Front line vehicles

A new fleet of front line vehicles to maintain Cumbria's roads has been purchased by Cumbria County Council as part of its new in-house highways service.

The fleet of nearly 150 vehicles represents an investment of over £ 7m by Cumbria County Council to improve and maintain the county's roads.
Half of the new fleet is comprised of tipper vehicles, ranging from 3.5 tonnes to 18 tonnes, which are used to transport materials such as rock, gravel, bitumen surfacing and salt around the county council's road network of 4,784 miles. Other vehicles include 6 new loading shovels based at the depots to transfer material into the tippers and load the gritters, 14 new vans to patrol communities and carry out immediate repair works and seven 'cherry pickers' for street lighting maintenance. The fleet also includes three Land Rovers and three 4x4 pick ups for off-road, hard-to-reach locations and support in severe weather conditions.

The winter service will be carried out by a new state-of-the-art fleet of 33 gritters with on-board computers and GPS mapping technology giving information on temperatures and also controlling the spread of rock salt. The gritters can also be fitted with snow ploughs, while two new four-wheel drive Unimog trucks can also be fitted with snow blowers to tackle some of the country's highest roads, which often face the most severe winter conditions.

Where possible the fleet vehicles have been designed to be interoperable, for example, the 18-tonne tipper trucks are also equipped to be fitted with snow ploughs to use as an extra winter resource, and the two four wheel drive Unimog winter maintenance vehicles can be adapted in the summer months to suit other emergency service uses.

The new vehicles incorporate the latest health and safety design features and also have the latest fuel-efficient engines. They'll will work alongside the vehicles used by the council's framework contractors, who are still being called on to carry out more specialised work and larger jobs such as specialist surface dressing, resurfacing and complex civil engineering work.