Lincolnshire County Council has added four new Mercedes-Benz Arocs gritters to its fleet to clear the roads of snow and ice through winter.
The authority has boosted its fleet in preparation for the onset of the cold season, by taking delivery of the new 26-tonners from dealer Intercounty Truck & Van.
The Arocs 2635 models are powered by 7.7-litre engines which generate 354hp and drive both rear axles via Mercedes PowerShift automated manual transmissions. The new trucks are fitted with Schmidt Stratos grit hoppers and spreading equipment, as well as mounts for plough blades.
Lincolnshire County Council’s gritting fleet now extends to 47 vehicles, approximately two thirds of which are based on Mercedes-Benz chassis. In a break from its previous acquisition method of leasing, however, the authority has purchased its latest trucks.
The 6x4 Arocs are lighter than the Mercedes-Benz eight-wheelers they have replaced. “While most of our county is quite flat,” explained Darrell Redford, the Council’s network resilience manager, “the Lincolnshire Wolds area of hills and steep valleys is not far from the North Sea and prone to very bad weather conditions in winter.”
A computer-controlled spreading system ensures the units deposit the correct amount of salt onto each section of road automatically. As well as improving efficiency, the fact that this frees up the driver to concentrate fully on the road and traffic conditions enhances safety.
“The double-drive 26-tonne Arocs is the perfect truck for this demanding role,” continued Redford. “Salt and machinery are not natural allies, but we know from experience that Mercedes-Benz gritters are extremely reliable, and are engineered to stand up to the job extremely well.
“They’re also very good value in terms of their total cost of ownership – even after a long working life of 10-15 years we anticipate having no difficulty in selling them on for a good price. Like all local authorities our priority is to achieve the most cost-effective solution for our Council Tax-payers’ money, and when it comes to gritting trucks Mercedes-Benz is our preferred chassis.”