1st Place - Right-of-Way Sprayer, City of Charleston Public Grounds Department
The public Grounds Department was consuming large amounts of labor, fuel, and equipment wear cutting vegetation within rights-of-way adjacent city streets.
Joe Gooch, a public grounds employee and part-time inventor, created a mechanism/sprayer that retrofitted the stake pockets in a full size pickup bed and could be extended out beyond guardrails directing weed killer (i.e. RoundUp) at numerous angles and projections. This sprayer was then connected to a 60-gallon water tank and pump that fed the liquid mixture through the sprayer. An additional "genius" aspect of this "mousetrap" was that the pump feeding the sprayer was wired directly to a trailer light harness that can be easily plugged into the vehicle and controlled by utilizing the parking light circuit.
LABOR, MATERIALS, & EQUIPMENT
3/4" steel gas piping, old "extend-a-mirror" supports/brackets from an old pickup truck, irrigation heads, 1/4" flat bar, 60-gallon water tank, electric pump and a 5-prong trailer wiring harness
60-gallon tank $200
Misc. fittings $20
Scrap piping and metal flat bar $0
SAVINGS/BENEFITS TO COMMUNITY
This sprayer saved hundreds of labor hours and eliminated treacherous working conditions (i.e. steep slopes and rocky terrain) for employees. As an example, this sprayer turned a two-man, two-day trimming job, three times a year, into a one-man, thirty-minute spraying route, two times a year.