Mar 28, 2018
Help Crewmembers Find More than One Place on the Team
The paver operator runs the paver. Check.
The roller operator runs the roller. Check.
Of course these members of the crew have more complex jobs than what’s stated right there. And of course there are many members of the crew who will cross-train so they can fill in for one another, help one another, and create a well-rounded, skilled team in the field. As a member of management, you can help vital crewmembers find the places—plural—where they excel on the team.
As always, start with safety. Look for crewmembers who take safety seriously. These are the members of the team who are more likely to handle responsibility well.
Then take a look at job descriptions. In the “Off the Mat” department of AsphaltPro magazine, Lorraine D’Angelo has offered suggestions for companies that need to update employee handbooks, and that includes spelling out job descriptions for workers. The paver operator’s job description includes, but is not limited to, running the paver while matching the plant’s production.
For instance, he will try to operate the paver in a straight line to make longitudinal joint matching and density easier to achieve. He’ll work with the dump man to get material to flow from the haul truck in a uniform manner without segregation.
As the crewmember with the highest vantage point, the paver operator can assist the foreman on large jobs, or may function as the foreman on smaller crews.
On may crews, it’s vital that the crewmembers are cross-trained. Consider this: It’s the last day of what could be a lucrative paving job for your company. The striping crew is scheduled to arrive at 2 p.m. so you can open the property to the client’s customers by evening and send the invoice for final payment. Sounds great until you learn the paver operator and breakdown roller operator are out with the same flu bug. If you have cross-trained your crewmembers, you can pull someone from another machine and get started on the day.
Training one person to do one area of paving limits your success. Make sure your team members are not only aware of one another’s duties, but are able to assist one another and fill in when needed.
Use rainy days to cross-train, teach new skills and reinforce existing skill sets. Use morning startup and evening shutdown when employees are inspecting, cleaning and fueling equipment to share knowledge. Communication should be about the job, the skills to get the job done, the equipment in front of them, safety tips, etc., not about basketball games or gossip. Employees are still on the clock and are still part of a team that should be working toward improving quality and each other.
Asphalt Paving 101 goes in-depth to help paving crews deliver a top quality job. When you purchase the course, you get immediate lifetime access to it on any device at any time, and you can use it to train any number of paving crew members any number of times necessary. To make the course yours, all you do is click the green “enroll” button here.