Nikki’s Tips for Hauling Success
Asphalt mix producers and contractors can set up the whole project for success when they plan ahead and make it a team effort. AsphaltPro asked Nikki Bogus some specific questions that often come up for crews and subcontracted haulers. Here are some best practices that she has seen come into play.
Q: When an asphalt company hires trucks for a one-day or multi-day project, what is the most important part of the project for your drivers to know?
A: The most important part for them to know is the exact location of project, how many tons we will need that day, what is the start time, and last but not least, will traffic safety control be sufficient.
Q: What is the best way for a project manager/paving superintendent to share the driving route, ITCP, and safety rules for a project with ALL the truck drivers who will be delivering mix?
A: I have found that my team will discuss the project and any details the day before dispatching of route that will be taken etc. Also if there is a modification to any of the plans, we will use an app that will allow drivers to be alerted. The last catch-safe is the project manager will also call to communicate verbally if there are any changes.
Q: What is a best practice you’ve seen an asphalt crew’s dumpman use that you thought was safe & smart?
A: The best dumpman practice I have seen was the senior crewman took the time to show the newbie how to use the tilter and shaker properly while the dump truck is tilted so there’s less waste while the dump bed is up. This also assists with having a faster pour rate.
Q: What is a “bad habit” that you wish the paving crews of the world would stop teaching truck drivers?
A: This question may get me in trouble, but I think the concept of using diesel fuel for everything leads all into a false sense of security. We can’t use it for quick fix.
Q: What is a “good habit” that you’ve seen paving crews teach truck drivers, and that more drivers should implement?
A: A good habit I have seen is when you have a crew that will show the newbie how to avoid mistakes rather than the correct-and-learn-as-you-go mentality. Because when you show a person how to avoid mistakes by teaching “don’t rush and take your time,” the results will be seen by just looking at the quality of the finished product. This is what helps to build your brand.
Q: What is something asphalt mix producers can do to make the relationship between plant and trucking better?
A: The asphalt plants can make the relationship better by proper planning for what tonnage will be needed daily, which will decrease your wait time at the silos. Another would be to have better line-up system for the trucks when waiting to be loaded. Some instances the first come, first serve has you waiting for an extra hour or so.
Q: What is something asphalt paving contractors can do to make the relationship between paving crew and trucking better?
A: I implemented one more person to the crew only to guide the truck driver while being dumped. This allowed my paver machine lead to focus on laying a good product that is consistent, whereas before the paver lead was directing the truck driver with horn blowing and hand signals.
Read about how RRT Hauling grew into paving here.