Yorkshire gritter manufacturer Econ Engineering is celebrating the start of its 50th year in business with a series of events that will see its products showcased right across the UK, starting with an open day at the firm’s Ripon factory this week.
Econ Engineering, which is the UK’s largest gritter and road mending vehicle manufacturer, employs over 200 staff at its Ripon HQ and manufacturing base, where hundreds of the UK’s fleet of winter maintenance vehicles are also stored and serviced each year.
To celebrate its 50th year, the company has built a unique golden gritter that will tour the UK in the autumn, visiting communities across the UK. In the meantime, the one-off vehicle will be based at the company’s Gritter Museum, a private showroom of historic machinery based at the Ripon factory that will also be open to the public on 11 May.
Econ is the largest employer in the North Yorkshire city, and the company now produces 80 per cent of all the salt spreading vehicles used on the UK’s roads. The £28m turnover family business continues to recruit for new staff after a dramatic upsurge in orders from local authorities and other clients.
Econ sales director Andrew Lupton said: “We wanted to show the people of Ripon what’s behind the doors at Econ, and give them a glimpse of the factory and the products we make here that we are so very proud of. The Golden Gritter is unique, and is even more eye catching than the usual strking ‘high vis’ yellow lorries we are famous for making locally.”
“North Yorkshire residents are used to seeing our striking yellow vehicles on the roads all year round, mending roads, clearing snow and putting down the salt and grit that our winters require.
“But people in Ripon see hundreds of gritters, all manufactured for clients in every corner of the UK and serviced here each summer, and we are often asked about tours and the museum which houses our restored vintage vehicles,” said Econ director Jonathan Lupton.
“We’re really proud of the team and their work, and we recruit people from all over the local area in any number of roles, from welders and mechanics to designers, engineers and administrative and accounts people. This is a chance to open the doors and show people behind an independent business that is thriving in tough times and growing to employ more and more local people,” he added.
Anyone planning to attend the open day should email firstname.lastname@example.org with estimated numbers.