Through its work with Wiltshire County Council, term maintenance provider, Ringway, has honed its approach to tackling the demands of a rural road network and, in particular, its preparations for dealing with extreme weather change. As such, Ringway has added a JCB Fastrac to its fleet and included a striking union flag design across the front, celebrating its links with the rural community and Great British engineering.
JCB’s heritage and prestige made it an obvious choice for Ringway and its many hundreds of years’ engineering experience meant it was a brand that could be relied upon to deliver results in trying environments. The union flag design was added to the livery to acknowledge the faith held in the JCB brand and is also a nod to the working relationship Ringway has with the local farming and rural community.
“The robust and rugged design is made surprisingly maneuverable due to the 4x4 mode, including a crabbing facility, which has been of immense use in our highway activities,” says Paul Herbert, Divisional Manger at Ringway. “We are always exploring the local supply of materials and work closely with local farmers to assist our operations during the winter season when their equipment can’t be fully utilized. We all opted for the union flag design to acknowledge these links and the British history that JCB represents. Its reception, both in house and with the wider Wiltshire population has been incredibly positive.”
The new vehicle, supplied by Uphill and Son in Radstock, has been procured to assist with the company’s winter service. The vehicle can be fitted with a purpose built salt spreading trailer which supplements the traditional spreader units used by Ringway. “When conditions are particularly testing, either heavy snow or ice, the new Fastrac is used to access locations which a traditional, less maneuverable vehicle would struggle to reach,” says Paul. “In an area like Wiltshire this increased service is crucial and helps us to keep the rural networks open and flowing, which keeps both communities and businesses mobile.”
The spreading trailer, which was developed in partnership with ECON, is the product of great planning and incorporates a lot of new technology as a result. Many meetings took place between Ringway, ECON, & JCB regarding the design of the spreader from conception to completion. All aspects needed to be considered, from the colour of the unit/trailer, the size and type of LED light units, to the configuration of the control unit of the spreader in the cab of the JCB. The design also needed to take into consideration the electronic and hydraulic flows between the two units to ensure it integrated seamlessly and fulfilled its duties adequately.
Outside of winter, Ringway has been keen to keep the vehicle in service in order to provide the best possible value and service to the county. The JCB is also well suited to more agricultural duties and the range of accessories available means it can be put to use cutting grass, grip cutting, hedge trimming and in visibility splays. It is also used to assist with the company’s surface dressing duties and utilizes a loader bucket attachment to move vast tonnes of aggregate-spread around landing sites across Wiltshire. Ringway has also made provisions for it to be used in flood defenses and to assist with retrieving stranded vehicles.