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Trackout Control: What it is and Why You Need It

July 16, 2021
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Trackout Control: What it is and Why You Need It

Ever tracked mud or dirt into your house?  It’s annoying, right? When vehicles working construction track dirt and mud out of construction sites, the damage is much more than an annoyance. This situation is what is referred to as trackout. Trackout control can help manage this.

Track Out ends up in all sorts of places that it shouldn’t be in and pollutes the environment –especially waterways. Because environmental pollution has far reaching and mostly irreversible consequences, governments have become stricter with ensuring people and businesses keep up with regulations that prevent pollution.

Trackout control devices are one of the ways of dealing with trackout. We’ll discuss what trackout control is and why you need to have it.

 

What is Trackout Control?

Trackout control includes the methods and techniques used to prevent trackout from leaving construction sites and entering paved public roads and down into waterways.

An SCE – stabilized construction entrance- is the most common trackout control methods used at the exits on construction sites. SCEs are commonly referred to as trackpads.

These trackpads are also the EPA standard for trackout control. They usually consist of rocks placed on a fabric that compresses mud and which measures 15ft by 15-20 ft. The rocks are usually angular-shaped and measure about 1.5 inches to 3 inches each.

The problem with this traditional method is that its efficiency depends on how deep the rockbed is. Additionally, maintenance is a little hard – it entails turning the rocks over and over from time to time to prevent compaction and the buildup of dirt on the trackpads top surface.

Modern trackout control devices work better and include the following:

 

1. Trackout Pads

This is a specially constructed entrance meant to get rid of debris from the tires of a vehicle as they exit a construction site.

They are typically designed with alternating rows of pyramids that enter the lugs of a tire, loosening the debris and making it fall onto the base of the mat to prevent it from sticking onto other vehicles that are driven on it.

 

2. Trackout plates

These are reusable devices that have rails, pipes, or grates designed to dislodge debris from a vehicle’s tires, wheels and undercarriage before it’s driven off a construction site.

 

3. Paving

This is where the exit of a construction site is paved for a distance of up to 100 feet back from where a paved public road intersects with the road leading to and off a construction site. The paved section should also be 20 feet wide or wider.

 

4. Wheel Washing System (Washpit)

If you’re working on a project with high trackout, the wheel washing system may work better than other trackout control mechanisms.

Ideally, wheel washing systems consist of an elevated platform where vehicles are cleaned up before leaving the site. This platform usually also has walls and or rails. There are high-velocity side and bottom water sprayers too to help remove mud in hard to reach areas. The walls serve to prevent the water spray from drifting.

The sprayers are controlled by programmable controls and sensors, which trigger appropriate water output for each truck that goes through the system.

 

Why You Should Control Trackout

According to the law meant to minimize sediment trackout, you must limit the use of vehicles to designated exit points and use trackout removal techniques at every exit that leads onto a paved public road so that any debris is eliminated before the vehicle gets onto the paved road.

If you only see trackout cleanup equipment just to comply with government regulations, you are missing out on the benefits of ‘obeying’ the government -such as saving on operational costs and building a positive image around the community.

Having trackout control devices is more cost-effective than having to clean the streets -up to 10 times less expensive. Plus, a washing system saves you more time. It takes about ten seconds to clean a truck with a washing system. Manual washing could take about ten minutes or more.

When it comes to dust control, traditional water trucks are not as free as many construction overseers would like to think. You’ll use much more water than you need to and will need a driver to drive the water truck.

Dust palliative pads are the better alternative. Dust palliatives are built to stabilize the soil and prevent the formation of dust. Additionally, unlike using water to curb the spread of dust, dust palliatives like polymers and modified resins will work even on a windy day. Some of them can keep the site dust-free for up to a year.

However, some dust palliatives are not suitable for sites that experience daily disturbance. Check out with a professional to see which dust palliatives work for your site.

If you’re using a haul truck, cover it with tarps to prevent the wind from blowing off dust while in transit.

In some cases, trackout is a result of improperly loaded trucks. To avoid fines from local governments, clean up the debris immediately, particularly if the trail runs for 50 feet or more into a public paved road. 

 If it’s less than that, get it cleaned up by the end of the day by collecting it, using a street sweeper, or other clean-up methods. In most states, washing off the trackout using a hose or water is prohibited because the process aids the spillage of the debris into adjacent waterways. Use grizzlies to remove excess dirt from your truck before hauling it away.

 

Controlling Human Trackout

Construction site workers also contribute to trackout. You can reduce it by constructing stabilized gravel walkways and routes that are free of mud. A boot brush at the exit can help to scrape off the mud from employee work boots. You can also provide a storm drain grate.

Workers can also use particular entrances and exits to minimize the buildup of trackout on their boots. Use perimeter fencing to naturally direct them toward these routes.  Stabilize routes that lead to the parking area, porta pots, washout facility and the parking.

 For more information about trackout control, feel free to contact us today, and we’ll be more than willing to assist.