Jan 25, 2019
Innovate Your Training
As this February edition of AsphaltPro finds its way to your hands via the mail, desktop, smart phone or whathaveyou, training season is well underway. Our industry typically takes the cold, winter months to assess equipment and shore up weaknesses. Unskilled laborers are a weakness you can solve with training and teaching. Of course, the person being trained needs the right attitude for the task, but assuming you have willing participants in company growth and in quality, safe mindsets, you have the opportunity right now to turn 2019 paving projects into bonus-worthy events.
You can train these willing participants in any number of ways, via classroom settings, one-on-one mentoring, fancy training courses on a desktop, etc. I’m going into self-serving mode for a minute, as I have the right to do in my editorial column, to suggest paving contractors have a training course available through AsphaltPro right now.
We worked with an award-winning paving consultant who’s been paving, rolling, working in the field since he was in high school a few decades ago. John Ball, the proprietor of Top Quality Paving & Training, Manchester, New Hampshire, guided us in compiling the videos, images and information you’ll find in the Asphalt Paving 101 online training course.
But we brought years of study to the project as well. The result is a beginner’s guide to getting a paving crew up and running.
If you have a new guy on the team, he needs to go through this course. If you have a veteran operator who’s working with a different machine this spring, he needs to go through this course. If you have a crew of different skill levels mixed together, they need to go through this course as a unit, talking about the points, answering the questions as a team, talking about their experiences and how they’ve accomplished projects in similar or different ways.
Now let’s focus on that last concept there. The crew can go through the Asphalt Paving 101 online course together if you want them to. Trust me: you want them to. The paving crew that will work together this spring and summer should be getting comfortable learning together.
Let the nerd in me explain: After he selected the four actors who would portray the hobbits in the Lord of the Rings films, Peter Jackson took them to New Zealand ahead of the rest of the films’ cast. He had the four vacation together for a week or so with no cameras, no lights, no filming and no media, for the purpose of building camaraderie. When filming began, the friendship among the four hobbits was genuine. What has that to do with your paving crew? Imagine the safe productivity you could get out of your paving crew if the members of the team train together and learn best practices together now with no pressure and no inspectors, for the purpose of building camaraderie and knowledge.
Whatever training and teaching methods you select for the members of your team, I wish you great success getting them all together in a safety and quality mindset. Here’s to a great start to the 2019 construction season, via a great training time right now.