Winter Maintenance Services

Northern Estates Services operates a fleet of gritting vehicles and we provide a winter gritting service for our clients throughout the North West of England, North, West and South Yorkshire.

During the winter, air temperatures can be very different from Road Surface Temperatures – sometimes RSTs will be warmer and sometimes colder, depending on the weather scenario. Hazards form ONLY when RSTs drop below zero AND some form of moisture is present so using specifically designed RSTs for private gritting purposes means we only grit when we really need to, and site risks are lowered.

Comprehensive Winter Services

  • We do not sub-contract
  • We use Metdesk site specific road surface temperature
  • Training and staffing
  • De-icing road grit has a dedicated indoor grit store
  • Runs are planned to be the most economical and environmentally friendly as possible
  • All vehicles are tracked for full traceability
  • Processing and reporting
  • Northern Estates Services Limited have been carrying out gritting to commercial sites since 2008.


Metdesk are the only UK forecaster using 5 minute satellite data – all others use 15 minutes satellite info. This allows them to make better judgement calls on marginal nights.

  • Skill - MetDesk has won numerous competitive forecast skill contests and win a lot of their business through these kind of skill assessments. For the 2015/16 winter, MetDesk got the forecast right 97% of the time, with an average error in the forecast close to 1C for the next 24 hours.
  • Their site specific temperature and condition forecasts are supported by an experienced team of meteorologists, who are available to us 24/7. This human element adds value and accuracy – especially in complex weather situations. Safer site – fewer unnecessary call outs ( less ££ spent).
  • The MetDesk snow forecast is relevant to what will actually happen on the road surfaces at our sites and addresses the difference between snow falling and snow accumulating. This method prevents overreacting to conditions yet maintains safe sites.
  • MetDesk forecasts arrive on time every day without fail.
  • MetDesk is trusted by some of Europe’s largest companies –temperatures forecasts are used by National Grid, E.On, RWE, SSE, to keep the UK’s power network optimised. Meanwhile, in the gritting sector numerous local authorities including Transport for London, All of Merseyside’s Metropolitan Boroughs, Highways England, Leicestershire, Somerset, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham all benefit from Metdesk’s road surface temperature information. MetDesk also offers a huge forecasting system to Network rail to ensure that rail journeys, passengers and infrastructure is suitably prepared for the UK’s weather.


  • Instruction and plan received from Client.
  • Site specific Method Statement and Risk Assessments are produced.
  • The site or sites are programmed into the geographical gritting route.
  • Forecasts are received daily from Metdesk at approximately 12 noon.
  • We then email our Clients and make them aware that temperatures will be falling below 1°C and that we will be gritting their site unless we are instructed not to grit before 3pm.
  • Our qualified operatives then grit the site, any discrepancies are reported to the duty manager.
  • All our vehicles are tracked and a copy of the tracker report is then forwarded to our clients the following day if requested.
  • Forecasts are printed and attached to invoices for full traceability.