Make Your Repair With Heat
Inspect Remote Tech
Apply 7 Rules to Commercial Paving Success
Who Can Call in Sick? FDR Provides Gorgeous Base for Hospital Lot
Sealed With A Chip May/june 2016 Mypavingpro.com
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Editor’sNote You Need Every Member of the Team Today
This edition of PavingPro discusses small and mid-size paving or pavement maintenance projects. Take a look at the projects coming up this week and think about the crew members who will be working those projects. Which team player could call in sick and have zero impact on the outcome of the job? Director Sandy Lender gets You need each one of them, don’t you? Editorial pictures of a crew on the job. Photo You need each person using his full skill courtesy John Ball of Top Quality Paving, set to get the job done right and on time Manchester, New Hampshire. for full pay. When I was a kid, I played on softball teams, where I learned that you had to back up the play at first base and sometimes you placed a bunt at the plate to advance a runner. It was part of being on a team. I played the violin in the orchestra where I learned that sometimes you held a note softly under the cello soloist and sometimes you carried the melody. It was part of being in a group setting. We each have an impact on the project’s overall success. One of the crew members who makes a difference on your project is the lute man. Have you thought about how much—or how little—training you’ve offered this person? During the toolbox talk or morning meeting you should be holding before every paving shift, take a look at this person and the tools you’ve given him or her. Those tools need to be free of gunked-up mix so he has his best chance of working a smooth edge behind the paver. (Make sure he uses an approved release agent—not illegal diesel fuel—to clean tools.) Look at what he’s wearing. Will a passing motorist notice him between the paver and roller, or will he blend dangerously into the landscape? These smaller jobs don’t typically require the stringent safety protocol that state or federal jobs do; make sure you require stringent safety protocol instead. Then look at his demeanor. He needs to have the attitude of someone who’s out to protect the company’s bottom line. Just because he’s not running the tack wagon or the paver doesn’t mean he’s any less important to the finished product. The lute man is the artist out there; he’s the laborer who has to tap the joint gently enough to form a perfect edge without breaking it while scooping away excess material that could screw up density and mar the mat. His skill is vital to the job. If this team player calls in sick today, it has a negative impact on the outcome of the job. Each person on the crew has a job to do; nowhere is that more evident than on the small to mid-size paving and pavement maintenance project. Check out page 28 where we get down to the seven rules you want to follow to make each small or mid-size project succeed flawlessly. Above all, make sure you’ve got each member of the crew on board for flawless success. You need each one of them to be team players. Stay Safe,
Sandy Lender 4 may/june 2016
May/June 2016 • Vol. 1 No. 6
602 W. Morrison, Box 6a Fayette, MO 65248 Send Subscription Updates to: pmcquinness@ shoestringbusinessmarketing.com www.mypavingpro.com (573) 823-6297 Group publisher
Chris Harrison Chris@MyPavingPro.com publisher
Sally Shoemaker Sally@MyPavingPro.com (573) 823-6297 Editorial director
Sandy Lender Sandy@MyPavingPro.com (239) 272-8613 Editor
Sarah Redohl Sarah@MyPavingPro.com Art Director
Kristin Branscom business manager
Paving Pro is published 6 times per year: July, September, November, January, March and May by Paving Pro, LLC, 602 W. Morrison, Box 6a, Fayette, MO 65248. Writers expressing views in Paving Pro Magazine or on the Paving Pro website are professionals with sound, professional advice. Views expressed herein are not necessarily the same as the views of Paving Pro, thus producers/ contractors are still encouraged to use best practices when implementing new advice. Subscription Policy: Individual subscriptions are available without charge in the United Sates, Canada and Mexico to qualified individuals. One year subscription to non-qualifying Individuals: United States $90, Canada and Mexico $125.00. For the international digital edition, visit theasphaltpro.com/subscribe-2. Single copies available $17 each.
CONTENTS May/June 2016
6 Safety & Health Report Best Practices of Low Volume Road Flagging By Sarah Redohl 8 Preservation The Importance of Owning a Hotbox Reclaimer Submitted by KM International, Inc. 10 Maintain the Machine Superior Bowen Lowers Emergency Breakdowns with Maintenance Technology From Zonar Systems 12 Specialty Project FDR Stabilizes Hospital Base for Decades to Come By Sarah Redohl
22 Contractor Profile Know When To Grow By Sarah Redohl 24 Contractor Profile A Family-Friendly Competition for Quality By Sarah Redohl
Make Your Repair With Heat
Inspect Remote Tech
Apply 7 Rules to Commercial Paving Success
Who Can Call in Sick? FDR Provides Gorgeous Base for Hospital Lot
Sealed With A Chip May/june 2016 Mypavingpro.com
44 Product Gallery By PavingPro Staff
DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor’s Note You Need Every Member of the Team Today By Sandy Lender
18 Contractor Profile Meet Industry Needs Through Milling By Sarah Redohl
Safety & Health Report
47 Here’s How it Works Mauldin’s 1750-C Asphalt Paver By PavingPro Staff 48 Here’s How it Works The BarrelMover 5000© By PavingPro Staff 49 Off The Mat Stay Ahead of Sick Leave Laws By Jeremy Brenner 50 New Tech Smart Apps Save Time, Simplify Inspections By Sarah Redohl
ARTICLES 28 7 Rules to Ensure Small to Mid-Size Paving Project Success By John Ball
Maintain the Machine
32 Plug It In By Rick Jay 36 Find Good Workers to Get Through the Season By Sarah Redohl 38 Chip Seal with Best Practices for Best Longevity By Sandy Lender 42 Simplify, Streamline Job Sites with Versatile Equipment By Sarah Redohl
on the Cover
Notice the curtain of aggregate in this chip seal application. Today’s chip spreaders have computer controls to help you monitor the rate of coverage to get a gorgeous veil like this for optimum coverage on the tack coat below. See related article on page 38. Photo courtesy E.D. Etnyre & Co., Oregon, Ill.
Feature: Plug it In
Feature: Chip Seal with Best Practices
Sa f e ty & H e a lt h R ep ort
Even the smallest of jobs on the quietest of roads can be dangerous. Make sure your crew follows the proper procedures—and even goes above and beyond, when needed—to ensure everyone makes it home safely at the end of the shift.
The Best Practices of Low Volume Road Flagging Whether you’re setting up safety measures for a multi-day jobsite or for a throw-and-go pothole patch job, keeping your crew safe should be a constant concern. Even though the federal government sets minimum safety requirements, most contractors know from experience that necessary safety measures vary from work zone to work zone.
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Many of these safety procedures go above and beyond what is required by law. With safety, one size doesn’t fit all; we have to be responsive to traffic volume, physical restrictions, weather and time of day. What we may not think about as often as we should are flagging operations along low volume roads with average annual daily traffic of fewer than 400 vehicles (excluding freeways, express-
ways, interchange ramps, freeway service roads, state highway systems and residential streets, in most states). Less traffic volume doesn’t necessarily make a job site safer. In fact, low volume roads present a number of unique challenges, including hills, curves and vegetation, and the potential for harvest operations overlapping with roadwork.
