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2020 Summer of Spreading Innovation Success

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2020 Summer of Spreading Innovation Success!

This summer, CDOT is working with our Maintenance team to implement eight innovations over a 3-month period. These ideas range from improving plow equipment to protecting rodder hoses. Not only do these ideas have the potential to save thousands of dollars, they also increase efficiency and ease of the many tasks that our Maintenance staff does to serve Colorado. Learn more about these highlighted ideas below!

This page will continuously be updated with even more highlighted innovations so be sure to check regularly!

Innovation Spotlight

Lighted Markers on the Edges of Wing Plows

by Todd Natale, Transportation Maintenance Region 2

At CDOT, we focus on safety for the community as well as for our workers in the drastic weather conditions that occur. Adding lighted wings to the plows allows for better visibility not only for the everyday person on the road, but also for the driver during the harsh winters. This innovation was somewhat of a simple fix, that has a huge impact during the winter here in Colorado.

Wing Plow Idea CardWing Plow Idea Card

Past Spotlights

3D Printer

by Wesley Vetter, Machining Trades IV

How much money do you think a 3D printer costs? Typically, people's first answer to this is somewhere in the thousands of dollars range. However, Wes Vetter and the team at the KOA Maintenance Facility purchased one for less than $500! With this new piece of technology, they have been able to create parts to their plows and machinery that could normally cost thousands to purchase and days to deliver. The 3D printer pays for itself and it takes up a very small amount of space. Take a look at this step into the future:

3D Printer Idea Card

Lube Spout

by Kevin McWhirt- TM III, Region 3, Western Colorado

Even the smallest of innovations can have a huge difference. This innovation significantly speeds up the time it takes to fill truck's windshield washer fluid. Not only does it save time, but it also creates a hands-free filling option, and it only uses two parts that cost less than $5!

Lube Spout idea card

Increasing De-Icer Flow

by Timothy Holbrook, TM-III, Region 3 Northern Colorado

The people of Colorado depend on our Maintenance staff to quickly and efficiently plow our roads and highways after every snowstorm. That is why it is important to encorporate any innovation that gets our plows back on the roads quicker. This innovation allows for de-icer to be loaded onto two trucks at a time using a breakpoint T. Not only does it increase outflow by 30 gal/min, it also decreases the load out cycle time by 20%. 

De-Icer Outflow idea card


Plow Operations Training

by Robert Bell, Utilities Project Manager in central Colorado and Kevin Macvittie, Maintenance and Operations Training Manager

There are at least five different systems in the plows that our Maintenance crews work in. It is crucial for our teams to have proper knowledge of each of these systems before they hit the roads. Robert Bell and Kevin Macvittie have created and facilitated the Winter Operations Training that goes into detail about each of these systems.

Equipment Rust-Prevention Coating

by Jamie Ward– Transportation Maintenance II, Anthony A Martinez– Equipment Mechanic III, Donald Gustin- Equipment Mechanic III, and Kelly Jerome- Transportation Maintenance II, Region 1

Even in Colorado's desert climate, rust damages and deteriorates equipment. This innovation simply gets sprayed onto equipment after snowstorms when the truck is washed and will protect it from rusting. Equipment Rust-Prevention Coating extends the life of equipment and, in turn, saves time and money.

Rust prevention before and after use of spray comparisson

The Plow Shield

by Norman Parra, TM-III, Region 4

Snow and slush splashing back on snowplow windshields creates difficult driving conditions and takes time to remove. The Plow Shield minimizes snow and slush build up simply by being attached to the front of the plow.

Plow Shield on the front of a snow plow

The Wing Cart

by Tom Fick, TM-III, Region 3 Grand Junction

The Wing Cart lets one person remove a wing plow in just 6 minutes without any other equipment. It also eliminates working under a loader bucket to attach the pins and arms.

Photo of wing cart innovation

The Culvert Wheel

By Allan Winter, TM-III Region 5, Cortez

The Culvert Wheel alleviates the need to continuously replace damaged hydrovac rodder hoses by allowing the hose to roll around the end of the culvert without coming into contact with it. This small solution make a huge difference in protecting hoses and saving thousands of dollars in the process.

Lean Everyday Idea card for the Culvert Wheel

JOMA Blades

By Matthew Sterns, TM-I Region 4

This innovation utilizes repurposed JOMA blades to protect and reinforce Whitke and Elgin-style mechanical brooms used on CDOT snowplows. This design eliminates the need to repair old brooms and saves time and money.

JOMA blade with broom on snowplow

Contact Gary Vansuch at [email protected] with any questions about these innovations!