Michigan DOT mechanics develop salt-saving door for plow trucks

Updated Mar 22, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 9.04.01 AMTwo maintenance mechanics in the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Southwest Region have developed a salt-door stop for plow trucks that helps regulate the flow of salt.

The stop, made from a stainless steel bar, is set to a calibrated height that maintains a constant rate of flow thereby limiting extra salt from escaping, which in turn will save the agency money.

Mechanics Jordan Claus and Ryan Piasecki, seen in the video below, designed the door stop to be attached to the movable gate on salt hoppers. They cost $22 each and have been installed on the entire plow truck fleet (80 tucks) in the Southwest Region. MDOT plans to install them on trucks in the rest of the state in time for next winter.

“Traditionally, our plow operators have relied on their lines of sight to set the salt doors, resulting in varying door heights and salt use from one operator to the next,” said MDOT Southwest Region Engineer of Operations Janine Cooper. “These salt-door stops will eliminate the varying heights of salt doors and allow each operator to simply lower the door to a predetermined and calibrated height, resulting in reducing salt use and saving money.”