In March of 2015, with the Workzone Safety Consortium, Transportation Training Institute Founder Neal Carboneau helped create a document to troubleshoot some common challenges workers may face at low volume job sites, provide solutions that fit within the code, and suggest considerations to improve safety for motorists and workers if something should happen. “The guidance documents serve as commentary and provide suggestions for organizations to not only meet, but exceed, the minimum requirements of the code in an effort to reduce the number and severity of incidents in work zones,” Carboneau said. “It provides guidance and further explanations of the intent of the MUTCD while recording traditional methods used to protect road workers and motorists.” We know that tragedy can strike in seconds, so it’s important to keep safety in mind whether setting up for a weeklong job or a small, simple repair that may only take a few hours. Here are five steps to a safer work zone. 1) Address site conditions. Site conditions can include hills and curves, obstruction of visibility and working room due to vegetation or rocky terrain, and, of course, driver and worker distractions. Although an annual average daily traffic count of 400 might seem small, Carboneau said even small numbers can represent many vehicles per hour, “which still presents a challenge for organizations performing work on the road to address.” 2) Establish visibility and stopping sight distance. “The goal is to give motorists plenty of warning, or advance notice, of the work,” Carboneau said. To do so, he said it’s important to get their attention where there is good site distance and control them through challenging areas. Carboneau said it’s also important to recognize conditions that could impact visibility, like glare from the sun at dusk or dawn—or even glare from artificial lighting or headlights during nighttime operation—and dust from traffic on a gravel road. He said speed is also a factor. “Stopping sight distance, or the amount of time it takes a motorist to react and bring
their vehicle to a stop is not only about seeing the condition that prompts them to make a decision,” Carboneau said, “but also how fast they are going at the time, as stopping sight distance is a function of the speed of the motorist.” 3) Methods to reduce the changes and impact of these challenges. This can include planning operations, such as choosing the time of day that would allow you to avoid certain situations, like glare from the sun or higher traffic volumes, but can also include the layout of temporary traffic control and selection of devices to fulfill special needs, like cones, barrels, signs, arrow boards or even portable rumble strips. “Use of portable radar speed signs is becoming more common in larger scale temporary traffic control areas,” Carboneau said, “but the effectiveness is evidenced by their use in school zones, to get a motorist’s attention and slow them down.” 4) Choose the right type of flagging or alternate control. “The MUTCD has a number of ‘typical applications’ that provide a foundation on which a temporary traffic control plan should be based,” Carboneau said. “This document provides the reader with examples of the types of operations and conditions that they deal with regularly and which ‘typical applications’ might be better suited for those situations.” This not only is effective but it’s also efficient, Carboneau said. “We don’t have unlimited budgets,” he said. “We need to use engineering principles to provide safe, efficient and effective temporary traffic control.” Carboneau said an example from the MUTCD is the use of a yield sign in lieu of flaggers. This method allows motorists to self-regulate, reduces the exposure to flaggers and frees up flaggers for other operations. Another option is using a single flagger, but this option also comes with unique challenges and specific requirements. “The guidance goes on to provide alternatives for use of flaggers with mobile operations as well as the use of mobile operations alone, which can provide some options in certain circumstances,” Carboneau said.
5) Ensure safe behavior by flaggers. “Worker distraction is a problem for employers just as motorist distraction is,” Carboneau said. “Portable music devices, reading materials, cell phones and other items can take the worker’s attention off their duties and reduce their ability to hear on-coming hazards and must be prohibited on the job site.” But he says safe behavior goes beyond attention to their duties; workers must also be qualified, trained and clearly understand the hazards of their jobs and methods to reduce that risk. 6) Establish a contingency plan. “Despite all of the efforts to reduce the probability of an incident, uncontrollable situations still arise and organizations should consider methods to reduce the probability of an incident occurring and reduce the severity of the incident should it still occur,” Carboneau said. For example, a blown tire can cause a motorist to lose control of his vehicle and enter the work zone. A medical situation could also cause a motorist to lose control, or he might still get distracted despite efforts to get his attention. There are common countermeasures, like shadow vehicles to reduce the chance a motorist will strike a worker and to reduce the severity of the incident. Another option is “buffer space,” Carboneau said. For example, “If they start hitting cones in the temporary traffic control taper, they will know they are in trouble and have time to stop before hitting a worker or other item in the work zone.” “Something as simple as an air horn for a flagger is a last-ditch effort to get a motorist’s attention before an incident occurs, or at least get the worker’s attention and hopefully reduce the chance and severity of an incident,” Carboneau said. According to Carboneau, another key point is that site conditions can change throughout the day, depending on weather, traffic volume and duration of the work. He points out that there is a troubleshooting guide to help personnel in the decision-making process for flagger operations in the guidelines document. He said that although the document is meant for low volume roads, the strategies can improve safety on a variety of job sites and situations.
– By Sarah Redohl
pre s e rvat i o n
An asphalt hotbox reclaimer keeps virgin hot mix asphalt at a workable temperature throughout the day. Photo courtesy of KM International, Inc.
The Importance of Owning a Hotbox Reclaimer Many contractors find themselves purchasing more mix than they need, in order to insulate the asphalt needed for that day’s jobs. For example, a contractor might buy four tons to keep the two tons the crew will use at temperature during the shift—and those two extra tons go to the recycle pile. If you are an asphalt contractor who is not using an asphalt hotbox, then you are potentially throwing away $150 to $200 a day in product that gets cold because you keep it in the back of a truck. Contractors who already have an asphalt hotbox reclaimer know the many benefits that they offer. An asphalt hotbox reclaimer is a piece of equipment used to maintain virgin hot mix asphalt (HMA) at a workable temperature, at a maximum of 350˚F throughout the day.* Then, if you don’t use all your hot mix in a certain day you can maintain the temperature of the mix overnight at 300˚F.
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An asphalt hotbox reclaimer also has the ability to “reclaim” bulk stored virgin hot mix from the plant. For example, imagine you buy two tons and only use one ton for the day. With a hotbox reclaimer you have the ability to store that leftover material and reheat it at a later date. When planning to reclaim bulk stored material, it is recommended that you make 12-inch-by-12-inch single-lift asphalt bricks to reclaim that material overnight (8 to 10 hours). With a hotbox reclaimer, you buy what you need and use what you buy. Owning an asphalt hotbox reclaimer allows you to completely eliminate discarding excess material. Most hotbox reclaimers on the market today offer a low temp thermostat option to maintain cold patch material, as well. Whether your contracting company specializes in sealcoating, paving, crack filling or general asphalt maintenance, adding an asphalt hotbox reclaimer to your fleet can be beneficial. Owning a hotbox reclaimer
allows you to have HMA at your fingertips when and where you need it. There are a number of hotbox reclaimers on the market, each a little different. When shopping for hotboxes, make sure your hotbox has the proper insulation and is thermostatically controlled. These two features are key to maintain the temperature of the mix using minimum amounts of fuel. When purchasing or thinking about purchasing a hotbox reclaimer, do your homework to ensure you are getting what will best suit your business needs. *Editor’s Note: Be aware of asphalt oxidation that takes place at high temperatures. Contractors in the field recommend maintaining mix at workable temperatures, but not exceeding the range of 300 to 350oF. Also check with the plant to see how long they recommend a specific mix can “age” in storage before use.
– Submitted by KM International,Inc.
Engineered Innovation for the Material Transfer Vehicle Market • • • • • •
Designed around clean-out to simplify daily maintenance and increase component life Variable speed conveyors reduce wear Hydraulic conveyor chain tensioner automatically sets and maintains proper chain tension Automated tire spray down decreases tack build-up with programmable spray coverage Storage hopper management system notifies crew of material level in the storage hopper Cat® dealer sales, service and support
Visit www.weilerproducts.com or the paving specialist at your Cat® dealer for more information.
ma i nta i n t he m ach i n e
This worker holds the EVIR pad near an RFID tag on a forklift.
