having to change their gritters and so are taking the opportunity to trial something different.

Barnet is known for being a particularly hilly part of London and to make matters worse, it has plenty of low bridges. So, the truck needs to be 4×4 but not sit too high up with the 4×4 driveline.

With this in mind, Barnet council are trialling a new MAN TGM 18.250 4X4 BB C cab as part of their Gritting Hire Fleet solution for the borough.

MAN TGM 18.250 Gritter
Meeting London’s Low Emissions is just one of the reasons Econ is looking at the MAN TGM 4×4 for their Gritter Hire Fleet

The MAN 4×4 Spec

Powered by the latest generation MAN D08 SCR only, 6 cylinder, Euro 6D compliant engine, measuring 6.9 litres, the new MAN TGM 4X4 gritter is fitted with a permanently mounted Econ 6 m3 spreader. Manufactured from high tensile strength mild steel the spreader body, once fabricated, is shot blasted and treated with a zinc rich epoxy coating then heat baked to minimise corrosion from salt.

Using Econ’s innovative Low Throw spreader technology, which ensures salt is spread underneath parked cars and oncoming traffic, particularly important in areas of high traffic density, the vehicle is fitted with Econ’s advanced Spargo Touch control route guidance system. Spargo Touch control provides the driver with prescribed route information highlighting details such as low bridges and route obstructions. Once the body and chassis are married a coating of wax rust proofing helps protect the chassis from corrosion.

SCR Only – Best for Urban Operation

In using advanced SCR (Selective Catalyst Reduction) only technology to meet the ‘ultra-low emission’ restrictions posed by London, the MAN D08 engine negates the requirement of an EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculating) system. This means that the new D08 is not only more efficient in operation, but oil-change intervals are extended from 12 months to 18 months, or 80,000 km and it’s 103 kg lighter too when compared to the previous generation engine.

Jonathan Lupton, Econ Operations Director, said; “The attraction of this vehicle for this challenging operation is simple, not only is there a reduction in both emissions and serviceable parts but there is also a weight saving too. This means that we can further help our customers maximise their fleet efficiency and improve both vehicle uptime and payload.

“Gritters are known to have extended periods without use, however, due to vehicle duty cycles and the harsh environments they work in, the SCR only solution is ideal for this operation.”

Compact, Low Cab

Sitting on top of the robust and easy to mount TGM 4X4 chassis is the low, compact and narrow MAN C cab. The C cab, with its low 3119 mm overall roof height, offers a deep windscreen and large side windows, it’s low and easy to access and affords the driver excellent vision and high levels of comfort, all of which are perfect attributes for this application.

Matched to the MAN TipMatic 12 speed automatic gearbox, with advanced off-road soft wear, both axles feature electronic diff locks, the rear axle comes with hub reduction, which offers a further weight saving, the front axle is driven and is disengageable when all-wheel drive isn’t required. Ordered from the factory with a PTO transfer case management system (VSM) and a front mounting DIN plate, the TGM 18.250 4X4 has a wheelbase of 3900 mm and is ready for front mountable equipment such as snow blade or plough.

Jonathan continued, “Making it possible to meet the maximum height restrictions for the majority of the low bridges across the borough vastly improves operating efficiency. This means that operators can plan a route by the least miles travelled rather than creating extended and lengthy routes necessary to circumnavigate the many bridges. Routes can therefore be covered in less time and miles, saving both fuel and exhaust emissions.”

The result of this trial will be a win-win for both the borough and operators who provide winter maintenance solutions across hilly areas and where low bridges are of concern. The enhanced levels of grip that the 4×4 drive system offers will help deal with the reduction of grip when the weather turns.

MAN with Econ Body
Econ is the UK’s largest supplier of salt spreaders Gritters & Snowploughs, they manufacture a range of bodies at their plant in Ripon North Yorkshire.