The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


TTAP Newsletter: RoadTalk

Germantown Public Services Department Wins 2014 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition

by Matt Cate, P.E.

TTAP would like to congratulate Bo Mills and the maintenance crew at the Germantown Public Services Department for winning Tennessee’s first Build a Better Mousetrap competition. Germantown’s tool rack and organizer embodies the innovations developed by agencies across the country to increase safety, reduce cost, improve efficiency, and/or improve the quality of transportation.

Innovation: Service Truck Tool Rack/Organizer

Germantown's in-house tool rack/organizer keeps a variety of long-handled tools out of harm's way and within easy reach of the maintenance crew.

Problem: When tools are put in the bed of a service truck you run the risk of tools being damaged by other equipment or materials being stacked on top of the tools. It is also difficult to get the tools out for use, hard to keep up with them, and impossible to keep them clean and free from damage.

Solution: Install a tool rack/organizer. The tool rack/organizer is made of schedule 40 PVC pipe. Holes are drilled in the top and bottom section of the pipe large enough to allow tool handles to easily fit into. The tool rack/organizer is attached to the tool box or inside bed of the service truck using “U” clamps or other clamping devices. Once the tool rack/organizer is installed various tools can be placed into the rack allowing easy access while organizing and protecting the tools.

Cost/labor and Materials:: The total cost for construction and installation of the tool rack/organizer was approximately $100.00. The costs for materials and labor were $50.00 each. All work and materials were supplied in house.

Seen from inside the bed of the service truck, the tool rack/organizer keeps tools neat without significantly reducing the amount of room available for other equipment and materials.