Superior Bowen Lowers Emergency Breakdowns with Maintenance Technology The team at Superior Bowen Asphalt, Kansas City, Mo., shared an overall maintenance strategy that contractors of any size can learn from. With technology from Zonar® Systems, Seattle, the Superior Bowen team was able to integrate its existing Viewpoint system with the Zonar 2020® tablet, ZLogs® and ZTrak® asset tracker. All that Z-lingo means the company put a number of asset-tracking technologies together on the entire fleet—from milling machines to pick-up trucks to material transfer vehicles. Now personnel from mechanics to operators to bean counters in the home office can measure real-time telematics with any piece of equipment that’s equipped with the Electronic Vehicle Inspection Reports (EVIR®) and additional commercial navigation tools. President Trey Bowen said, “What gets measured, gets done is our motto. Zonar helps us to do this.” Previously, Superior Bowen Asphalt didn’t have a company-wide technology-based tracking and reporting system to manage a proac-
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tive maintenance schedule for drivers and equipment operators. Managers admit to having an “on-the-fly” approach to these operations, which made it challenging for the appropriate personnel to monitor, track and maintain equipment. To ensure the on-road and off-road machines’ safety issues were addressed quickly and efficiently, Superior Bowen developed a long-term business plan that identified goals of having a world-class response time for maintenance, and world-class maintenance levels. To meet the goals, the team needed a strong yet flexible tracking and reporting infrastructure that would integrate with its existing Viewpoint system. In 2012, Superior Bowen set up a pilot program with Zonar, beginning with the deployment of Zonar telematics on the company’s onroad vehicles. By fall 2014, the company expanded the program, deploying the Zonar 2020 tablet in all the assets across the fleet. As part of the implementation, Superior Bowen integrated Zonar into its
The EVIR allows time-stamped reporting and alerts to automate the service and repair scheduling for equipment.
To use the system, RFID tags are placed on the piece of equipment at critical inspection points. These are called “zones.” When the equipment operator approaches the vehicle for the day’s shift, he turns on the handheld Zonar 2010™ EVIR reader, which is also called the inspection tool. He holds the reader close to the RFID tag at each inspection zone.
Viewpoint system while maintaining the configurations of their operator care standards. The new solution provided real-time updates for the planner and team, which allowed them to make sure the notifications and paperwork reached the right people and was completed in a timely fashion. The ability to report directly from their own devices by working with the Zonar 2020 tablet enabled employees to better manage their equipment care and service while maintaining the supervision and tracking required for overall operational efficiency. The result was a reduction in the number of emergency breakdowns from 30 percent to 10 percent in 2015—achieving a best-inclass percentage. The company is currently working toward worldneeds to be addressed immediately or in the near future. The EVIR class levels at 3 percent. allows time-stamped reporting and alerts to automate the service To use the system, RFID tags are placed on the piece of equipand repair scheduling for equipment. According to the manufacturment at critical inspection points. These are called “zones.” When er, this system complies with DOT, OSHA the equipment operator approaches the veand MSHA inspection regulations. hicle for the day’s shift, he turns on the handIn 2015, Superior Bowen had 0 percent held Zonar 2010™ EVIR reader, which is also The ability to report directly drivers out of service, and sustained their called the inspection tool. He holds the readfrom their own devices by vehicle out-of-service rates at a low 12.5 perer close to the RFID tag at each inspection working with the Zonar 2020 cent. Using the Zonar tools, the newly hired zone. When the reader is within range of the tablet enabled employees Superior Bowen planner was able to maintag, it displays a menu that the operator will to better manage their tain his load at above 90 percent. By deployinteract with, responding to questions with equipment care and ing the Zonar 2020 across the fleet, Superior push-button answers. After the operator has service while maintaining Bowen was able to improve report tracking completed the inspection of the vehicle, he the supervision and responsiveness and accuracy. The team-deplaces the inspection tool into the vehicle ployed Zonar tracker technologies and RFID mount in the cab. It then transmits infortracking required for overall tags give operators better visibility into their mation to Zonar’s Ground Traffic Control operational efficiency. self-contained crews to manage assets reweb application. If the operator has inadvermotely. Managers perform monthly crew tently skipped one of the inspection zones, audits, which are key in meeting service levthe reader will alert him. The information going back to headquarters lets managers el requirements. Since the Zonar solutions know that all is well with the machine; it has been greased, oiled, fuhave been in place, more than 90 percent of vehicles have passed. eled, etc. Or managers can be notified if something on the machine – From Zonar Systems www.mypavingpro.com 11
S pec i a lty P r ojec t
By using the FDR process, Superior Surfacing Systems Ltd. was able to reduce virgin materials costs.
FDR Stabilizes Hospital Base for Decades to Come When Keith Reardon, owner of Superior Surfacing Systems Ltd., Bloomingburg, N.Y., bid on a fulldepth reclamation (FDR) and paving job at Catskill Regional Medical Center, the odds were stacked against him. Not only did the parking facilities have drainage issues, but they were also heaving, pumping and col-
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lapsing. The team at Superior Surfacing Systems also had to find a way to complete this complex project in a tight time frame while allowing traffic to continue to come into the hospital—all on a tight budget. “Our patients and visitors, oftentimes using walkers or wheelchairs, were coming [to the hospital] through parking lots way
past their useful life,” said Jon Heimbach, construction manager for the Greater Hudson Valley Health System. When Catskill Regional Medical Center joined the system in 2010, it was decided the parking lots needed repair—along with a renovation of the hospital interior and expansion of the emergency department. “The parking lots’ pavement
Despite this being Superior’s first time completing a job of this kind, Project Manager Kevin Murphy said the crew rose to the challenge of producing precisely-graded parking lots and roadways that allowed for the asphalt to be paved on schedule.
and stone subbase were original construction from 1976.” Due to the state of the parking facilities, Reardon suggested FDR with Portland cement before paving. “The FDR pulverizes the existing pavement and blends it with the underlying base,” said Heather Steffek with the Road Recycling Council. “Portland cement stabilization locks those materials in place.” “This process was a chosen alternative to removal and replacement mainly due to the downtime of the project, keeping ambulances moving,” Steffek said. “They also saved numerous natural resources by recycling their existing asphalt and base mate-
rial in place, as well as achieved significant cost savings.” But the client wasn’t sold on the process initially. “With respect to the full depth reclamation process, our main concern was we had never heard of it before,” Heimbach said. “We needed to be certain we were getting a 25-year asset life from the final product.” The engineer the hospital had worked with for decades began researching the process, spoke with Tom DePuy at T.M. DePuy Engineering, and became convinced this process would work for the hospital. Still, the hospital asked for both conventional bids and alternative bids.
To further put the client at ease, Superior offered an unconditional, two-year warranty from the date of completion. “Within two freeze-thaw cycles, anything strange that could happen would start happening,” Reardon said. “And that added greatly to their comfort level.” “They put both bids out and even though we weren’t the low bid on the conventional bid, we were low on the FDR bid, which enabled us to get in there and do this project for them—and it came out beautiful,” Reardon said. “The facility has come so far. It looks like a different place.” Superior Surfacing Systems completed the first phase of the $2.4 million, twowww.mypavingpro.com 13
S pec i a lty P r ojec t
The Superior Surfacing Systems team subcontracted with Reclamation LLC, which completed a full-depth grind, pulverized the existing parking lot to a depth of 9 inches, and put the material right back down as the machine moved forward.
phase project in 2014, and the second phase in November of 2015. The first phase included main entry and ring roads as well as the visitor lots in front of the building. The second phase included employee parking, the delivery zone and loading docks. Superior Surfacing Systems employs 20 people during the season. The company started in 2001 as a pavement maintenance company offering asphalt repair, sealcoating and line striping. 14 may/june 2016
“Because of our clients and connections, we’ve now morphed into offering much larger-scale commercial paving and site work,” Reardon said. The bulk of the company’s business is commercial asphalt paving, specializing in large, private, commercial properties. How to Reclaim Full Depth To complete the job, the Superior Surfacing Systems team subcontracted with Reclamation LLC, which completed a full-depth
grind, pulverized the existing parking lot to a depth of 9 inches, and put the material right back down as the machine moved forward. For the next step, the team applied a stabilizer—Portland cement powder—over the ground-up base. They completed the final grind to incorporate the cement powder. Next, the team wetted the mix and fine-graded it like a conventional stone job. “But with PC, you have to race the clock before it starts to set,” Reardon said.
