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Bumper Grit Dispenser

De-ice the roads more effectively in winter
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Each winter when there's icy conditions we see trucks dumping salt grit on the roads to clear the ice. There's at least 3 problems with this method: 1. They only come out when it's necessary in somebody's opinion. 2. They only grit certain routes. 3. There aren't always enough of them to do it effectively.

If we fitted dispensers to the back bumper of our cars which spread a small amount of grit across the road we'd get more widespread, more even ice meltage resulting in safer driving conditions for all. The council who pays for the grit trucks might even be able to provide these seeing as they wouldn't need to lease trucks, pay for fuel and drivers' wages.

Prak, Apr 07 2004

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       is this a front bumper?   

       depending how far you drive, you'd be carrying a whole lot of grit to be useful. nonetheless a bun from me.
po, Apr 07 2004
  

       What happens when (and it does regurly in cold weather) traffic grinds to a halt during the morning drive to work? Small piles of grit would be dropped down the road, making it a more uncomfortable drive and probably not deicing the whole route. Theres also the problem of areas that people work which are a long way away from areas where people live (like out of town offices). If everyone start dropping their grit when they leave home they would have run out by the time they get to work leaving the roads dangerous.
miasere, Apr 07 2004
  

       Possibly an auxillary drive off the wheels that turns a regulator in the bottom of the dispenser (a little like those lawn chemical distributors work) may solve the problem of the piles when stationary.   

       But its possible the dispenser could be misused to drop other things eg. drawing pins.
dooper, Apr 07 2004
  

       I like the regulator idea... and the quantity of grit carried would only have to be small if many people were using it - so a small hopper of grit could last all day. I don't think people would use it to drop drawing pins on the road - if you're inclined to do that you're probably going to chuck them out of the window anyway.
Prak, Apr 07 2004
  

       If done in conjunction with regular gritters, this is a fine idea. I'm a bit concerned about the environmental impact of all that salt grit if everyone's being altruistic and gritting away all the time though. Of course, this could be offset if everyone fitted a forward facing flamethrower to their bumper instead. Maybe a backward facing one too. Now *that* would be fun.
saker, Apr 07 2004
  

       This could be done using a method that worked on British Steam Trains, sand was able to be dispenced onto the track to assist the wheels in gaining grip on the track.   

       For maximum utility this system should only release grit when it sences wheel spin... but how to get the grit under the wheel?
engineer1, Apr 07 2004
  

       By 'squirting' the fine grit/salt towards the spinning wheel, it will be pulled under the wheel by its rotation.
oneoffdave, Apr 07 2004
  

       Ah, so you could have a centralised grit distribution system with piping leading to just in front of each wheel, all linked to a grit reservoir in the engine bay. A screw pump in it and 4 valves on each pipe branch would be linked to the traction control's wheel spin sensors, which would activate the pump and appropriate valve(s) to dish out grit to the spinning wheel(s)
dooper, Apr 07 2004
  

       A fine use for grits. Never understood why so many people like them.
lintkeeper2, Apr 07 2004
  

       If you add butter to salt grit, does it taste like popcorn?
dentworth, Apr 07 2004
  

       Simply dispense the grit throught the exhaust. Grit dispensed is proportional to exhaust pressure. Thus when the driver is on the highway the grit would be blasted out at high pressure gently blanketing a large area. It would need some sort of mechanism to feed the grit into the exhaust manifold.
proto13, Apr 07 2004
  

       Neat idea - though I'm wondering if that would mean you'd get through about 6 exhausts in a winter. Remember that Simpsons where Homer hit the salt silo with his car?
Prak, Apr 07 2004
  
      
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