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December 18, 2014


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Southwest District
 
 
Southwest District at Work
I-49 Slope Repair Bates County  

Tree Trimming in Barry County

Pipe Repair in Vernon County  

MAKING REPAIRS - (upper left) Butler Intermediate Maintenance Worker Derek Loe operates a backhoe to repair a small slide-off at the slope on the southbound I-49 off ramp at Adrian. (Photo/David Mitchell)

TREE TRIMMING – (upper right) Cassville Maintenance Worker Dustin Terry (left) and Cassville Maintenance Crew Leader Jesse Durosette trim trees and brush along Route 76 in Barry County. (Photo/David Mitchell)

NEW PIPE – (lower left) Nevada Maintenance Workers Mike Cash and Duane Ruscha put finishing touches on installation of a new drainage pipe under Route K near Nevada. (Photo/David Mitchell)

 
 

Southwest District Crews

Testing Canopy Saw

Jarraff arm saw
Southwest District maintenance crews are using a Jarraff arm saw to trim trees on Stone County Route 76 near Reeds Spring. (Photo/David Mitchell)

Southwest District maintenance crews are trying out a new piece of equipment that makes the winter job of tree trimming safer and more cost effective.

Crews in the Southwest, Central and Southeast districts are testing an all-terrain tree trimmer made by Jarraff Industries.

Central Office is paying for each district to rent the machine for two months.

Tree trimming is a normal winter maintenance activity, says Assistant District Maintenance Engineer Bob Becker.

“Opening the canopy over the roadway lets the sun get through, aiding in snow-melting,” said Becker, “and keeps limbs out of the roadway during wind and ice storms.”

He says it can also be a dangerous and slow operation. Crews using scissor lifts or bucket trucks are constantly being lifted to reach the brush to be cleared using chainsaws.

“The nice thing about (using the Jarraff saw) is no one is physically cutting, no one is up in the air,” said Becker.

The saw operator is in a cab, remotely operating a circular saw at the end of an arm and driving the vehicle along the highway.

In addition to safety, Becker says the operation is also faster. Crews can cover up to a mile and a half a day with the arm saw as opposed to about a half a mile a day using a bucket truck.

Renting the equipment is also a benefit.

“By renting we always have a good piece of equipment and it doesn’t sit around unused for six months out of the year,” says Becker.

Central Office maintenance staff got the idea from the Ohio Department of Transportation while attending a multi-state meeting recently.

“We’ll evaluate the equipment and cost,” Becker said, “but our initial reaction is we’ll do this again next year.”

 

Southwest District Partners with Schools,

Hopes to Inspire Would-Be Engineers

School Partnership
Senior Customer Service Representative Becky Walsh helps a student at Springfield's Hickory Hills Middle School participating in an egg-drop project. (Photo/Angela Eden)

Southwest District Management Team members have recently voiced their desire to increase the District’s engagement with schools and colleges. The District has attended events across the 21 county area for many years, but never coordinated this activity or actively sought to increase the amount of outreach work undertaken.

Staff from Customer Relations and Human Resources met with colleagues at Springfield Public Schools, and teamed up to join the Partners in Education program. The program has allowed the District to work with many schools to help support their science and math curriculum through activities such as practical workshops and academic lectures.

The District is also partnering with SPS in their Project Lead the Way pre-engineering program, supporting the aspirations of over 400 potential engineers in the area.

In addition to the partnership with SPS, staff are reaching out to schools and colleges across the District to offer a range of practical activities and skill workshops to support their daily lessons and career development days.

A recent event at the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch School gave the boys a chance to learn about engineering, maintenance, and to investigate the different types and costs of aggregates used to create and maintain our roads. School groups have also enjoyed site visits to MoDOT offices to meet with staff and learn more about engineering.

 
 
 
 

For more info

Jennifer Williams
Customer Relations Manager
Southwest District
417.895.7713
Jennifer.Williams@modot.mo.gov

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