Reardon said his team will probably use the method again in the future to solve specific problems, like this job had: severely distressed pavements, poor drainage, a limited budget and a short timeline.
Because this was Superior’s first project of this kind, Project Manager Kevin Murphy said the fine grading process was unique. “There was limited time to place the material on grade before it became solidified and unworkable,” he said. “But our crew rose to the challenge of producing precisely-graded parking lots and roadways that allowed for the asphalt to be paved on schedule.” “Conventionally we would have removed the existing asphalt entirely, dis-
posed of it and brought in new stone base,” Reardon said. “But the way we did the job, we were able to complete it in record time with least disturbance to the hospital.” “As a 24/7 emergency facility, we are constantly receiving ambulances and emergency traffic,” Heimbach said. “I asked the contractors to imagine it was their mother arriving to the hospital in the back of the ambulance.” Heimbach said at certain times the roads would have to close. Commu-
nicating directly with the Emergency Department, the team minimized closures to those times when no ambulances were en-route. The savings from not having to haul old pavement and subbase out and new materials in was significant enough to fund a portion of the hospital’s outdoor lighting replacement project—something the hospital would not have been able to afford with the conventional bid. The FDR process also shaved a minimum of four weeks off the duration of the project. www.mypavingpro.com 15
S pec i a lty P r ojec t “We also saved on the amount of new asphalt we put down versus the conventional paving spec,” Reardon said. “Instead of 3 inches of binder and 2 inches on top, we were able to do 2 inches of binder and 1.5 inches on top, which really helped with their financial situation.” Superior Surfacing Systems also installed underdrainage beneath the new curb to collect ground water. “If we’d used the conventional method without doing a lot more drainage work, the stone subbase would have been saturated and pumped and heaved again,” Reardon said. “With those drainage issues, it was always wet—which lent itself well to utilizing PC in the FDR process.” “It was great to work with Reclamation LLC, because they specialize in this. They do it day in and day out—they understand this animal,” Reardon said. “We relied on them to do what they do best, so even though it was our first project of this kind we had a lot of expertise with us on that job site.” Steps To Stabilize Reardon said stabilizers like PC haven’t been used very often in commercial parking lots—it’s more often used for roadways that have a lot of heavy truck traffic. Or, on lessused country roads with tight budgets, paving crews will use calcium chloride. “Calcium chloride is used as a compaction agent, and is the least expensive option,” Steffek said, adding that Portland cement works well with clay soils, and asphalt emulsion with a sandy base. Her biggest tip when considering an FDR project with Portland cement is to carefully select representative samples of the pavement and base to send to a testing lab for evaluation. “This will help create a good mix design, provide the depth of reclamation and how much cement to add,” she said. “Too little cement and you won’t get the strength you’re looking for. Too much cement and it is very likely to crack. There is a delicate balance between strength and performance.” “It doesn’t seem like many people have thought to package FDR with PC and then paving,” Reardon said. “But it worked really well for this job, and we were able to establish ourselves with this service. It doesn’t re16 may/june 2016
TOP: Superior is currently bidding another medical facility with similar issues, using the Catskill facility as an example of their work. BOTTOM: The savings from not having to haul old pavement and subbase out and new materials in was significant enough to fund a portion of the hospital’s outdoor lighting replacement project.
place pavement, but it’s a viable alternative that gives clients great results.” Reardon said his team will probably use the method again in the future to solve specific problems, like this job had: severely distressed pavements, poor drainage, a limited budget and a short timeline. “It helps solve some of those specific problems and save some money, and that makes customers happy,” Reardon said.
Superior is currently bidding another medical facility with similar issues, using the Catskill facility as an example of their work. “We are going to try to promote this if and when it’s applicable,” Reardon said, “especially if the process lends itself to solving unique site condition problems and time constraints.”
– By Sarah Redohl
co ntrac to r p r o f i l e
Hughes measures how busy the company is based on how much equipment is at the office on a given day. “I love my equipment, but I don’t like to see it,” she said. “That means it’s not being used on the job site.”
Meet Industry Needs Through Milling When Caroline Hughes was in grade school, she spent an entire summer sorting teeth. “The guys would bring me buckets of teeth to see if we could recycle any,” she remembers. “It’s such an expensive item, with 156 in a 7-foot, 2-inch standard space drum, anything you can do to save money, you do.” Over the course of a few weeks, she had gone through hundreds of teeth and selected ones that might be reusable. She repainted them so the crew could distinguish used ones from brand new ones to see how they were wearing, and lined them up in a long row for inspection. “Apparently, I was a little too eager to recycle, because the boss came out and told me we couldn’t use a bunch of them,” she said with a laugh. Even when Hughes attended the College of Charleston in South Carolina, milling was never far away.
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“I’d see the mills from Germany coming in at the port, and I’d see them out working along the highway all the way home to Indiana,” she remembers. Having grown up in the industry—her father was a part owner in a highway construction company—it was no surprise that she’s stayed in the industry. “I love what I do. I love the people. I love the equipment,” she said. She started her career with another milling company in Indiana, but when there was nowhere for her to move up, she decided it was time to move out. In August 2012, she started C.E. Hughes Milling Inc., in Jeffersonville, Indiana. “I grew up around a lot of entrepreneurs, so when the opportunity arose, I decided now was the time to take my own risk,” Hughes said. And it is a risk that has paid off. After starting with one mill less than four years ago, her crew of 15 now runs six mills in-season and works on interstate and highway
resurfacing jobs all over the state of Indiana and into Kentucky. She Get It Going expects the 2016 season to be even busier. When Hughes had just started the company, all she did was work. “It’s a good time to be in this business,” she said. “There’s a whole “The only thing I went home for was to sleep,” she said. “There was lot of resurfacing work out there.” As Indijust a trail from my front door to the bed, beana moves away from big projects to focus on cause that’s all I did.” She remembers all of preservation and maintenance of its current the stresses of getting started—financing, “I know I’m at the infrastructure, Hughes sees an even brighter ensuring cash flow, finding great employees, forefront of my company, future. all the paperwork. so anything that goes As one of only a handful of companies in “Financing was by far the biggest stressor,” unfavorably, I’m the one Indiana that are exclusively milling compaHughes said. “Getting banks to take a chance who has to deal with it. nies, Hughes saw a window of opportunity to on me so I could finance the things I needed It’s my name on the side focus solely on milling. to get started wasn’t easy.” “I wanted to pick one thing and be excepof the machines. I’m the To get those first few jobs, she relied on retionally good at it,” she said. To do so, she will lationships that had been established in the one standing up for all 18 do whatever it takes. For example, when a job industry, but also took a grassroots approach. people that work with me.” wasn’t going right, Hughes had her truck run“I took a class for entrepreneurs put on —Caroline Hughes ning in front of the office and was ready to by INDOT and there was a sign sitting right hop in and drive three hours to the job site to in front of my chair that said, ‘You have to clear everything up. ask for work!’” Hughes said. “I really took that to heart and my operations manag“The biggest part of this industry is caring er, Charles [Becht] and I hopped in the truck and drove around to about the quality of work you put out,” she said. “I want to be here in contractors’ offices asking for work. I will never forget that and I 15 years in business, so I’m going to do what I have to do.”
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C.E. Hughes is one of only four companies in Indiana exclusively offering milling services.
From left: Taylor W., Tim R., Pat R., Derek S., Duane Y., Charles B., Rick P., Tony M., Joe H., Caroline H. and Alec W. Not pictured: Jason Naegele
C.E. Hughesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; six milling machines are all Wirtgen machines: four 7-foot mills and two 4-foot mills.
After starting with one mill less than four years ago, C.E. Hughes now has a crew of 15 running six mills in-season.
