Goldie’s UK tour: Ripon gritter firm marks 50 years

Econ Engineering's Golden Gritter, with directors Jonathan (in cab) and Andrew (standing) Lupton.
Econ Engineering's Golden Gritter, with directors Jonathan (in cab) and Andrew (standing) Lupton.

Econ Engineering, the UK’s biggest manufacturer of snowploughs and gritters, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in a unique way next month.

The Ripon-based family company will be sending its specially-painted golden gritter to visit local authorities and communities across the country to mark its half-century.

‘Goldie’ will spend the autumn making a series of special guest appearances at the seasonal events traditionally held by local authorities to showcase their preparations for winter on the roads.

Kicking off the grand tour in Cambridge later this month, highlights of Goldie’s 50th anniversary route will include Ceredigion County Council’s gritter drivers’ training day at Aberystwyth; Kent County Council’s winter maintenance day; and a public display of gritters and snow ploughs by Wiltshire County Council. The golden gritter will head north in November for the Scottish leg of the tour and a Transport Scotland event.

Econ sales director Andrew Lupton said: “Goldie’s tour of Britain will be a fantastic way to mark the strong relationship we have with our many local authority and contractor clients across the country.

“Manufactured at our high-tech factory in North Yorkshire by our skilled workforce, this unique vehicle is already turning heads and causing quite a stir among gritter aficionados far and wide. Hopefully lots more people will have the chance to meet Goldie as he makes his way across Britain – a golden gritter certainly isn’t something you see every day.”

From its manufacturing base in Ripon, Econ supplies 80 per cent of the winter maintenance vehicles used on Britain’s roads. The firm employs more than 200 people in the UK and is the country’s largest producer of gritters and road-mending vehicles, with a hire fleet of more than 750 vehicles.

Mr Lupton added: “Econ continues to go from strength to strength as a business and are tremendously proud of our 50-year heritage of excellence. Since the launch of the business in 1969 we have always been determined to remain at the cutting edge of winter maintenance technology.

“We plan to carry on developing products and services that lead the market for our clients, setting new standards for road safety for another 50 years and beyond – whatever the British weather brings.”