1-877-Fix-Asphalt Solves Stencil Disaster
BY Steve Brahney
Picture this scenario: I am working on the landscaping in my yard on a Saturday morning. When I come back into the house, I find I have three missed calls from a client…on a Saturday. I immediately know there is a problem.
This particular client managed 370 properties in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York. I am assuming it’s something typical, like a collapsed catch basin needing to be barricaded. This problem turned out to be far more urgent.
Outside the corporate headquarters, right next to where the CEO lands his helicopter, the in-house maintenance crew was trying to help the facilities department and created a situation.
The CEO requested “Reserved” parking stalls be striped outside his office for himself and visiting VIPs. The in-house maintenance crew did the best job they could by using paper stencils purchased from Home Depot. On a windy day with stencils intended for a one-time use, it’s easy to imagine what the finished product looked like when it was complete.
My client told me he needed to have them fixed before Monday, because he and his boss feared they would lose their jobs.
When he exclaimed this to me, I am embarrassed to admit, I kind of chuckled and asked if the stenciling was really that bad, to which he replied, “I am dead serious. I will most likely lose my job Monday if anyone sees this.”
Initially, I proposed sending the striping crew to blackout the old stencils with a symmetrical square and restriping the “Reserved” stencils. However, because the asphalt was older and very gray, my client was nervous it would just accentuate the issue.
I told him the only option would be to seal coat the parking lot. “Picture the helicopter flying overhead and seeing this nice slate black finish with fresh white stripes on Monday morning,” I said. The client said, “Go!”
Here was the issue. They were forecasting a 75 percent chance of rain Sunday, and I had one seal coating crew four hours away, and my second seal coating team had worked 15 days straight and I’d given them the next four days off to rest.
With the clock ticking, I was prepared to suit up in work clothes and enlist friends and family if need be to help get the job done. I broadcast a group text to the seal coating crew, asking anyone who wanted to work to report to the South Jersey office in the next hour. Amazingly, all seven team members responded they wanted to come into work–and that was before they even knew they would be getting paid double time for the last-minute effort.
Within two hours of the client’s call, I had enough equipment, workforce and resources to seal coat the 35,000-square-foot executive parking lot: two Neal Manufacturing seal coating trucks, two 18 HP walk-behind blowers, four airless line striping machines, a 110-gallon Crafco crack sealing machine, and seven experienced craftsmen.
The crew was in and out in less than five hours. They knocked it out of the park, to say the least.
We were able to clean, crack seal, black out the old stencils to prevent them from bleeding up, apply two coats of pavement sealer, stripe, and–most importantly–stencil the “Reserved” parking stalls well in advance of the rain and in time for everyone to report back to work on Monday.
What I love about working in the pavement industry, both in the office and in the field, are the challenges it presents and the ability to solve problems–especially customers’ problems. When those solved problems result in a client keeping their job? Then I really love to help. It is a win-win for everyone.
Steve Brahney is the President of Brahney Paving and 1-877-FIX-ASPHALT, which performs asphalt paving, repair, sealcoating and pavement management in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. This article originally appeared on the Fix Asphalt blog and has been reprinted here with permission.