Apparently gritter trucks can help with melting road surfaces!


We normally associate gritter trucks with cold weather, helping to keep our roads safe for motorists by spreading grit but apparently they can be used in the summer months too to try and help with melting roads.

According to the RAC, gritter trucks can help combat the problem of melting roads that occur when the UK gets hit by a spell of hot weather such as last week, when temperatures in some parts of the country almost reached recording breaking highs.

RAC breakdown spokesperson, Rod Dennis, said: “Drivers might start to see something that they’d normally only associate with the depths of winter – gritting trucks, as salt can help improve the grip on roads that are starting to melt.”

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Darker appearance on the road surface suggests the road is melting, so keep your furry friends away! © Copyright Pauline W and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

When dark asphalt on the road surface absorbs a huge amount of heat it basically acts like chocolate, melting when it’s hot and then turning brittle when it cools back down.

Dave Rigby, chief technical officer at the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) said: “I would not be surprised to see gritters out over the next couple of days, they are used to spread dust and sand which absorbs the soft bitumen, stabilising the road surface and making it less sticky.”

If you notice a darker appearance to the road surface, this could be because the road is melting. The tar surface on a road can absorb huge amounts of heat on extremely warm days and makes them very hot.

These kind of surfaces aren’t an issue for our car tyres to travel on but they aren’t recommended for walking barefoot on and the family pooch should be kept well away as the soft tar could end up stuck to their paws which is a nightmare to get off (recent experience confirms this).

The RAC also claim they’ve dealt with more breakdowns during the spell of hot weather, as well as drivers putting the wrong fuel into their cars, blaming higher temperatures and muggy days for possibly making drivers feel hot and bothered.



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