Cones, Simply

Yesterday my husband and I stopped by this parking lot to check on the Power Line trail – we wanted to see if the snow had melted and the way was clear for us to run on it again. (In case you are interested, yes, it was.)

This parking lot in Horsham is at the mid-point of the trail and serves the trail and adjacent ball fields, none of which are in use right now, of course. So, the lot is handling some other jobs – for one thing, the township piled a lot of snow there from the roads – there are some nice snow-mountains along the side. And, it’s a great place for these trucks to assemble when they are off-duty.

They are tree-trimming trucks and they belong to a company whose work consists of trimming trees for the electric company and municipalities. You see them everywhere in the winter.

Trucks 2-6-16 #1 small

And a closer look.

Trucks 2-6-16 #3 small

You know what caught my eye? The arrangement they each have on their front bumpers for carrying traffic cones. Yes, I was so intrigued by the ingenious way they were packed on to the truck. There are two methods. One is horizontal – the cones are set on a rod that is secured with a cotter pin.

The other is vertical – they are stacked in a bracket attacked to the bumper.

Think about it. Every road project, every construction site, any tree work – all of them need traffic cones to protect the site and the workers. You know this. You’ve seen it. And you’ve never thought about where the cones keep themselves when they are off duty, have you? Well, now you know.

I found it just fascinating to see these huge trucks all with their neatly stacked cones, all ready for Monday morning. I love the simple elegance of this solution. No one will ever be shouting, “Where are the #@&!* cones!” on any site where these trucks are at work.

Trucks 2-6-16 #2 small


About Claudia McGill

A person who does art and writes poetry. That's me!

10 responses to “Cones, Simply

    • I got very caught up in this topic and now I am paying attention to cones everywhere, dented, cracked, brand new, you name it. They are all of interest right now and maybe there will be more to say on this thought….if something else doesn’t distract me…

  1. nannus

    The questions comming to my mind are: which companies are procuding the cones, when where they invented, and by whom? They exist here in Europe as well and I remember them from my childhood, so this is definitely an old species, but where did it first emerge?

    • Yes, I’ve tried to think back to when I first noticed them and it’s been a long time, though I think not in my childhood, but then I lived out in the country and things were different with not much traffic. I’ll tell you something interesting I do remember – where now they set up barriers around work with flashing lights, and that kind of thing, run by solar or battery power, I remember back in the early 1960’s that they used small black objects that looked like cannonballs with a wick – it was full of oil and they lit a little flame and placed these around work areas at night. I was always a little afraid of them…

  2. I have seen the vertical arrangement before but never the horizontal. Have you ever seen road workers placing the cones? We were once driving behind a guy who was riding on the back of a van and dealing out the cones as he went along the road, plop, plop, plop. There was something very rhythmic about watching him operating at high speed with the cones.

    • Yes, I’ve seen something similar. And I’m realizing there is a whole technique, culture, and set of human behaviors associated with cones and I can’t believe I never thought about it until now. But I honestly think someone could be writing something about it and it would be informative and amusing. Maybe expand it to highway work in general in some way – the hidden world of flaggers, for instance…

  3. Funny and weird. They put ours on the back of the truck. We see a lot of smashed and broken ones. Okie drivers.

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