Generally yellow in colour and carrying a heavy load of salt, the average road gritter is not designed to win public affection.
But an online tracking device set up by Transport Scotland to allow drivers to monitor the gritting of roads in real time has proved a surprise online hit - and not for the reason it was originally intended.
With much of the country under snow, and the services of gritters more in demand than ever, the digital service has been in great demand. It’s there that the weird and wonderful - or downright terrible - names of Scotland’s gritters have been spotted and widely shared on social media.
Sir Andy Flurry, Grittie McVittie, Sir Salter Scott and Gritty Gritty Bang Bang are just some of the gritters currently ensuring Scotland’s trunk roads remain free from ice and snow.
Many of the lorries were named as part of a competition at the Road Expo Scotland show which took place at the end of 2016.
The gritter patrol app was launched in 2016, and followed an investment in 161 weather stations across Scotland which send data to trunk road maintenance companies.
There are more than 200 grit lorries at Transport Scotland’s disposal.
A spokesperson for BEAR Scotland said: “We’ve got nearly 100 winter vehicles involved in our winter service throughout trunk roads in the north east and north west of Scotland.
“Out of these, we have 45 large 32–tonne eight wheeler spreaders, which are some of the largest in the UK.
“A few winters ago we got involved with a competition led by Transport Scotland to help name some of our 32-tonne gritters, and reached out to local primary schools in our areas to help us come up with some names for the vehicles. We had a great response from the schools that were involved with the competition, with some excellent entries submitted.
“Our teams that visited the schools all commented on how the pupils were taking on board the information about how our winter Operatives help keep the trunk roads clear of ice and snow each year. We now have the likes of Sprinkles, Mrs McGritter, Sir Grits-a-lot and Gritty Gritty Bang Bang out working on trunk roads across the north of Scotland!
“We also ran a competition at last year’s Road Expo Scotland in November which brings together key figures at the forefront of Scottish road maintenance industry. Delegates were asked to enter their name suggestions for three of our winter spreaders, with the winning names Sir Andy Flurry, Gritallica and Ready Spready Go! selected.”
BEAR Scotland’s named fleet includes:
- Mr Plow
- The Ice Destroyer
- Ready, Spready Go!
- Sir Grits-a-lot
- The Winter Explorer
- Gritty Gritty Bang Bang
- Sir Andy Flurry