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am beyond grateful for everyone that gave See The Future us a chance—especially those who took a “I see a lot of promise in the next couple of “I took a class for chance out the gate.” years for us, with the highway bill,” Hughes entrepreneurs put on by Since then, she’s been able to hire other ofsaid. “I feel a whole lot better than when I INDOT and there was a sign fice staff to help. first started.” sitting right in front of my “Even though I’m working less, it’s always Hughes is also doing her part to teach young chair that said, ‘You have with you as a business owner,” she said. “I care people about the opportunities available in to ask for work! I really about the people I employ and I have to think road construction. “Our industry is made up of took that to heart and of them. I have to know we have enough work a lot of people who will be reaching retirement my operations manager, to support their jobs so they can support their soon, and we have to do our part,” she said. Charles [Becht] and I families.” Hughes is an ambassador for the Indiana Con“I know I’m at the forefront of my comhopped in the truck and struction Roundtable Foundation’s Build Your pany, so anything that goes unfavorably, I’m drove around to contractors’ Future Indiana campaign, which sends people the one who has to deal with it,” she said. offices asking for work.” like her into high schools around the state to “It’s my name on the side of the machines. — Caroline Hughes encourage young people to join the industry. I’m the one standing up for all 18 people that “There are so many benefits. It’s such a stawork with me.” ble job and a great industry to grow into,” she In addition to finding qualified workers, said. Her own company is a perfect example. Hughes has also focused on finding people “I love pulling into the office and not seeing any equipment that have the same values as she does. “They have to want to see the because then you know it’s out there being put to work,” she said. company grow as much as I do and be willing to work hard to repre“I love my equipment, but I don’t like to see it.” sent the company well. That’s what I try to convey every time I talk to – By Sarah Redohl the guys working for me, that the way they present themselves represents our entire company,” Hughes said. For example, she said her operations manager, Charles Becht, goes above and beyond to represent the company positively. Hughes said that each and every one of her employees has the same “whatever it takes” mindset; if they didn’t, they wouldn’t fit in at C.E. Hughes. “As the newbie in the industry, we have to keep that in mind.” She also tries to encourage personal accountability. As the company continues to grow, there will be plenty of opportunities to move up. For example, water truck drivers from the company’s first couple of years moved up to become operators and are now training to become supervisors. Because “I try to provide as many resources, tools and training as I can. The Reputation rest is up to them,” Hughes said. That includes creating an environMatters. ment that encourages questions. “I try to make our new people feel comfortable enough to ask our experienced people any question, no The face of business is changing. Regulatory matter how stupid they may feel it is.” changes, globalization, as well as advances “I give everyone a certain amount of time to express that personal in technology such as social media, all accountability, and if they don’t, I don’t keep them around. I believe in contribute to your regulatory risk. Proactive the whole, ‘Hire slow, fire fast,’ idea.” The key, Hughes said, is explainrisk management adds value and can ing expectations and giving people room to deliver, and reward them differentiate you in the growing market as if they do. “To do that, you have to learn what people are motivated by. well as improve your bottom line. At LDA, Some people want money, some people want affirmation,” she said. we can monitor and detect potential One last key to growth? problems and to prevent issues down the road. To learn more, call or visit our website. “Cross training,” she said. “On our crews, we usually have a 7-foot machine with two operators and a water truck and driver who can also run the machine, if he needs to.” C.E. Hughes’ six milling machines are all Wirtgen machines: four 7-foot mills and two 4-foot mills. “Our people in the field are demand914.548.6369 5700 Arlington Ave., Bronx, NY 10471 ing this type of equipment,” Hughes said. “Having high-quality equipwww.ldacomplianceconsulting.com ment will help you attract high-quality operators, too.” www.mypavingpro.com 21
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Bennett Paving began offering asphalt paving in the middle of the 2015 season with its LeeBoy 8500C paver.
Know When To Grow Bryan Bennett started Bennett Paving, Leander, Texas, in 2005 with just a borrowed pickup truck and a $6,500 loan from his stepfather, Steve Stifflemire, that he used to buy some striping equipment. “I ended up buying that truck for $3,000 and it drank more oil than it did gasoline,” Bennett said, “And it took me more than a year to pay my step dad back.” But one decade later—in the middle of the 2015 paving season—Bennett decided it was time for the next step. The company purchased new equipment, hired 27 new employees and started offering asphalt paving, concrete paving and dustless blasting, in addition to sealcoating and striping.
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“Because of all of our current clients, we had all of this work available,” said Office Manager Christina Rountree. “Since we had the client base, if we bought the equipment and hired the people, our new services would pay for themselves.” Most of Bennett Paving’s clients are commercial clients, and include apartment and shopping center jobs between $5,000 and $500,000. When Rountree started at Bennett Paving in 2012, the company employed three people and offered sealcoating and striping. Although she started as the bookkeeper, she now has a variety of responsibilities and duties, including office management and light bookkeeping, researching
properties to quote and also does project proposals. “We went through a lot of change in a short period of time. It was a lot to deal with but we had a lot of experienced crew workers to run things smoothly and work really well together,” Rountree said. “The growth comes down to Bryan’s commitment to reinvest his profits back into his business to make it grow.” Get The Right Equipment Finding the right equipment was an easy first step. Bennett knew exactly what he wanted after using it at previous jobs. When Bennett Paving expanded, Bennett decided to buy a LeeBoy 8500C paver with a 10ton hopper, a Crafco Melter and an MMLJ
“He’s been with the company forever, he’s a good leader and works well with his crew,” Rountree said. “We thought he would be ready to make the change and the people we brought in had enough experience with asphalt paving that they could help him grow into the position.” One of the most important characteristics of a good employee for Bennett Paving is flexibility; the company prides itself of completing jobs at whatever time—day, night or weekend—would be most convenient for the client. “Every business is different. Some places are closed on Sundays, we often do restaurants at night, and we do apartments in shifts,” Rountree said. “The crew goes above and beyond working extra hours to get the job done in a timely fashion. They’re very flexible to accommodate whatever works with the clients.” Bennett instills this flexibility from the top down. “The growth is attributed to Bryan’s 24/7 commitment to make his business great,” Rountree said. “There are lots of jobs that start at 2 or 3 a.m. and Bryan is always on the job.” It isn’t difficult for Bennett to be nearby—he lives above the office. “If the guys need me, I’m right here,” Bennett said. “If I need to jump in a dump truck, I’ll do that, too.”
TOP: Most of Bennett Paving’s work is with commercial clients on apartment and shopping center jobs between $5,000 and $500,000. BOTTOM: Bennett Paving offers striping, sealcoating, asphalt paving, concrete paving and dustless blasting.
Dustless Blaster. The company already had Seal-Rite seal tanks which were chosen for setup and affordability. Find The Right People Finding so many qualified people in the middle of the paving season might seem daunting, but not for Bennett. “I know everybody, and they know me,” he said. “I’ve worked with them for the last 20
years, so I just said, ‘Hey let’s go.’” He even estimates he could hire another 27 people with no problem. Rountree said one of the key factors in finding so many good people so quickly was the opportunity for advancement as the company continues to grow. For example, Bennett Paving’s paving superintendent Evaristo Acuna was promoted from within after 10 years with the company.
Get The Job Done Right Bennett Paving also uses the app Field Forms on their tablets to take photos of jobs and send updates via email. Rountree can also keep track of how many employees are on the job, how much material has been used and which equipment is on the job. “Bryan used to do it for all of our jobs, but now everyone can do it,” Rountree said. Although Bennett Paving doesn’t plan to add any new services anytime soon, the company plans to continue to buy more asphalt equipment and expand its team. “Every dollar I make continues to go back into the business,” Bennett said. “I want it to get as big as it can get, but I’m not trying to grow too quickly.” When you ask Bennett about the future of Bennett Paving, he keeps it simple: “I just want to see it grow.”
– By Sarah Redohl
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Prestige Paving Company began offering paving in 2014. The company will continue to offer sealcoating, striping and concrete work.
