Training Directory for 2023
BY Sandy Lender
There are few in the construction industry who would refute the fact we have a collective need to recruit new workers to our trades. When bringing in new workers who may or may not be familiar with heavy equipment operation or the mechanics of pavement system builds, our next hurdle to overcome is teaching these people a new skill set, training them on the finer points of building a pavement system that will last for decades.
From original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to trade associations to consultants in industry, we are fortunate to have experts who not only know how to perform the tasks necessary for these builds, but also know how to teach and train. Some of these consultants and professors know how to train others to become trainers. We have within the asphalt production and paving industry a host of knowledge for contractors to tap into.
Now you need to know where to find the specific knowledge your team members need for your specialized services. Turn to AsphaltPro Magazine’s advertising partners for help. Not only do we highlight the paving, production, testing and other asphalt-related schools these partners offer, but our staff also seeks out information on which vendors provide individualized or one-on-one training for customers to share with you. It’s not every OEM who can afford to build an entire facility like the ones at the Astec, Gencor, Wirtgen, and similar campuses. Those campuses are listed on page 52 to make them easier for you to look up online.
Keep in mind, there are a range of training providers in the asphalt industry, beyond those listed in this year’s training directory. What we’ve assembled for you is a listing of those who are committed to the AsphaltPro audience. Those entities who support our training efforts will also be listed, with easily clickable links, at the “Partner Courses” link under the “Training” tab on TheAsphaltPro.com.
We’ve also taken a moment with this year’s training directory to focus on a specific aspect of the paving train: compaction. One of the most important aspects of building a long-lasting pavement is to achieve the mix design’s target density. That’s easier to do when you have experienced roller operators using well-maintained equipment outfitted with the latest technology, which, of course, the operators have been taught to use most efficiently. On page 50, you’ll find a back-to-basics article from Top Quality Paving & Training’s John Ball, which you can copy and share with your new (or veteran) roller operators to assist in their understanding of reversing smoothly to complete a pass without bowing, breaking or bubbling the mat.
Did you know you can get quick tips delivered to your inbox once a week for training crewmembers at the lab, plant, mechanic’s shed or paving site? AsphaltPro Magazine prepares a Monday Morning Toolbox Tip on a range of topics and delivers this for free to anyone in the industry who wants it. Sign up here: https://theasphaltpro.com/upgrade-daily-toolbox-talks/
But let’s take a moment right here to consider another important facet of the paving operation: reducing shoving. While the article on how to reverse the roller with smooth, gentle perfection will assist in keeping the breakdown roller operator from shoving the bow of material, let’s look at other steps you could be teaching your paving crew to take to prevent material shoving during construction or to prevent delamination between layers after construction.
Do you include your milling crew in seasonal training? Does your distributor truck driver understand the importance of setting spray bar height and tack rate, and achieving appropriate coverage for the perfect bond between an existing pavement and new mat?
If you’re training your crew for successful projects, then your dump man is watching those new haul truck drivers like a hawk, guiding them for least chances of tracking tack and best chances of stopping safely “near” the push rollers. This will allow your well-taught paver operator to nudge into position for charging the hopper and moving forward. Whether you’re paving uphill or on a flat surface, your paver operator needs to know why he’s moving at a slow and steady pace, rather than gunning the engine to hurry through each truckload as if racing the plant.
AsphaltPro Magazine teamed up with industry consultant John Ball the Third to prepare the online paving course Asphalt Paving 101. This back-to-basics course is available to everyone on your crew with the purchase of only one subscription. Take the online course as many times as you need to with as many crewmembers as you need to for life with that one (1) purchase. Visit the “Training” tab at TheAsphaltPro.com.
With all the crewmembers, from cold planer to finish roller operator to all the quality control members in between, trained to understand the elements of a long-lasting asphalt pavement and trained in the skills of the trade, we build a workforce to be reckoned with. Teaching the skills of the construction trade(s) to the newcomers to the industry is a noble and worthy goal that both construction employers and their vendors are working toward. We’re in this together and, as seen on the next few pages, committed to supporting one another in sharing the messaging.