Winter is around the corner and that means one thing – time to name Surrey County Council’s new fleet of 38 snow gritters.
In years gone by, past names such as Gritley Come Dancing, Hansel and Grittel and Salt-N-Vinegar Grits have adorned the front of vehicles after schoolchildren won competitions to name them – and the chance to do so again is upon us.
This time, however, Surrey County Council has said names “similar to any living person, fictional character, song, book or film can’t be considered” which means winners elsewhere, such as,The Grittest Snowman, Father Gritmas or Snowbe One Kenobi, are probably not eligible.
Nor is it likely that spins on real names will make it through – such as Gritney Spears, Brad Grit, or the winner from Barnsley, Sir David Scattenborough.
Surrey County Council said its new fleet will “operate more efficiently, have state-of-the art technology on board and produce fewer carbon emissions.”
Councillor Matt Furniss, cabinet member for highways, transport and economic growth, said: “We’re committed to keeping drivers safe here in Surrey and investing in our roads.
“When temperatures plummet, our highways teams across the county will be ready to work around the clock to keep traffic moving on our primary routes using our new, efficient gritters.
“I’m delighted our school children are getting involved in naming the new gritters and look forward to seeing their suggestions.”
The fleet will be dispatched around the county to keep the roads salted and gritted before and during severe weather.
Salt is used on roads as it lowers the freezing temperature of water. Pure water freezes at 0°C but adding salt creates a saline solution that doesnt begin to freeze until it drops to about -7C.
In extremely low temperatures, or heavy snowfall, a mix of salt and grit is used to help vehicles get about.
Salt is not a guaranteed solution in all circumstances as it requires vehicles to drive over it to properly work, the council said. Salt needs to be driven over and ground down to spread across the road, which does not always happen in areas with low traffic or heavy snow.
Ed Jennings, lead operations manager for council partner Ringway, said: “We are ready and prepared for winter, with a team of experienced gritter drivers – many of whom have delivered the service for over ten years.
“Our investment in 38 brand new gritters is a demonstration of our commitment to Surrey and enables us to continue our drive towards a greener future. Our Immediate Response Centre will continue to support communities 24/7 and will work closely with the Met Office throughout the season.”
Winning entries will be announced later this month.
What makes a good truck name?
The council is recommending children, from the more than 200 schools invited to take part, to consider the colour or size of the trucks as well as a name based on salt, grit, ice, frost or the melting process.
The winning names will be displayed on the fleet.
Previous winners were named as follows:
Gritley Come Dancing
Grit Me Out of Here!
Thaw, God of Grit
Alfred the Grit
Good Morning Gritain
Let it Grit
Hansel and Grittel
Thomas the Grit Engine