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New pavement oil application devices help protect environment, save tax dollars

Oil truck spray guard, catch basin provide simple solutions, big savings
April 22, 2014

PHOENIX – New devices on trucks used by the Arizona Department of Transportation to apply oil on highway pavement to extend the lifespan of the road surface are reducing taxpayer costs, saving time and helping the environment.

The use of the new oil-spray guards help with the distribution of oil by giving greater control in applying the oil during pavement preservation projects along Arizona’s highways. This allows crews to use less oil by limiting overspray onto the ground and landscaping next to the highway, protecting the environment.

Oil truck spray guard close up“We’re very happy with the results,” said ADOT Equipment Services Administrator Devin Darlek. “We’re seeing savings in time and money while protecting landscaping with the use of spray guards. It’s a good example of ADOT’s efforts to be good stewards of both the environment and taxpayer dollars.”

A team of ADOT employees from different areas within the agency came together to develop the spray-guard device. The team had not come across anything used elsewhere in the country to address the problem of over-spraying oil during pavement projects. The ADOT spray guard has become a successful innovation.

Other benefits of the spray guard include a reduction in the amount of time needed to clean the trucks after use on a highway project. What used to take two employees between four and eight hours to accomplish now takes one employee about an hour.

Along with the spray guard, the team also designed and built catch basins as a better way to contain and dispose of the oil washed off the trucks. The oil residue is washed off the truck into the catch basin where it is then pumped into 55-gallon drums for proper disposal.

Oil truck cleaning in catch basin“I am really proud of our team,” said Darlek. “They worked hard and were able to develop simple solutions that help to produce a lot of savings for the department and taxpayers. This is a win-win-win for ADOT, taxpayers and the environment.”

The catch basins can be deployed at ADOT maintenance yards across the state which allow for more places to wash the oil trucks after use. The basins cost a fraction of the more industrial oil-water separators that are located at some of the district offices around the state.

The savings produced as a result of the spray guard and the catch basin can help direct taxpayer money to other areas of need within the agency, allowing those dollars to go further toward a well-maintained highway system.