A Family-Friendly Competition for Quality Sabes and Anthony Trujillo are always up for a bit of competition. The father-and-son paving duo competes over the dinner table, at the gym and at work. “The winner is usually whoever talks the most,” Anthony, Sabes’ son, said. Sabes Trujillo started Prestige Paving Company as Prestige Striping in 1997 with just a pickup truck and a few other guys, and in 2000, he started United Paving
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Company. When Anthony finished school, he started working for his father at United Paving Company. “I worked there for six years to learn the ins and outs of paving,” Anthony said about United, which is a much larger enterprise than Prestige. Then, once he’d proven himself, he began managing Prestige Paving Company and its team of 50 employees in the field while his father directed most of his attention to United. At
the same time, Prestige started to expand into paving. Hence, the two are constantly competing over quality. “My dad raised me to have the same values and work ethic he has,” Anthony said. “We challenge each other to have really high standards.” Prestige Paving Company, based in Corona, California, offers asphalt paving, sealcoating, striping and concrete work. Despite only expanding to offer paving in
2014, 60 percent of its business these days is asphalt paving, sealcoating is 20 percent, and striping and concrete represent 10 percent each. Anthony said the company is exactly where it wants to be—even if it grows, he hopes it grows with paving continuing to be the lion’s share of the company’s business. The company originally expanded into paving to get a wider range of clients. “We were limited to 50 companies that gave work to striping companies, so our growth was really limited, compared to paving,” Anthony said. “Every time you leave your house, all you see is asphalt. So, with paving, the world is your oyster.” Communication Is Key Many of Prestige Paving’s jobs are shopping centers and apartment complexes—jobs where tenants need to be kept in the loop. So, when asked about its great-
est strength, communication immediately came to mind for Anthony. “People need to be prepared for you and know how and when to get out of the way,” Anthony said. To do so, Prestige has a handful of communication strategies that
“We were limited to 50 companies that gave work to striping companies, so our growth was really limited, compared to paving. Every time you leave your house, all you see is asphalt. So, with paving, the world is your oyster.”—Anthony Trujillo
it offers in-house, outlining which days their crews will be working, what it means for tenants and how to prepare. From newsletters the company sends out a couple of weeks in advance, to representatives knocking on doors and leaving fliers on cars that should be moved, Prestige wants to be sure everyone is on the same page. For shopping center projects, the Prestige staff usually works directly with the property manager, who spreads the word to tenants. “We want everyone to know when they can park where,” Anthony said. “It’s important to know where the ball is at all times.” Although communication with tenants is key, it’s also useful from the very start of a project. “We’re very quick on the trigger to come up with solutions and be proactive,” Anthony said. “I see a lot of people who wait until things are really difficult to handle it.” It’s a value instilled in Prestige employees from day one.
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Father and son duo Sabes and Anthony Trujillo compete for top quality paving results. Sabes runs United Paving Company, and Anthony runs Prestige Paving Company.
Today, 60 percent of Prestigeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business is asphalt paving, 20 percent is sealcoating, and striping and concrete make up 10 percent each. 26 may/june 2016
Anthony said hiring employees always seems like a bit of a gamble. “You end up with a lot of surprises,” he said. “You just have to try them out and see what they’re made of.” However, it’s always hard to keep up with the demand—especially lately. “Everyone says the economy is so bad, but I don’t believe it because there’s been so much construction going up left and right,” Anthony said. “There are so many new construction projects to go get.”
Despite refocusing from maintenance to new construction, Anthony also hopes to see greater brand awareness in the area. “I want our brand to be recognized. I want people to see us everywhere along the road,” Anthony said. “We want to be like the Coca-Cola of paving. I want people to say, ‘There goes Prestige.’ That’s what I’m looking for.”
– By Sarah Redohl
Anthony said the company’s greatest strength is its communication with customers, which is especially important on shopping center and apartment complex jobs.
“I think what makes our crew such good communicators is doing the due diligence,” Anthony said. “Each project is different, but anticipating problems and solutions, and informing your client will help people be on your side if something does go wrong.” For example, when working on a few projects for Target back in 2010, there was a miscommunication between the client, the general contractor, and Prestige. “But we laid out all the cards and made sure everyone was on the same page moving forward,” Anthony said. To this day, Target continues to be a very good client for Prestige. “We have a lot of integrity,” Anthony said. “Our slogan is, ‘Our reputation is on the line.’ When we were only a striping company, it made more sense, but we think it’s so true we didn’t want to change it.” To this end, Anthony credits his father: “My dad raised me that way, and has always run his businesses that way. His values are structured into our company. We always do what we say we’re going to do and will never overpromise and under-deliver.” Employment Practices As Prestige continues to grow, finding suitable employees will continue to be a challenge. “We usually have to hire 10 people to get one really good person,” Anthony said. “During the slow season, we’ll clean out the ones that haven’t worked out and keep the ones who fit the type of team that we’ve built here.”
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to Ensure Small to Mid-Size Paving Project Success By John Ball
It’s not just the big highway contractors who have to follow rules out there. All the commercial and residential projects that use asphalt every day combine to make the asphalt industry look its best. Not only does your quality job help the industry, each good job you do helps you get the next. Whether it’s the church parking lot or the drive in front of the grocery store, everybody sees it. Your good performance is your signature. It’s important to do the job right the first time so your customer pays you in a timely fashion, and refers you to additional customers who will pay in a timely fashion. If the crew makes a mistake that needs repair on Project A, you lose three times on the same job. First, you may have to discount the final invoice, which cuts into your profit. Second, you have to go back to the project on a second day. This represents additional time, labor, fuel and material spent on the project, which cuts into your profit. Third, if you’re back on Project A Tuesday, you’re not making money on Project B, which cuts into your bottom line. That kind of mistake can be debilitating to a small family business, which means you must follow best business practices to ensure best paving practices. If you’re a small to mid-size paving contractor, here are seven rules for success.
Rule 1. Have a Toolbox Talk This is the daily crew meeting that gives you a chance to communicate to everybody on the job all the parameters of the job. If you try to perform a job with just a work order and a wave goodbye as the crew pulls out of the yard, you’re going to have miscommunication and mistakes. If you know for a fact that members of the crew cannot read English, don’t hand them a work order written out in English and expect your project to get finished in a timely manner. Instead, hand the work order to someone who does read well, and have the face-to-face crew meeting with the whole crew before the shift begins. If the job calls for 300 tons of mix, the foreman should tell the crew members, “This job will only use 300 tons of mix.” If the mix is going to be difficult to work by hand, tell them, “You will need to work it while it’s hot because it’s going to be difficult to work by hand.” 28 may/june 2016
Rule #1 is to have a crew meeting before the day’s paving begins. You can do this at the job site where it’s easy to point out areas that need special attention, or you can do this at the shop before everyone drives to the site. Make sure everyone understands what signals will be used for backing and dumping trucks, along with other safety items. Make sure all members of the crew know what equipment and tasks they will be responsible for throughout the shift so work can flow smoothly and safely.
Tell them the limits of the job. If the project must be completed in eight hours and then opened to public parking, tell them, “You only have eight hours to complete compaction and striping.” Otherwise, you might see the crew still placing the mat at the end of Hour 8, with compaction and striping yet to be done. This toolbox talk is your opportunity to communicate the last-minute job changes and important pay details to the crew. You can even get toolbox talk tips from PavingPro’s sister publication if you sign up for the free Monday morning email at www.TheAsphaltPro.com. Fill out the blank Toolbox Tip fields on the right-hand side of the screen to get the weekly idea sent directly to you.
