Haynes talks about his post-pounding innovation.

Post-pounding just got easier

Another innovation from the St. Maries maintenance shed seeks to make installing delineators easier and safer for operators.

For the last 15 years or so, the hydraulic post-pounder apparatus on an old maintenance truck went largely unused due to its complicated disassembly required between each installation.

With the crew on staggered shifts and working in smaller groups, shed Foreman Gary Haynes devised new attachments for the apparatus so that it could be used during post-pandemic work situations.

Traditionally, the apparatus was best for metal posts and rocky soil common to the region, but its original setup essentially required the truck to be parked in a lane to do a series of delineators. Shutting down a lane is more work than using the shoulder, so operators tended to revert to manual labor—until Hayne’s changes made it safer and more efficient.

This innovation is highlighted in this week's ITD In Motion video.

Major changes make it better for installing metal posts. A new storage mechanism allows operators to move from post to post without completely putting it away each time, and a different bolt allows the apparatus to extend at an angle from the truck. These modifications alone will let operators to use the shoulder instead of the lane to place posts and do it more quickly.

Haynes’ new attachment holds the post steady and also leaves room for the reflective pieces at the top of the post. Previously operators would spend extra time on the road near traffic after pounding in the posts to screw on the reflective plates.

“Now we can assemble these posts ahead of time and spend less of it next to traffic,” Haynes said.

With plastic posts becoming popular due to their flexibility and anti-corrosive characteristics, Haynes built another attachment so these would not have to be installed by hand. The metal spear carves out space in the ground so all an operator has to do is slide it in, eliminating a lot of exertion and broken plastic.

And really, this entire setup beats the old-school method of pounding these posts in by hand.

“Now two of us can do 60 posts in a day, and it’s even possible to do it all by yourself,” Haynes said. “Before that, three of us couldn’t do more than 12 total, and after work our arms and shoulders would just be destroyed.”

Published 05-29-20