Since their heyday in the 1970s, motor scrapers have slowly disappeared from the UK to be replaced by articulated dump trucks (ADTs) and excavators. The once prevalent behemoths were on every opencast and road job and were seen as the most cost efficient and fastest way of moving spoil from A to B.
While the majority of motor scrapers have until recently been confined to power station coal stockpiles, there are still a handful of older examples operating on smaller projects. What has been changing is the rise again in towed boxes, mainly behind crawler tractors and, in some cases, pulled by large agricultural tractors. There is talk of large scrapers making a comeback for HS2, for which vast quantities of material has to be moved. But these machines require an experienced operator, and these are becoming scarcer by the year.