Hire, Keep People Who Care
In a small to mid-size paving company, those parking lot projects can really add up. Having employees who are willing to take the time to measure and mark out the job before they start paving is vital to your bottom line. The last thing you need is an equipment operator who doesn’t care. If you see one or more of your employees doesn’t care that the job is overrunning on pricy material, maybe that employee isn’t the right fit for your small business. It’s not easy to find skilled workers, but they are out there. And they are worth their weight in gold when you find the right person. By hiring and properly rewarding a skilled worker who is committed, trainable and shows pride in the workmanship, you bring a valuable asset to your small business. Don’t underestimate, or underpay, an equipment operator who is willing to learn, grow and protect your bottom line.
Rule 2. Designate Operators Many contractors have designated equipment operators for the tack truck, for the sidewalk paver, for the chipspreader, for the cold mill or for the roller. It’s vital that the tack wagon has an operator who cares for it, cleans it, knows how to manipulate each and every control for safe and evenly applied bond coats, and makes sure no one puts regular tack in a tank that still holds trackless tack, etc. Some equipment doesn’t have a designated operator, though. Consider the skid steer loader, the plate compactors, the broom and so forth. When you have the morning toolbox talk, make sure each member of the day’s crew knows which equipment he or she will be responsible for that day. Part of having a well-trained crew means each person can multi-task, but each person needs to have responsibilities that keep the job moving forward during the shift. Why have a skid steer on the job if its operator is putting water in the rollers when mix spills in front of the paver? Someone needs to be responsible for getting the mix up before it becomes a segregation issue. Someone else needs to be responsible for keeping water in the rollers. Someone needs to be responsible for marking lines while others are getting equipment ready for the shift, etc. Here are a few of the extra jobs that will need to be assigned to multi-tasking crew members: • Plate compaction • Water/Filling & Fueling • Tamping • Brooming • Luting • Jackhammer/Sawcutting • Shoveling • Skid steer/milling head • Blowing/Cleaning • Cleanup • Stringline/Marking Rule 3. Lay Out, Measure the Job The operator on the left side of the screed sets the depth. The operator on the right side of the screed has to match the joint. If the first pass isn’t right in depth, you’ll be matching to a wrong depth and you’ll be chasing depth from then to the end of the parking lot, roadway or widening. We’re better than that. Think of the screed operator as the money guy. If the example mentioned before takes 300 tons, but something went wrong and you use 318 tons, your company pays for the extra 18 tons of material out of the project’s profit. The screed operator is going to make sure you
only use 300 tons. But he can only do that if you set him up for success by laying out the job with a stringline or painted markings that show how the paver will move through the project. Measure the length and width of the paving job at hand. Determine the thickness that is required. Then put these numbers into your paving calculator, such as the one found on my website at http://bit. ly/1W962gY. Use this to determine the materials you need—the yield. When you know how many tons the project will require overall—300 in our example—you can break it down to determine how many tons go in each pass. Do your crew a favor and paint that number on the ground in each pass lane. When the crew comes to the lane, the screed operator and/or paver operator will know how much material should be used in that pass. If they use more tons, they know something is off. They know something needs to be adjusted. Without the measuring and layout prior to paving, the crew doesn’t have that easy signal to tell them when they’re about to cost the company a large sum of money.
This is Your Overall Crew Start-Up Checklist Step 1. Crew Meeting (to go over the day’s activity) ❒ Discuss the day’s activities ❒ Discuss the work limits ❒ Discuss the time limits ❒ Discuss the traffic control
Step 2. Designate Operators ❒ Know your players & equipment for the day ❒ Use the right equipment for the job Step 3. Lay Out & Measure the Work Area ❒ Length ❒ Width ❒ Thickness ❒ How much material will you need (this is your yield) Step 4. Call the Plant ❒ Place the order ❒ Know your trucks (type, tonnage, legal load) ❒ What is the plant turn-around time? Step 5. Check the Equipment ❒ Fill out inspection forms ❒ Check fluids & grease ❒ Check the screed with the straight edge ❒ Inspect the tow points Step 6. Pave by the Numbers ❒ Straight edge/level/temp gun ❒ Monitor the yield ❒ Coordinate the trucks ❒ Designate the truck clean-out area Step 7. Walk the Job/Ride the Joints
This is Your Paver Operator’s Checklist
Step 1. Check the Fluids—oil, hydraulic, grease, water, fuel ❒ Unlock the counsel ❒ Check battery for 12 to 13 volts ❒ Warm up for 10 minutes before heating the screed ❒ Run conveyors, augers, hoppers ❒ Slide out extensions ❒ Check tow points ❒ Check tunnels, flow gates ❒ Check end gates & springs ❒ Grease vibrators (6) daily on the main screed
Rule #4 is to call the plant. Communicate with the plant operator or you risk losing track of where you are in production on mid-size paving jobs. You want to talk to the plant operator in terms of tons— tell him how many tons you need by 10 a.m., by noon, by 2 p.m., etc. Ask specific questions to get specific answers and make sure you know if something is going wrong that could impact your production on the job.
Rule 4. Call the Plant Calling the plant operator requires specific communication. Keep in mind that Gorgeous Plant A in the nearby industrial district may close at 2 p.m. on any given day. If your job is allotted eight hours, you may require mix beyond that time. Have you told the plant operator at Gorgeous Plant A that you will need a certain number of tons of mix after 2 p.m.? Does he care enough about your business to stay at his post beyond 2 p.m. when his owner has told him to shut down and go home? Probably not. You need to plan accordingly. When talking to the plant operator, you want to talk in terms of tons, not in terms of trucks or loads. That person is concerned with getting the product out. You’re concerned with receiving product properly and in an orderly manner. Remember to tell the plant operator that you’re “looking for” a certain number of total tons, but you want him or her to call you at a certain number of tons so you can discuss progress. I suggest, if a paving foreman needs a total of 300 tons for a job, he should request the plant operator give him a call when the plant gets to 150 tons. Whether you get that call or not, about two hours into your job, call the plant to check on things. You don’t want trucks on hold or waiting on the job; you don’t want to be unaware of a problem at the plant that busy operators are focused on fixing instead of calling to alert you. Ask the right questions and be specific, or you won’t know “where” you are in your production. Rule 5. Check the Equipment You want to make sure that you do a good job of checking all equipment. Fill out a mechanic’s sheet and inspection form or use one of the new electronic inspection devices available on the market to ensure the operator has the machine ready to go. It’s important to check fluids and to grease parts, yes, but overall maintenance is vital, too. The fuel guy doesn’t have time to grease machines when he comes by. Inspect the front end of the paver to make sure the rollers are free and clear. Inspect tow-point cylinders. Use a straight edge 30 may/june 2016
Step 2. Set your game plan with the foreman ❒ To get a straight line, set the guide bars ❒ Know where we’re starting ❒ Know how wide we’re paving ❒ Know how many tons we’re paving ❒ Get the first pass right to set the quality & joints for the whole job Step 3. Setting the speed of the paver sets your time clock ❒ Know the mix delivery (tons per hour) ❒ Set the paver speed (probably between 25 and 30 feet per minute) Step 4. Dump the trucks efficiently ❒ Use a dump man if one is available ❒ Move the mix as a mass; don’t dribble it out ❒ Fold hopper wings on the move between trucks Step 5. Communicate with two screed men ❒ Control the head of material ❒ Maintain the flow of material (use the flow gates) ❒ Run the augers continuously ❒ A balanced screed has equal extensions Step 6. Be the safety guy ❒ The paver operator is the eyes of the crew ❒ The paver operator is elevated with the best view Step 7. Clean up the paver ❒ Prepare for the next day, but save fueling for the morning/beginning of next shift ❒ Fill out equipment/inspection sheets ❒ Hang the screed in the locked position ❒ Lock the counsel
to check the screed transversely. Then use a 4-foot level to check it longitudinally to also check the extensions. Take a look at the generator. All the pavers now have generators, and if you lean up against a broken plug, you get a 240-volt shock that could kill you. Equipment maintenance isn’t just for good performance anymore; it’s also for safe operation.
