• Matt-Locks-USA Storm Grate Locks

    Credit: Matt-Locks-USA

    Matt-Locks-USA Storm Grate Locks
  • Former Missouri DOT engineer Bob Lannert invented the TowPlow. He sold his design to Viking-Clives Group, which is selling units to state and local DOTs.

    Credit: Jason Jenkins / Rural Missouri

    Former Missouri DOT engineer Bob Lannert invented the TowPlow. He sold his design to Viking-Clives Group, which is selling units to state and local DOTs.

See this? It’s a nifty invention a reader in Ohio developed to keep trick-or-treaters from stumbling into catch basins that had been relieved of their covers by metal thieves. The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati’s Jerry Taylor now has a nice little business — www.mattlocksusa.com — selling these specialized locks to other public works departments.

Then there’s this: Inspired by agricultural equipment that folds up and down to be more easily moved from place to place, farm boy and former Missouri DOT engineer Bob Lannert came up with the TowPlow. He sold his design to Viking-Clives Group, which is selling units to other state and local DOTs.

For all the belly-aching about government waste, we know that every single day you tweak, twist, or tinker with whatever’s around to get the job done or done better.

We’re highlighting reader workarounds in December. If you’ve got one:

1. Describe it; i.e., What challenge was your operation struggling with? How does this ingenious tool solve it?

2. Take a high-resolution photo, drawing, or other graphic we can use to show it in action

3. Send both to vsicaras@hanleywood.com by Nov. 2.

Let the games begin.

P.S. To Jeff Montgomery of Baldwin Borough, Pa.: We still have all your material, so don't bother resending!