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‘The gritters are out’ is often one of the first things we say when we’re expecting the arrival of winter weather at any moment. Hearing that the gritters are out, or even seeing them doing their job, heralds the impending ice and snow and makes it all seem very real. There’s a good reason the gritters are often the first physical indication that the weather is about to turn, and that’s because a lot of what they do is in advance of the snow and ice, rather than a way to combat it after it’s already appeared. Gritters work by dropping rock salt on the roads before snow can fall, and the salt helps to stop the snow and ice from ‘sticking’ to the road. It also provides a gritty surface for vehicles to drive over, giving them more purchase on the tarmac and helping to prevent the accidents otherwise caused by slippy ice.

This job can cause delays to traffic, because gritting properly can be a slow process but ultimately very worth it. For this reason, gritters often work at night or in the early hours of the morning, in the days immediately before there is due to be snowfall. So while you might not see gritters on the roads yourself when the snow starts to fall, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been. In fact, the gritters were probably working all night just to make sure the roads are safe for you to drive on.

HGV CAT C Gritter truck licence


So who are these gritter drivers? And how can you become one? To begin with, being a gritter driver is not a year-round profession – at least not in the UK. Generally working between November and April, gritting lorry drivers might do other professional driving jobs in warmer weather, or other jobs that require no driving at all. It’s often the case that gritter lorry operators who work for councils, for example, might work on the motorways or as bin lorry drivers the rest of the year, only turning to gritting when the winter shifts need to be filled.

The ice and snow isn’t just something that needs to be dealt with by councils, of course. While there is a lot of work to be done making public roads and walkways safe, there is just as much need for gritters to work on private property too, with businesses like supermarkets, retail parks and other heavy traffic areas also looking to prevent accidents on their property.

You’ll find gritting jobs for public and private bodies available as winter approaches. The pay can vary from an hourly rate of £10 right up to £250 for a long shift. That’s because there’s so much variation between public and private sectors, between companies, and even between vehicles.  For example, some gritting jobs will only require a Cat B licence, usually because the gritting is done by hand with a shovel and the gritter is simply driving from one location to another to do the gritting. Others will require a Cat C licence, because the vehicle itself is doing the gritting and needs a more specialist operator.

So if you’re looking to get straight into a seasonal driving job, get in touch with one of our friendly team and we can help you to train up and get a licence fast, so you can apply for one of the many gritting jobs currently available in our HGV Job Finder.


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