Sept. 11, 2017: VDOT Madison area headquarters equipment operator Tony Cooke had an idea.
He combined efforts with trades technician Dwayne Knowles to make it a reality.
Using plumbing and other skills, Tony and Dwayne created a quick-rinse system for snow-removing equipment.
The device is both fiscally responsible and environmentally friendly.
The system saves VDOT time and money previously spent on corrosion-related repairs.
It removes unwanted salt, sand, brine, dirt and other corrosive agents from snow-removing equipment in a way that protects groundwater.
The device uses a modified pressure-wash system. It features a vertical bar with spray nozzles and a “speed hump” with additional nozzles that the vehicle is driven over.
An operator drives snow-removing equipment through the system twice, cleaning both sides and the undercarriage.
Runoff is captured to keep it from polluting the water supply.
While the invention does not replace a thorough post-operation cleaning, it provides an effective pre-wash, particularly during the night shift.
That frees up time previously spent on washing equipment to prevent the corrosive chemicals from causing deterioration.
“Corrosion kills our fleet," said Culpeper District Maintenance Engineer David Pearce. "Ideas like this will be the key to equipment maintenance.”