Use Best Paving Practices Every Shift
More than a pay day is at stake when the paving crew drives equipment off the low-boy to start a project. Consider how important it is to have all members of the crew working in harmony for a safe work environment in addition to a successful job.
For example, the dump man must be aware of yield and haul truck timing in addition to the location of ground personnel as he directs backing vehicles. The paver operator can assist to a degree when it comes to dumping trucks and watching out for ground laborers; the communication between the dump man and paver operator is vital to a safe, successful day. That communication filters to the rest of the crew.
Revisit the meanings of hand signals, whistle blows or flag motions during the morning toolbox talk so each member of the crew remembers the day’s “language.” Once all the equipment engines and back-up alarms are sounding, voices will be too difficult to hear.
Notice that we’re talking about having a toolbox talk every day. At the beginning of each shift, the foreman on the job or safety director should lead a quick meeting that brings all crew members into the same headspace. Get everyone’s focus on the project at hand and the parts that will matter that day. Go over the movement of traffic outside the work zone or the movement of vehicles and equipment inside the work zone to be sure everyone knows how trucks will enter and exit, how each of the rollers will move forward and back, and how skid steers, tack wagons or other auxiliary equipment will perform tasks essential to the day’s paving.
Just as you begin the shift with a toolbox talk, you’ll want to begin the shift with routine checks of equipment. A thorough walk-around can mean the difference between a tow arm sliding right out of place and a long, continuous pull for the next few hours. Pre-heating the pneumatic roller tires can mean the difference between picking up material and a smoothly compacted mat.
Best practices for your paving crew number in the thousands, which is why we print project stories and project management tips in every edition of the magazine. Keep in mind your AsphaltPro team can send a Toolbox Tip to your email inbox every Monday morning. It’s a free service for any asphalt professional who wishes to receive the tips. Just visit www.TheAsphaltPro.com and click on the red Monday Morning Toolbox Tip logo to add your email address to the subscription list.
For more best practices to share with your crews, keep an eye on the website and these pages each month.