The Lid Buster one-person ventless manhole cover remover
Credit: Jeff Montgomery
The Lid Buster is one of 30 or so inventions Baldwin Borough, Pa., native and long-time public works employee Jeff Montgomery has developed to get things done more efficiently. Visit http://jdm-innovations.com.
Baldwin Borough, Pa
We’re not the only ones who think this invention by Baldwin Borough, Pa., employee Jeff Montgomery is nifty. In May, The Lid Buster won second place in the PennDOT Local Technical Assistance Program’s “Build a Better Mousetrap” contest.
His innovation enables one person to safely remove the ventless manhole covers many sewer districts are using to keep rain from infiltrating combined sanitary and storm sewers.
A tension spring adjusts automatically to different-diameter covers and holds the tool securely in position during the procedure.
A 1980 graduate of Pittsburgh’s Dean Institute in Technology with certificates in welding and blueprint reading, Montgomery is a compulsive tinkerer who told the South Hills Record he’s devised at least 30 other ways to get routine activities done more safely and easily — including a ramp and cage that loads a 250-pound asphalt roller onto a pickup truck. He’s tweaking the Lid Buster concept into four variations to fit other manhole configurations.
“I’m on the waiting list for ‘Shark Tank’ [a reality-TV show in which entrepreneurs compete for investment], but I like how things are going now. Running a small business is sometimes scary but also exciting when you have help from friends and family.”
— Stephanie Johnston