Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council has invested in a fleet of nine Stratos III gritters from Aebi Schmidt to tackle winter conditions.
The new outright purchased fleet replaces an aging contract hired fleet and includes three 4x4 gritters, which will be more effective in hilly areas around the borough this winter, while the gritter bodies themselves are fitted on Mercedes Arocs chassis.
Sandwell Council’s director of regeneration and growth Amy Harhoff said: “As a local authority, I would say we’re now in possession of some of the best winter equipment available on the UK market today and, thanks to the technology and reliability of Schmidt, we are confident this will help ensure we continue to treat our roads with efficiency and precision.”
Sandwell Council has also specified that the new gritters come fitted with Aebi Schmidt’s automated GPS-guided spreading system, AutoLogic, its Winter Report tracking software and Schmidt SNK blade ploughs.
Harhoff said: “The system ensures the optimal amount of salt is spread by having programmed routes which have measured the borough's exact road widths to enable the correct dosage, spreading width and symmetry, so that we spread the right amount of grit automatically.
“We have also subscribed to Winter Report tracking software, which will not only allow us to monitor vehicles online but will also highlight areas where there has been a problem. It will also help us to robustly defend potential claims against the council, as we will be in a position where we can clearly say when, where and what our gritters were doing.”
The Council has said the gritters “proved very popular with Sandwell’s drivers as they find the cab layout and instruments quick, reliable and easy to use”.