Several metres of snow have been dumped on the French Alps during the past few weeks and two JCB Fastrac 4220s are carrying out vital work to keep a high mountain pass open. Fitted with a special blade at the front and a salt sprayer at the rear, one of them is ploughing its way through 2.0m of compacted snow at the Col du Lautaret and Col du Galibier- mountain passes more than 2,000m (6,700ft) above sea level and a regular route of the Tour de France.

The tractor was adapted by Villeton, a French company which specialises in snow clearing equipment, in conjunction with JCB France. The company also undertook a radical adaption of their second machine, reversing the position of the cab so that the engine is behind the driver for improved visibility and enabling a snow blower attachment to be installed at the front.