District 1 develops directional chute for materials delivery

Repurposing a leftover sign and other in-house items, District 1's Gary Haynes and Gareth Abell (pictured left to right below) recently created a detachable direction chute for gravel and other materials being spread on the roadway. The innovation saves significant time and wasted material in the process. It allows crews to dump roadway material in a more efficient manner, with minimal waste. It also requires less time for the crew to be out in traffic.

With adjustable side directional paddles, there's less mess and material splatter as the material hits the road - saving time in initially laying the material, and in brooming off the excess. The directional chute also features a safety chain.

Watch the video.

"As a maintenance crew, we do quite a bit of ditching and road-shoulder building projects and sometimes need to direct how we dump gravel or rock," explained Abell. "Once again, 'necessity is the mother of invention' and Gary Haynes and myself came up with a detachable chute that chains to the back of the dump truck."

Haynes and Abell attached a bar across the back of the dump box, out of the way of the paver and other moving parts. Then they attached the height-adjustment chain to the dump box via clevises. The width adjustment is on the gate extension.

This allows a crew member to simply adjust the two wings to one of three positions to direct the material where they want it — center (as shown), left or right. Crews can also control the amount of material coming out by setting the chains on the dump box gate. As the truck proceeds, the dump box is raised and material comes out as an even application slightly wider than the chute opening.

"It takes a little practice to get used to the dump speed and raising the box as you proceed, but as with anything, the more you use it the better you get at it," Abell said.

Times 7 Focus: Ideally, these innovations will not live in a silo — they will be catalysts for ITD’s other district offices and work areas, and inspire duplication statewide. These innovations represent time and money-saving measures, process improvements, and customer-service efficiencies that are transferrable to other districts. In that spirit, if this innovation is something you’d like to adapt to your own district or work space, and you have any questions, please contact District 1 Business Operations Manager Scotty Fellom at 1-1202.


Published 09-30-16