Darn thieves!

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My problem, trying to save taxpayers $ by discouraging thieves.
I know what I would do, but working for a State, I have to work with what they give me.
Our guardrails have reflectors. The State is implementing new reflectors going up on their routes. The workers are putting up reflectors mounted on the blocks or posts for the guardrail. Problem is, the reflectors are mounted on aluminum! Ok, someone at the top should've seen this one coming, especially with the economy being the way it is.
The reflectors are installed using 2, 3/8" x 2" lags with a 7/16" head. The thieves will not bother the reflectors on narrow shoulders, or on dangerous curves. But, where a full width shoulder exists, the reflectors disappear. Besides being pretty, the aluminum is probably what is making them disappear.
Changing material from aluminum is out of the question. Remember, this is a State Agency, and come hell or high water, some nitwit at the top wants this to work.
My initial thought is to have the workers dab PL on the heads of the lags after installing. But, a set of vice grips would still back out the lags.
Aside from having the State Troopers sit and wait, any ideas? Besides, they have better things to do, like responding to accidents from people hitting unmarked guardrails!
Thanks
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Anti tamper fasteners maybe
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Thanks, and this is what they are now looking into.
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On 11/22/2010 8:17 PM, Cory wrote:

Does your state have a scrap dealer law, where they have to check ID and keep a record, like pawnshops do? I'd suggest a press release about the problem, and a flyer mailed to all the scrap dealers in the area. 'Big Brother Is Watching', etc. If you can get a local TV station to do a piece about it, that would be great, too. Most stations are always looking for filler pieces for slow news days.
A coat of pink paint on the bases could help. It did wonders when I ran the tool crib on an apartment construction site. Will they spring for a big die saying 'property of State of XXX- anyone buying this item is subject to arrest for receiving stolen property' ? Whack that into each reflector as it is installed. (or if you have a hydraulic press back at the shop, have the new guy do it assembly-line fashion- it makes a much cleaner image.)
Basically what you need to do is go after where they are disposing of them, since there are only a few of those, and they aren't mobile. If the harvesters can't sell them, they won't steal them, once they catch on.
--
aem sends...



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That's an excellent idea. They did exactly this, here, regarding compressors last spring. Evidently there was a rash of compressor thefts, particularly from new builds. The state went around to all the scrap dealers and collected the names they could, then publicized the hell out of the operation.

Yep. Make sure the scrap yards all know what the consequences are for accepting stolen property.
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Have your state use reflective tape. Skip the reflectors. Tape rails and be done with it for a few years.
Reflective tape can be bought inter agency in the state, maybe. Made by prisoners?
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wrote:

Retro reflective tape is what is used on the 4"x8" aluminum. Just putting the tape on the guardrail will not do it. On the end of the guardrail, there is retro reflective tape. Back side of reflector has red, front side either has white or yellow, depending which side of the road they are to be placed. They must be facing traffic for the tape to be effective. These are made in house. The prisoners put the bodies on the new dump trucks, and set up the plow units.
The idea is to delineate the travel lanes, in "hopes" of keeping the traveling motorists on the highway. The lane & edge lines are already painted with highly reflective epoxy.
Personally, I think the state is going overboard to help keep people on the road. Some people should not be driving, period.
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Problem is, the ones who should not be driving, hurt and kill the others.
Besides, very few humans are good at driving. Our roads are designed around our flaws, but we still crash. We accept the risk for the benefits. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to reduce the risks.
Edward
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LOL... Its called Mig-Welding... Make sure the fasteners are of the same material -- in this case aluminum -- and then when the assembly is put together tack everything into place with beads of mig-welding on all the fasteners to prevent them from being removed...
Those guard rail things are meant to stay assembled when they get put together, so if little aluminum add-on posts are being unbolted weld the damn bolts in place after you put them on so no one with a pair of pliers can unbolt them...
Someone who is stealing these sort of things will need a vehicle with a lot of cargo capacity -- so you should suggest that the state troopers review traffic camera footage looking at pick up trucks that enter the highway empty but leave with a lot of stuff in the back...
~~ Evan
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wrote:

