De-icing bicycle paths and sidewalks

GMR specializes in de-icing business parks in the Netherlands. In 2017 they’ve started using Stints to preventively sprinkle road salt on bicycle paths and sidewalks. This reduces the number of accidents and improves safety for all users.

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In 2010, TNO and Meteogroup studied the slipperiness of roads, bicycle paths and sidewalks. The research revealed that bicycle paths and sidewalks cool down faster than roads, which causes them to get slippery more quickly in winter. Nevertheless, in slippery conditions, roads were given priority by GMR’s clients at that time. Bicycle paths and sidewalks weren’t sprinkled until the next day, using handcarts and dry road salt. As a consequence, unnecessary slipping accidents occurred. For this reason, GMR introduced an innovative mechanized salt sprinkler for bicycle paths and sidewalks in 2011.

A vehicle with an in-house developed mounted structure was used for the 2011 sprinkler. However, those diesel-fueled vehicles turned out to be in need of replacement sooner than planned: a good opportunity for GMT to examine whether improvements could be implemented with the replacement of the old vehicles. In the search for a new vehicle, the following issues were compared:

  • Safety, employment and operation
  • Sustainability
  • Radius of action, especially during winter conditions
  • Total weight, including load
  • Ground clearance, to enter and exit sidewalks
  • Adjustable maximum speed
  • Dimensions
  • Maneuverability
  • Cost price and maintenance costs


After an extensive market analysis and several tests on the rough terrain of a tractor pulling event, the Stint was selected. Since the Stint largely consists of synthetic materials, it’s hardly subject to erosion, which not only benefits sustainability, but also keeps maintenance costs manageable. GMR’s in-house technicians have developed a synthetic sprinkler installation that can be easily placed into the loading compartment.

During the cold days of 2017 and 2018, the Stints have already proven their value!

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