Iowa LTAP has moved from CTRE to the Institute for Transportation
Better Mousetraps: Winning innovations for road maintenance and repair
Each year at the Iowa Maintenance Expo, six winning "mousetraps" are chosen in the "Better Mousetrap" competition. The purpose of the competition is to recognize the tools, equipment modifications, and systems that transportation personnel have created to make their jobs easier, safer, and less costly. Winners have their mousetrap idea published in the Iowa LTAP newsletter Technology News. They also receive a certificate of recognition and $100.
Judging the 2005 mousetrap competition.
Explaining the plow mounting procedure change
The "mousetraps" are judged according to the following criteria:
- The "mousetrap" serves a purpose and is practical.
- It applies to all levels of government (city, county, state).
- It saves time or cost in operations.
- Others could likely build a similar device.
- It performs well.
- It shows originality and ingenuity.
- The judge would consider doing it himself/herself.
- Self-Contained Guardrail Trailer, Tim Van Brogen and Mike Potter, Iowa DOT—Newton
- Post Puller, Ronald Wolf, Iowa DOT—Dyersville
- Slip in Weed Sprayer, Kirk Montange and John Jepson, Iowa DOT—Sioux City - Leeds
- Skidloader attachment rack, Trent Sorgenfrey and Denny Petersen, Iowa DOT—Tipton (413 k *pdf)
- Plow mounting procedure change for Wausau Down Pressure Plow, Glenn Hansen and Todd Cogdill, Iowa DOT—Onawa (413 k *pdf)
- Hydraulic hose organizer for batwing mower, Glenn Hansen and Todd Cogdill, Iowa DOT—Onawa (413 k *pdf)
- Truck mounted edge rut blade, Kim Christensen and Dale Anderson, Iowa DOT—Le Mars (282 k *pdf)
- Island marker, Tim Branam, Daryl Davis, and Pete Wonders, Iowa DOT— DeSoto (282 k *pdf)
- Improved hitch and wheels on one- man edge rutter, Kim Christensen and Dale Anderson, Iowa DOT—Le Mars (282 k *pdf)
- Front mount narrow shoulder edge rutter, Garry Carlson and Randy Nees, Iowa DOT—Rockwell City and Sac City
- Jetter head, Dick Banowetz, Iowa DOT—DeWitt
No entries were received for the competition in 2004.
- **Adding a heavy-duty wing wheel (199 k *pdf), Herb Morley, Iowa DOT (Elkader)
- **Telspar hand driver, Iowa DOT (Osage)
- **Reciprocating chute (216 k *pdf), Iowa DOT (Spencer)
- **Salt shed door (187 k *pdf), Iowa DOT (Cedar Rapids)
- **Sign trailer modification (267 k *pdf), Iowa DOT (Council Bluffs)
- Portable stop sign trailer, City of Ankeny
- **Anti-ice bar (141 k *pdf), Maintenance Crew, Iowa DOT-Dyersville
- **Enhanced road work sign, (169 k *pdf) Maintenance Crew, Iowa DOT-Sidney
- LED pedestrian signal retrofit (168 k *pdf), Jim DeWitt, City of Clive
- Underbody wash (305 k *pdf), Dennis Guillaume, City of Ankeny
- **Portable utility box (126 k *pdf), Maintenance Crew, Iowa DOT-Tipton
- **Guardrail cleaner (221 k *pdf), Maintenance Crew, Iowa DOT-Dyersville
- Horizontal drill jig, Galen Hammerly and Glenn Jontz, City of Newton
- Water pump transporter, Gary Keller, Lee County
- Quick snow
fence roller (2.1 mb *pdf), Joe Hodapp, City of Ankeny
(see bottom right illustration)
- Telescoping bridge rail (148 k *pdf), Tom Watts and Evan Walker, Des Moines County
- Limb lopper (1.8
mb *pdf), Mark Fee and Timothy Van Roekel, Marion County
(see top right illustration)
- Concrete trailer (411 k *pdf), Public Works Department, City of Clive
- Liner installation tools (400 k *pdf), Culvert and drainage crew, Johnson County
- E.Z. rack (440 k *pdf), Pat Zimmerman, Johnson County
The Better Mousetraps submitted by Iowa DOT personnel have not been officially approved by the Iowa DOT and will undergo further testing and evaluation before consideration is made for statewide implementation.
Duane Smith, Associate Director for Outreach, can answer questions about the competition. Contact him at 515-294-8103 or email@example.com. A call for entries will be issued again this year.
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Last updated: May 23, 2008