Firm makes hay while sunshines preparing for winter

A YORKSHIRE manufacturer has completed its busiest summer of maintenance yet, servicing 275 gritters.

Ripon’s Econ, a leading supplier of road maintenance and gritting vehicles to contractors and local authorities, won new contracts to put 2.8m of vehicles on the roads in locations ranging from Wiltshire, Cornwall and Fife.

“This summer was busier than ever, partly due to the very harsh winter we experienced across the country last year requiring additional use of the existing fleet, but also because we have been very successful at placing new vehicles with councils across the UK during the past year,” said sales director Andrew Lupton.

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“We have seen a massive increase in demand for hire vehicles as public service budgets are squeezed, and our investment in technology to minimise wastage and make salt stocks go further also helped win more orders for us following a winter of drastic shortages.”

It put 44 new vehicles, costing around 70,000 each, onto the UK’s roads ready for winter, making it a record year for the family firm.

The 170 staff were kept busy with essential mechanical servicing, MOT testing and upgrading vehicles with new GPS systems, improved tracking systems and repairs.

Its customers include the largest privately-owned fleet in the UK, Leeds’s The Gritting Company, with 60 gritters serving customers such as Morrisons supermarket.

Council-owned Econ vehicles are used in Sheffield, Bradford, Wakefield, Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees, Rotherham, York and Doncaster.

The 20m turnover makes it the UK’s leading manufacturer and leaser of gritters and snowploughs.