LOL... Its called Mig-Welding... Make sure the fasteners are of the same material -- in this case aluminum -- and then when the assembly is put together tack everything into place with beads of mig-welding on all the fasteners to prevent them from being removed...
Those guard rail things are meant to stay assembled when they get put together, so if little aluminum add-on posts are being unbolted weld the damn bolts in place after you put them on so no one with a pair of pliers can unbolt them...
Someone who is stealing these sort of things will need a vehicle with a lot of cargo capacity -- so you should suggest that the state troopers review traffic camera footage looking at pick up trucks that enter the highway empty but leave with a lot of stuff in the back...
~~ Evan ==================================================================================== I must not have explained, the posts & blocks on the back of the guardrails are wood. Still, I understand what you say about welding. Guardrails are bolted together on site, and are made to come apart when repairs need to be done.
We have truck mounted welders, but I'm sure they wouldn't tack weld them. Would have to go through and change all the bolts to aluminum, then welding. Probably have 20K or more of these mounted. I sure it would work, but not cost efficient.
Thanks tho.
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Ummm yeah... So if you welded the fasteners together so that your unknown vandal/thief could not casually remove them with common hand tools -- your highway maintainers could torch off the welded fasteners when they need to disassemble the guard rails for whatever reason...
"Security" fasteners in the sizes you need would cost an arm and a leg each and then every work truck would need a custom driver to use them, and then there is the issue of such security fasteners only being available from one vendor which would not work with government bidding/purchasing laws due to the dollar amounts involved...
Welding the fasteners would only mean that they would have to be replaced when they are removed which often happens anyway because sometimes the fasteners have to be cut anyway in order to remove badly damaged or bent sections of the rail for replacement...
Welding would make it a decent bit more inconvenient for the vandal/ thief to operate with impunity in their "collection" efforts of the shiny objects they are so obsessed with possessing...
~~ Evan
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I haven't seen it mentioned and may have missed something here but...
Aluminum is good priced scrap metal. Why not replace it with galvanised iron/steel? Not much money in that and cheaper
Harry K
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Because traffic signs (and therefore reflectors also) are made out of aluminum sheet goods cut to whatever size and shape needed for the specific application required and then a reflectorized applique sheet which covers the entire surface is applied...
Galvanized steel would not last the years and years required of a traffic sign... The applique graphics will fade from exposure to the sun long before anything happens to the aluminum sheet which would be recycled and made into other things... A sign panel made of sheet steel would begin to rust even with a coating on it...
~~ Evan
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Evan wrote:

Excellent points. I take it, then, that the guard rails are also made of Aluminum for exactly the same reasons?
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No, the rails are galvanized.
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Guard rails are two to three times THICKER than a traffic sign and are designed to be structural components that take load and deflect a wayward vehicle... There is MUCH more of a guard rail to rust away which is why they last longer -- they do rust though...
~~ Evan
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In my town the T-section posts that are used to hold street signs are made of painted steel. They seem to last indefinitely, at least 20 or 30 years, even though they are set directly in concrete. How in the world do they ever last so long without being made of aluminum?
--
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On Nov 24, 1:42pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Yep, I was going to mention that but figured someone else would? :) As to galvanised not lasting? Seems the aluminum doesn't either except in scrap yards :).
Harry K
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On Wed, 24 Nov 2010 21:59:41 -0800 (PST), Harry K

The guard rail they are fastening it to is hot dip galvanized STEEL. Why not the reflector?
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On 11/23/2010 3:08 AM, Evan wrote:

Dunno where OP is from, but outside east/west coasts and major urban areas, traffic cams are rare. Around here, they would get stolen, like the security camera on my regular recycle site was. (said site to be closed 31 Dec to to slobs contaminating it...)
--
aem sends...

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