David Petersdorf named Maintenance Person of the Year

An Idaho Transportation Department District 5 employee has been named the 2013 “Maintenance Person of the Year.”

Transportation Technician Principal David Petersdorf of the D5 Striping Crew, was recognized for optimizing technology that has saved the department thousands of dollars annually in maintenance costs while striping and painting Idaho roadways.

Seeking a better way to paint sections of highway without wasting paint, he redesigned a new bead nozzle that allows for a decrease in operating pressure from 7.5 psi to 4 psi, which delivers fewer beads in a concentrated pattern on four-inch painted stripe. The technology resulted in a savings of $52,000 for D5 and $60,000 in D6 in 2012 alone.

Additionally, Petersdorf sought to extend the striping season by starting earlier in warmer parts of the state and working in unison with other striping crews to paint other areas later in the season. In D5, Petersdorf supervises a striping crew of six. He also routinely works in Districts 4 and 6 painting stripes on Idaho highways as far west as Burley, south to Utah, east to Wyoming and as far north as Salmon.

“David has a can-do attitude and he experiments with new ideas,” D5 Operations Manager Steve Gertonson said. “He is an excellent leader maintaining high morale for a crew that spends every other three weeks on the road living in hotel rooms performing the striping in such a large area.”

Designing and reconfiguring the bead nozzle took just a few hours and cost around $20 for materials. Petersdorf was nominated for the ITD Maintenance Person of the Year award this spring, but just learned that he was named the top maintenance person department-wide in August

“I grew up with the attitude that anything worth doing is worth doing right,” Petersdorf said.

Petersdorf, of Pocatello, has been with ITD since 2010.

Published 9-5-14