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Introducing Spready Mercury and Gritney Spears: Scotland’s hilariously named snow-ploughs are back on the roads this winter

Snow-ploughs across the country are now back in action, and their names this year certainly didn’t disappoint.

While 2021 has been a year of uncertainty and change, we can always rely on one of the UK’s greatest winter traditions: Scottish gritter trucks with hilarious names.

As the nights get darker and the temperature plummets, the country’s fleet of snow-ploughs and are back on track with a new selection of wacky and wonderful names. 

The BBC reports that the practice of naming each vehicle goes back to as early as 2006, when The Scottish Transport Ministry encouraged school children to come up with funny names for them.

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This year was no different, seeing Scotland’s roads make way for a variety of trucks and gritters with nicknames including Salt Disney, Blizzard of Oz and Yes Sir, Ice Can Boogie. 

The snow-plough fleet are playing an essential role in keeping the winter roads safe for travel. While doing so, they are also providing a Christmas laugh at the same time.

Last winter, a 24-hour maintenance team operated 230 vehicles spreading salt and ploughing snow across Scotland. This year is likely to see a similar approach.

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Some more nicknames for this year’s ploughs include:

  • Buzz IceClear
  • Spready Mercury 
  • Mary Queen of Salt
  • Brine Freeze
  • License to Chill
  • Bear Chills
  • Gritney Spears
  • William Wall-Ice
  • Snow Connery 
  • You Only Grit Ice
  • Gritly Come Dancing
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This year’s Trunk Road Gritter Tracker in action. Image: Traffic Scotland (2021)

In 2016, Transport Scotland released the Trunk Road Gritter Tracker, an interactive map which provides live tracking of Scottish gritters as they travel on the road. The tracker displays the current location of every vehicle, alongside a trail of all the routes which have been recently passed.

With more than 50 ploughs currently available to view, the map provides a great tool for those concerned about road conditions, and others who are simply looking for a bit of lighthearted entertainment.

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