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A tribute to dust control equipment

0031Commentary by Jon M. Casey

As I’ve gone about doing coverage for our construction magazines (Hard Hat News, North American Quarry News and Waste Handling Equipment News), I’ve attempted to watch for dust control equipment and water tankers because of the important, yet relatively invisible role they play in maintaining a safe and healthy environment at the jobsite. This month, since dust control technology is one of this issue’s focal points, I wanted to simply pay tribute to this equipment, their operators and the efforts that quarries, contractors and recyclers make to facilitate effective dust control. Since this article isn’t designed to be a technical piece but more of a “hall of fame” kind of recognition, I would like to thank all of the contributors who made this photo album a possibility by allow us to visit their respective jobsites in recent years, to gather a glimpse of the daily operations of these successful businesses.

My quest for water tanker photos goes back to when I started writing for NAQN and WHEN, back in 2001. Every now and then, I’d cross paths with a worker going about their dust control activities, and once I realized the importance of that role, I began to snap a photo of them doing their work. My plan was to stockpile a collection of action photos of these people at work, knowing that one day, I would pay tribute to them and their efforts. This month is the time for that to happen.

While most of the feature articles in NAQN and WHEN focus on equipment that owners and operators use to manufacture products like crushed stone or recycled concrete or asphalt, this presentation would be what I would call a series of “Glamour Shots” of these machines going about their daily tasks. They travel dusty roadways or dirt-covered access roads, laying down a spray of dust-settling water or in the case of the vacuum sweepers, sucking up unwanted dust and debris that has accumulated on access roads and work lanes. In these candid shots, we can see them getting the job done, going up and down a well-traveled lane, or stopping off to refill with water before heading back out again.

Water tankers don’t do anything glamorous when compared to turning big rocks into little ones, like the crushing and screening plants they frequent. Just the same, they do their part to keep the air breathable and clear of dust, something my lungs appreciate as do the local neighbors around a quarry or recycling center. If it weren’t for the dedicated dust control programs in place at today’s modern quarries and recycling centers, the results would be mindful of early 20th Century air pollution photos that fill our history books. My hat is off to the dust control teams that are in place across the US in quarries, C&D Jobsites and recycling centers, making work a little easier and the air a little cleaner. I hope you enjoy this tribute.


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