I spotted my first gritting lorry ....

  Clapton is God 12:34 11 Feb 2009

.... whilst driving home from work last night down a narrow, winding Surrey country lane.

Unfortunately, he was coming towards me down the MIDDLE of the lane at roughly warp 8 whilst straddling the central white lane.

I hurriedly got as far over to the left as I could, which actually took me onto the grass verge at the side of the road, just avoiding a drop into the drainage ditch running alongside the verge.

He thundered past me at the same speed, taking my wing mirror and a goodly portion of my offside rear door, rear panel and rear wheel arch with him.

Needless to say, he didn't stop and simply raced off down the lane.

I wasn't able to note his registration number as I was more concerned with getting out of his way at the time.

Presumably he was in a rush to get home for his evening meal (he wasn't actually gritting the road).

Unfortunately, swearing isn't allowed in the Forum otherwise I could have told you what I said to myself as he disappeared into the distance.

Glad I've got that off my chest.

  Si_L 12:39 11 Feb 2009

Would he not be registered with some agency that does the gritting? I would find out who employs him, be it the council or whoever, and check if any have been involved in an incident. You might be able to whittle it down doing that.

  WhiteTruckMan 12:40 11 Feb 2009

have you contacted the police?


  cycoze 13:40 11 Feb 2009

Surrey County Council's Road Safety page click here , links for Surrey County Council, Surrey Police, Surrey Fire & Rescue, and the Highways Agency contained within.

The Lorry itself must have some damage or paint from you're vehicle on it.

  Clapton is God 14:39 11 Feb 2009

Thanks for your suggestions and link.

I've now lodged an official complaint with Surrey County Council.

But, other than being able to identify one of their gritters which was scheduled to be driving down that particular road at 5:40 last night or finding one with bits of a dark green Golf hanging off it, I reckon I'm on a hiding to nothing!

  oresome 16:17 11 Feb 2009

"he wasn't actually gritting the road"
That makes sense. There's a shortage.

"Presumably he was in a rush to get home"
Having heard the weather forecast and with no grit, that also makes sense.

"I was more concerned with getting out of his way"
That makes even more sense. Self preservation comes first when faced with a thundering big truck coming towards you.

I'm glad you're OK if a little shook up and understandably annoyed. The car can be fixed, but body parts on humans are not so easy to repair.

  the hick 06:54 12 Feb 2009

Like most county councils, I believe Surrey has area maintenance depots, each covering a certain area. Find out the relevant depot for the road you were on from the maintenance dept. at their HQ. They don't have that many gritting vehicles at each depot, and they will probably have maps of all 'gritting runs', so it should be fairly easy to establish which one it was. Also bear in mind, councils hate bad publicity on matters like this...

  laurie53 10:30 12 Feb 2009

Most of our council vehicles are fitted with GPS tracking devices, and their route can be traced.

Perhaps yours is the same.

  Bingalau 12:07 12 Feb 2009

If it had been me I would have chased after him to find where he was going and then had a talk with his bosses. After all his base wouldn't be all that far away.

  Clapton is God 12:39 12 Feb 2009

"If it had been me I would have chased after him ...."

I'm sure you would.

And so would I - if the lane had been wide enough to turn my car around in anything less than a 26-point turn and if the lorry hadn't already completely vanished into the distance.

And if the car had been handling properly.

  skeletal 16:53 12 Feb 2009

You have my sympathy and I hope you can get recompense.

A few weeks ago (before the big freeze, but still ice around) a gritting lorry came up fast behind my wife and sat about an inch from her bumper. We were doing the speed limit (30) and as it was at night, poor visibility and the roads were slippy, certainly did not want to go any faster (legally or illegally); we pulled over into a side turning and let him go past. He was clearly well above the speed limit, but perhaps such lorries don’t slide on ice? Belting on would mean the roads get gritted more quickly so perhaps such driving is safe? Clearly such drivers assume it is up to others to get out of their way.

We were luckier than you CiG, he did not hit us, apart from the spray of grit all over the car as he went past.


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