Winter Maintenance FAQ

Updated 10 months ago by Olivier

Why do I need to do pre-season checks on my winter maintenance fleet?

Whilst it may seem like your winter maintenance fleet is in proper working order going on last season’s experience; a pre-season check on your gritting fleet before the snow and ice arrives will save you time and money and prevent some major headaches down the road.

There are a number of reasons why Masternaut might not be able to collect gritting data from your vehicle for the up and coming season. This guide will show you how to check and identify the most likely causes giving plenty of time to resolve any issues before winter arrives.

What are the external factors that can affect whether Masternaut are able to collect gritting data?

  • When your vehicle is not a dedicated gritter
    • The lead from gritter control unit to Masternaut equipment could be disconnected, dislodged or missing when gritter body is re-mounted
  • Where the gritter manufacturer has been out to service your gritter, either due to a specific fault or as part of a pre-season servicing schedule
    • The lead from gritter control unit to Masternaut equipment could be disconnected, dislodged or missing
    • The gritter control unit could have been upgraded or replaced
    • The data gateway on the gritter control unit could have been de-activated
    • The incorrect transmission protocol has been provided (where applicable). 
  • Where the vehicle itself has undergone maintenance or a service
    • The lead from gritter control unit to Masternaut equipment could be disconnected, dislodged or missing

When should I perform a Masternaut pre-season winter maintenance check?

Ideally, Masternaut recommend that you start pre-season winter maintenance checks in July for a large fleet (100+), August for a medium fleet (50+) and September for small fleet; that is assuming your gritter manufacturer has already completed their pre-season servicing schedule. If the gritter manufacturer servicing schedule commences later than the suggested start months above, the pre-season winter maintenance checks should commence as soon as the services are complete.

Following these recommendations will allow plenty of time to audit the whole fleet, identify those needing further attention and then book and carry out any required service visits with a Masternaut engineer. Please be aware that starting this activity in September may not leave enough time to check and service the full fleet in time for the winter season.

What do I need to do for a Masternaut pre-season winter maintenance check?

  1. Remount any non-dedicated gritting vehicles
  2. Carry out any identified vehicle maintenance services
  3. Carry out any identified gritter equipment services and pre-season servicing schedule
  4. Take each vehicle out for a dry run to include a full journey where the following have been used:
    1. spreader have been turned on and off
    2. the width/rate has been amended
    3. blast has been turned on and off
    4. road surface temperature is being read and looks correct (where applicable)
    5. pre-wet has been turned on and off (where applicable)
  5. Following the journey you can check the data for multiple gritting vehicles using the Input Usage report to look for the specific events listed above. (Please contact your Customer Services Team if you are unsure on how to set the report up.)
  6. If you have concerns about the data or need more information, use the Masternaut Connect Website to drill down to the specific journey’s detail in question, looking for the specific events tested in the dry run.

What do I do if there is gritting data showing but the values are incorrect?

Contact your Masternaut Customer Services team with the make and model of the gritter control unit and tell them which values are wrong.

What do I do if there is no gritting data showing after the dry run performed in the pre-season check?

  1. If you know how; confirm the lead is present and connected between the gritter control unit and the Masternaut equipment.
    1. If the lead has been reconnected, perform another dry run and re-check the data
    2. If the lead is missing, book a service with your Masternaut Customer Services team stating that you require a new lead fitting. Masternaut will need to know the make and model of the gritter control unit so that they can order the correct lead. The service will be chargeable.
  2. Check to see if the gritter manufacturer has visited the vehicle since the last winter season and if they have:
    1. Has the gritter control unit been upgraded (find this out from the gritter manufacturer)?
      1. If Yes, find out the version from the manufacturer “e.g ECON Spargo Mk 5” and then contact your Masternaut Customer Services team to find out if compatible or requires a configuration change
    2. Has the gritter control unit been replaced (find this out from the gritter manufacturer or gritter service provider)?
      1. If Yes, find out the type of control unit and version from the manufacturer “e.g. ECON Spargo Mk 6” and then contact your Masternaut Customer Services team to find out if compatible or requires a configuration change
    3. Is the data gateway activated (find this out from the gritter manufacturer or gritter service provider)?
      1. If No, ask gritter manufacturer to activate the data gateway, then perform another dry run and re-check the data
  3. If none of the above apply, please contact your Masternaut Customer Services team to ask for the unit to be triaged and a service booked with a Masternaut engineer if required.

When will a service visit from a Masternaut engineer result in a charge?

A Masternaut engineer service visit will be charged for in the following circumstances:

  • The lead from gritter control unit to Masternaut equipment has been disconnected, or is missing from a previously known working gritter
  • Data gateway on gritter control unit is de-activated on a previously known working gritter
  • Gritter control unit has been upgraded or replaced on a previously known working gritter
  • The gritter was not made available for the booked service visit

What needs to be considered when taking the delivery of a brand new gritter?

If you are about to take delivery of a brand new gritting vehicle and you would like to have the Masternaut solution installed, the following should be considered before booking the installation with your Masternaut Customer Services team:

  • Confirm that the make and model of gritter control unit is one that is compatible with the Masternaut solution
  • When ordering the gritter from the gritting manufacturer, make sure you request that the data gateway is activated before delivery and request that the required data transmission protocol is also activated
  • When booking the installation, Masternaut will need to know the make and type of gritting control head, e.g. Econ Spargo Mk7 so that the correct lead can be ordered

What should I do if my gritter has been serviced after the winter maintenance pre-season checks have taken place?

There is a possibility that the gritting data may stop working once the vehicle or the gritter equipment has been serviced due to one of the external factors already discussed in this guide. In this circumstance, Masternaut recommends that the pre-season winter maintenance checks are repeated on this vehicle.

Masternaut gritter compatibility list

At the time of printing Masternaut were compatible with the following manufacturers and versions of gritter control boxes. If you are in any doubt, please ring Masternaut Customer Services for the most up to date list.

  • ECON
    • Spargo Mk5,
    • Spargo Mk6,
    • Spargo MK7
    • 4G Series
  • Schmidt
    • ‘CL’ / CX using the AL protocol
    • EvolutionLine ES and EP control units using the EN 15430-1 protocol
  • Epoke
    • ‘Master III’
    • Master X1 using the EN-15430 protocol


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