Iowa challenges new technology vs. mother nature
Thu, 04 Dec 2008 00:34:20 GMT —
Iowa dot crews were kept pretty busy Wednesdayafternoon, keeping the roads clear for you. But a new piece of technology will help crews keep the roads clear more efficiently. Six laser guidance devices were installed in Iowa dot's trucks at each district. It's a box that sits on top of a mirror on the cab of the truck and guides the operator.
"It's often difficult to see. The operator can't tell exactly the trajectory of that wing plow and what course its taking. So this laser allows allows it to create a spot in advance of the truck to let the operator know where it's headed," said Dennis Burkheimer, the Winer Operations Administrator for Iowa Dot.
The device will also provide accuracy. Many times, because operators can't see, they bump into mailboxes, signposts, bridges, and other obstructions. IA dot hopes this will cut out those bumps and bruises, saving the department money on maintenance to snow plows.
"That's one of the things we're looking for. It's also a safety feature. We don't want to run into other objects or cars or anything else on the road," said Burkheimer.
We checked in and found out the nearest district that has one of these devices on the truck is Leon and Iowa city. Burkheimer told me SE Iowa could soon see the benefits of this new technology, but that'll all depend on it's effectiveness first this winter.
So far, one snowplow driver has used the new technology, and has found it very useful.