Keeping The Country Moving During The Winter Season | A Round-Up of Winter Gritting 2020/2021
As Spring is now most definitely in the air and the winter gritting season draws to a close, we ask Ian Morehouse, Winter Maintenance Director, to talk to us about how Ground Control teams have kept the country moving during the winter season and how the division is supporting the company’s carbon-neutral strategy through the use of some pretty impressive technology.
Why is gritting and snow clearance so important to the safety of the public?
At Ground Control, we put people at the centre of everything we do, and their safety and well-being are of absolute importance to us. As an employer or property owner, you have a duty of care and need to ensure staff, visitors, and customers’ safety whilst they are on your site. A professional gritting contractor will physically or remotely survey the site and document your requirements, subscribe to a specialist road temperature forecast, use that information to decide to grit, utilise tracking information to record the gritting activity and keep records of all that information.
How has Ground Control been operating during the covid-19 pandemic?
With the pandemic’s onset, we quickly established safety measures for our clients and the 1000+ operatives at over 180 gritting depots across the UK to ensure their safety. We reinforced safety protocols through increased communication, reporting and audits. Overall this proactive approach ensured there was no impact on the delivery of service to our clients. Furthermore, we could reduce physical interaction with clients and show evidence of our work through our digital platform.
Ground Control has recently announced a Carbon Neutral status (March 2021). What are you doing to deliver winter services that support your sustainability plans?
Caring for our environment is at the core of everything we do, and in March 2021, Ground Control became certified as carbon neutral. As a company, we’re pushing and stretching our imagination regarding working practices for all divisions, with a strong focus on how technology can reduce our environmental impact and make us more sustainable. Each year we reroute our entire network, and this season reduced the distance our fleet travelled each night by 35%. This had a real environmental benefit, and we estimate we saved over 250,000 miles of travel and over 160 tonnes of CO2 emissions. This benefit, which is complemented by utilising the high-density MetOffice Open Road Forecast, ensured that the service was only delivered when needed, eliminating unnecessary gritting visits and the related miles driven and salt, natural resource, consumed.
Additionally, Ground Control’s winter maintenance team has been trialling industry-leading green technologies this season, including an electric gritter and brine as a de-icing agent. By replacing the gritter’s onboard diesel engine with a fully electric drive, pollution, noise and carbon are reduced. We adapted a vehicle to carry a tank of brine, allowing the operator to dispense the mixture to reduce the amount of salt or grit used. Not only does the preactivated solution melt snow and ice quicker, but it’s also more environmentally friendly as it uses less than 50% salt than a typical gritting application. This reduces the potential harm done to adjacent vegetation affected during the spreading process.
The Ground Control Winter Team are committed to further investment in electric vehicles and environmentally-friendly de-icing products. Ground Control has been keeping businesses trading 24/7 over the winter – whatever the weather – for more than fifteen years. Regardless of your service wishes or portfolio size, we will work with you to find the best Gritting and Snow Clearance packages to suit your everyday needs.
For more information, contact; 01277 598899 or email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.