A Great Tool for Winter Time Traffic Counting

Bernz-O-Matic miniature torch. A small black handled butane torch

We’ve had a very cold couple of weeks here in Minnesota with high temperatures in the single digits  (Fahrenheit) and low temperatures below zero.  It’s finally about 30 degrees outside!  We’ve set out about 30 COUNTcams during this cold snap and I’m happy to report they worked great.

torchWe did run into a new problem though.  Right before the cold snap we had freezing rain.  It left a little icicle off of one of the cameras, which wasn’t a big deal.  What was a big deal was that our poles and locks were covered in ice.

We have a couple of little handheld butane torches we use for wiring.  Quinn grabbed one and it worked great to melt the ice and warm up the padlocks.

Subsequently, we’ve found that all of our padlocks are tough to open when they’ve been sitting out in zero degree weather for several days (even though we regularly oil them with a graphite based penetrating oil).  In frigid cold weather, we hit the locks with the flame for a second or two and that little bit of warmth makes them easy to open.  The torch is a great addition to our winter toolbox.