‘Spready Mercury’ and ‘Gritney Spears’: Scotland’s Snowplows Have Amazing Names

Better yet, you can track them on an interactive map any time of day.

byRob Stumpf| PUBLISHED Dec 11, 2020 4:30 PM
‘Spready Mercury’ and ‘Gritney Spears’: Scotland’s Snowplows Have Amazing Names

The world needs a bit of joy right now; something to make everyone forget about the state of things and just have a bit of silly fun. Usually it's Santa taking care of holiday cheer this time of year, but it's 2020 and things wouldn't be right without something being askew. So instead of looking to the skies to see some reindeer and a sled, I ask you to glue your eyes to the screen and turn to a map maintained by Scotland's department of transportation where it tracks hilariously named snowplows cleaning up the roads.

This is the Trunk Road Gritter Tracker. It's an interactive map where the world can peer down onto the roads of Scotland and see exactly where the country's snow plows—locally referred to as "gritters"—are battling the wintery conditions.

via Arcgis | Traffic Scotland

The map has been around since 2016, so these gritters have technically been trackable for about four years, but the inanimate objects have actually carried names for much longer.

According to the BBC, Transport for Scotland began naming the heavy metal fleet back in 2006. It even ran a competition in primary schools across the country where students were responsible for coming up with the best names. Thankfully, Scotland got some better submissions than Boaty McBoatface.

And in case you were wondering—yes, the names are proudly displayed on the side of the trucks in big bold letters for all to see.

Here are some of our favorite gritters out on snow patrol right now:

  • Mr. Plow
  • Ice Destroyer
  • BFG (Big Friendly Gritter)
  • License to Chill
  • Ready Spready Go
  • Gritty Gonzales
  • Sprinkles

The country has a total of 230 salt spreaders in operation, many of which carry equally creative names. The Scotland Herald published a comprehensive list of more than 60 trucks that have been christened into the fleet, and if you've got time to kill (be honest, you do), it's worth reading through them all.

I'm just so happy that Gangsta Granny Gritter, Spready Mercury, and Fred can keep everyone safe this winter.

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