Winter Maintenance Providers say they are ready for the Beast from the East

STANSTED, UK, 5 January 2021 – With weather forecasters predicting a possible Beast from the East cold spell to hit the UK beginning in the middle of January, some businesses have begun bracing themselves for the expected chaos that comes with the plummeting temperatures, ice and snowfall.
Those working in winter maintenance have already begun topping up salt supplies and ensuring equipment is ready to operate in the harsh conditions. The last Beast from the East in 2018 saw the country hit with heavy snow and major disruptions to rail, road and even air transport.

The Beast from the East occurs when the general wind direction changes from West to East bringing with it cold Siberian air and raising the chances of snow nationally. Described as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) by forecasters, high pressure in the stratosphere moves suddenly into the area above the North Pole forcing the cooler, low pressure to move south. While difficult to predict, the UK weather usually experiences an effect within 1 to 3 weeks.

According to analysts, the snow events related to 2018’s Beast from the East cost the UK economy around £1bn a day – although with so many people working from home and so many businesses shut due to Covid-19 regulations this year, that figure could be entirely different.

Stansted-based Gritting Works has been preparing for all weather eventualities and putting the final touches on their newest 4×4 gritter. Fitted with the latest gritting and snow clearance technology from Finland-based Hilltip, each vehicle represents a £30,000 investment.

Each vehicle uses cutting edge GPS technology to provide detailed client site reports that can show time of attendance, gritting patterns and exactly how much salt has been spread to help reduce the risk of ice on a client’s premises.
“This is just another step forward for Gritting Works in offering the highest quality of service to our existing customers and enabling us to build excellent, trusting relationships with perspective clients,” explains Gritting Works’ Managing Director, Nick Cox, who has worked in the winter service industry for over 8 years.

“With multiple 4x4s all equipped with their own gritters and snow ploughs we are perfectly positioned to keep our customers open for business should the weather deteriorate this winter. Our unique operating system also allows sites to be mapped in advance and the machines to activate automatically when the gritter reaches the site. This means drivers can concentrate on their surroundings and the vehicle rather than what the gritter is doing, ensuring higher safety for operators and other users.”