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Motorists in Northern Colorado Urged to Watch Out for CDOT’S Newest Piece of Highway Equipment: The Gator Getter

August 6, 2013 - TRAFFIC ADVISORY - Northeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 4 - Truck extension allows for improved safety and efficiency for work on high speed highways.

NORTHERN COLORADO — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), which is committed to spending public funds wisely and working to get more out of our system, has begun using an innovative new piece of equipment on northern Colorado highways, particularly I-25: The Gator Getter.

Curious what gators have to do with Colorado? Basically, the Gator Getter is an equipment extension that CDOT installs on the front of regular service vehicles and operates similar to a plow blade from inside the cab of the truck. It allows crews to remain in their truck while simultaneously picking up trash and debris on highways via the Gator Getter.  The bright yellow extension is particularly useful on highways like I-25 where the speed limit is 75 MPH and crews face greater dangers when exiting vehicles to do their work.

Thanks to the Gator Getter, removing debris from the highway will not only become a safer process for our employees by allowing them to stay within their vehicles, but it will also be a more efficient process since temporary maintenance Cone Zones don’t have to be set up in order to pick up debris. What once was a two-man job can now be a one-person job, and a safer one at that.

Here’s how the Gator Getter works:

  • Crews attach the Gator Getter to an ordinary work truck.

  • While driving in traffic on the interstate, the driver lowers the Gator Getter similar to a plow blade.

  • Debris and trash will be scooped up into the Gator Getter due to the momentum of the traveling truck. It will be kept in a cage inside the equipment until the driver reaches a stopping point to remove it.

  • Once the driver is finished cleaning up the highway, he will head back to the maintenance shed and remove the debris to finish his work. That’s it!

Since the bright yellow extension is completely new to Colorado, motorists may be surprised to see

them on the highways. It is important for motorists to remember that nothing is required on their part when driving next to a Gator Getter. The equipment was made to allow our crews to drive side-by-side with members of the public to help make the highways cleaner, and more importantly, safer.

To receive real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at www.coloradodot.info/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html. Live road conditions are available at www.cotrip.org or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/coloradodot.

*Photos available at www.flickr.com/photos/coloradodot/

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