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Old 11-07-2019, 07:44 PM
Andy L is offline
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Identify tool being used by highway worker


A few weeks ago, there was a major traffic accident on a highway nearby my house (a gravel truck hit a car and toppled over). A few hours later, I was driving down that highway and spent some time stopped because several lanes were still closed. While stuck in the traffic, my wife and I saw a worker walking along the highway's shoulder with a device I couldn't quite identify. This was a hundred feet _before_ the accident (so the worker couldn't have been looking at damage caused by the accident). The device looked a bit like a metal detector, but without the disk at the end. It did have what looked like an electronic display near the handle. Any idea what it could have been?
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:58 PM
harmonicamoon is offline
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Probably a distance measurer. In the old days they had a wheel on the surface. But now they are digital, I guess.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:00 PM
gotpasswords is offline
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Best guess would be some sort of gas/fuel spill detector.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:01 PM
Ignotus is offline
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Cable detector?
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:02 PM
Andy L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonicamoon View Post
Probably a distance measurer. In the old days they had a wheel on the surface. But now they are digital, I guess.
Could be. I wonder if he could see skid marks that I couldn't and was measuring the distance from the beginning of the skid to the accident location?
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:03 PM
Andy L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
Best guess would be some sort of gas/fuel spill detector.
Don't think so because he was at a location where the truck would have been well before the accident occurred (if he was trying to detect a spill, he would have been a ways down the road from where we saw him).
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:11 PM
kopek is offline
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Some sort of detector; possibly even metal. Not all have the traditional loops we're used to seeing. Some like this
https://armetaldetectors.com/wp-cont...-detector3.jpg
are used a fair amount in road construction. It depends somewhat on which direction the construction was heading. Another kind you sometimes see looks more like this
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/H6AAA...drc/s-l640.jpg
and can work for non-metal pipes as well.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:13 PM
gotpasswords is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonicamoon
Probably a distance measurer. In the old days they had a wheel on the surface. But now they are digital, I guess.
I've never seen a contactless distance measuring device akin to a trundle wheel. Around here, at least, the CHP either uses plain old steel tape measures or total stations, which are the digital evolution of a surveyor's transit. Some jurisdictions use laser scanning, which captures enough data in a short amount of time to recreate an accident scene digitally.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:35 PM
harmonicamoon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
I've never seen a contactless distance measuring device akin to a trundle wheel. Around here, at least, the CHP either uses plain old steel tape measures or total stations, which are the digital evolution of a surveyor's transit. Some jurisdictions use laser scanning, which captures enough data in a short amount of time to recreate an accident scene digitally.
The OP did not mention contactless.

And I think if it was a distance measurer, CA would have the latest. And a laser would be a good choice.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:46 AM
Banksiaman is offline
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This form of cable detector uses the ergonomic counter-weighting of the screen and grip, so looks like a metal detector without the dinner plate at the end:

https://www.electric-test.com/cable-...and-cable.html

Is this what you saw?
  #11  
Old 11-08-2019, 07:21 AM
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I think distance-measurers still use a wheel, but it might be a small enough wheel that the OP didn't notice it.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:36 AM
Joey P is offline
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While I'm not saying this is the case, don't discount the possibility that it was unrelated to the accident. I agree with others, they're very possibly measuring distance, probably from the first point of impact or where they felt the driver lost control, but it's also possible that it was just a DPW worker doing his job that he was going to do anyway.

Quote:
Don't think so because he was at a location where the truck would have been well before the accident occurred (if he was trying to detect a spill, he would have been a ways down the road from where we saw him).
Not if the driver said 'yeah, about a hundred feet back my I went to hit my brakes and the pedal fell right to the floor' or '...it sounded like I threw a rod' or '...I could see in the mirror that my split rim separated'.
  #13  
Old 11-08-2019, 05:49 PM
Andy L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banksiaman View Post
This form of cable detector uses the ergonomic counter-weighting of the screen and grip, so looks like a metal detector without the dinner plate at the end:

https://www.electric-test.com/cable-...and-cable.html

Is this what you saw?
I think so, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
While I'm not saying this is the case, don't discount the possibility that it was unrelated to the accident. I agree with others, they're very possibly measuring distance, probably from the first point of impact or where they felt the driver lost control, but it's also possible that it was just a DPW worker doing his job that he was going to do anyway.


Not if the driver said 'yeah, about a hundred feet back my I went to hit my brakes and the pedal fell right to the floor' or '...it sounded like I threw a rod' or '...I could see in the mirror that my split rim separated'.
Coincidence does seem likely.
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