We’re fortunate to have automatic greasers as we do on many parts at the plant, but you must remember to fill those up. Follow OEMs’ recommendations for routine maintenance on all machines.
was closer to 70oF. We asphalt professionals know there’s a perishable product in the truck beds, but the drivers need to be told. I recommend every truck have GPS installed that lets the foreman know where the truck is at all times. In addition to tracking trucks while they’re carrying mix, watch the drivers after they dump their loads. Don’t let them clean out in front of the paver. They need a designated area alongside the job where they can clean out, and where a skid steer awaits his signal to clean up any messes the truck drivers make.
Rule 6. Pave By the Numbers Follow my paving-by-the-numbers cheat sheet in the sidebar. I created this years ago as a checklist to start paving. Use this the way a pilot uses a checklist before flying an aircraft. By going down the list from step 1 to step 14, you prepare the paver in a logical order to accept mix and take off from its starter plate successfully. As mentioned above, use a straight edge to Rule 7. Walk/Drive the Job check the screed. Also use a level, a temperaWhen paving is complete, there’s one last Do your crew a favor and ture gun and a measuring tape. The screed is step I recommend to check your workmanpaint that number on the the most important part out there because it ship. Walk along the parking lot or ride along ground in each pass lane. makes the good-looking mat. A temperature the roadway. Go back and check for roller gun is only about $50 but is worth its weight marks, joint problems or any issue that needs in gold. The electric screed’s gauge can say it’s to be addressed before the paving equipment heated to 300oF, but if half the elements have goes to its next job. It’ll be easier to fix misshorted themselves out, you’ll catch the probtakes now or to take the finish roller over a lem with the temperature gun before you start laying a damaged mat. problem area at the end of the job rather than letting the traveling When paving by the numbers, I stress monitoring the yield. It’s vipublic or project owner think you’ve done a poor job. tal to your pay and profit. From marking the beginning with stringlines or paint, to walking Coordinating truck traffic is also important during the paving part the completed pavement, if you pay attention to details and back-toof the job. You want to have your truck drivers bringing their mix to basics paving, you can achieve a top quality job that will get you full the site in the order in which it was loaded. Something loaded at 6:30 pay and an enthusiastic referral. a.m. when the ambient temperature was 50oF shouldn’t arrive afJohn Ball is the proprietor of Top Quality Paving & Training, Manchester the mix that was loaded at 8 a.m. when the ambient temperature ter, N.H. He provides personal, on-site paving consulting services around the United States and into Canada. For more information, contact him at (603) 493-1458 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Pave by the Numbers Step 1 ❒ Heat the screed Step 2 ❒ Center tow points Step 3 ❒ Set paving width Step 4 ❒ Set main screed crown Step 5 ❒ Set height of extensions Step 6 ❒ Set slope of extensions Step 7 ❒ Lower screed into starting position Step 8 ❒ Null the screed Step 9 ❒ Set the end gates Step 10 ❒ Set auger height to be 2 inches above what you’re laying Step 11 ❒ Set feed sensors Step 12 ❒ Adjust feed control Step 13 ❒ Fill auger chamber Step 14 ❒ Pull off from starting plates
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32 may/june 2016
ABOVE: Distributor trucks provide heated asphalt or emulsion spray as tack coating in front of the paver or to spread heated binder for chip seal projects. LEFT: An electric distributor truck heating system allows the operator to plug in the heater at the end of the shift and walk away as it maintains the asphalt binder or emulsion at the correct temperature overnight or over a weekend. All photos courtesy of Process Heating Company.
Plug It In Electric heat gives distributor trucks the power to improve operations By Rick Jay
Distributor trucks may easily be viewed as unglamorous workhorses of paving fleets. Their typical functions are to provide heated asphalt or emulsion spray as tack coating in front of the paver or to spread heated binder for chip seal projects. In simplest terms, a distributor truck comprises a cab, a tank, a form of heat and a spray system for applying the binder. Accurate heat is one real key to the binderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success, whether the material is emulsion or asphalt. Traditionally, heat is provided to the distributor material via burners that operate on #2 fuel oil, diesel or LP gas. The operator lights the burner or burners, and heat begins to circulate through flues in the bottom of the tank to bring the binder up to the right temperature. That process is relatively simple, but there is another option for distributor trucks that
is gaining interest among contractors and municipalitiesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;electric heat. Why Electric? An electric distributor truck heating system allows the operator to plug in the heater at the end of the shift and walk away. The heater maintains the asphalt binder or emulsion at the correct temperature overnight or over a weekend, so that the truck is ready to begin work immediately when its next shift begins. Electric heaters operate without an open flame, and do not require the presence of personnel as they maintain asphalt/emulsion heat. Fossil-fuel burners require strict conditions for lighting, including absence of water or condensation in the tank and the presence of at least 8 inches of material covering the heat flues in the tank. The truck must be positioned on level ground www.mypavingpro.com 33
and upwind, to keep flammable vapors from igniting. With LP gas burners, most manufacturers recommend that two operators be present to light the burners in order to reduce risk of flashback. Additionally, the material must be circulated with a pump or it may create explosive fumes, and it must not be removed within 20 minutes after heating. Failure to follow safety precautions could result in an explosion. With electric heat, drywell-style heating elements reside inside a sheath, allowing heat to be dissipated in a controlled manner, without the need to circulate the material. Especially with the increasing use of emulsions instead of asphalt for applications, controlled distribution of heat is ideal, as traditional burners and flues are hard on emulsions and often cause the water from the emulsion to separate and bake out of the material, damaging the material.
In addition to improving productivity, safety and asphalt/emulsion quality, electric heat can reduce operating costs for distributor trucks.
Traditionally, heat is provided to the distributor material via burners that operate on #2 fuel oil, diesel or LP gas.
The heating elements may be dropped in through the tankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manhole. Holes may already exist in the baffles, or they may need to be drilled to allow the heaters to rest fully along the length of the tank. A hole may be drilled for the conduit from the top of the tank, or the conduit can exit the tank through the manhole. 34 may/june 2016
How It Works Electric heating systems that are specâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d and installed into new distributor trucks or retrofitted into existing trucks use sheaths that create a drywell, inside which the actual heating elements reside. These sheaths are located toward the bottom of the tank, running along its length through the tank baffles. Controls for the heater are installed over the rear wheel fender. In a new or full retrofit installation, the drywell sheaths are accessible from the outside of the tank, allowing the heating elements to be removed and serviced from the rear without draining the tank. Another retrofit option available is that of a drop-in heater. This type of electric heater retrofit allows the heating elements to be dropped in through the tankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manhole. Holes may already exist in the baffles, or they may need to be drilled to allow the heaters to rest fully along the length of the tank. A hole may be drilled for the conduit from the top of the tank, or the conduit can exit the tank through the manhole. As with a new installation, the controller can be located on the rear fender of the truck.
Heater sheaths create a drywell, inside which the actual heating elements reside. These sheaths are located toward the bottom of the tank, running along its length through the tank baffles. Controls for the heater are installed over the rear wheel fender.
With electric heat, drywell-style heating elements reside inside a sheath, allowing heat to be dissipated in a controlled manner, without the need to circulate the material.
A drop-in electric heater is another retrofit option for distributor trucks.
Additional Fuel for Thought In addition to improving productivity, safety and asphalt/emulsion quality, electric heat can reduce operating costs for distributor trucks. The amount of electricity required to maintain asphalt/emulsion temperatures overnight is minimal— about $4 to $5 per night—certainly less than the amount of fuel required using burners to raise the material to the correct temperature, which can range from 5 gallons per hour (gph) to as high as 11 gph, according to manufacturer specs. Factor in the cost of just one crew member waiting on the burners to heat the material and the savings become even more apparent. Electric heat also offers 100 percent energy efficiency because all of the energy is used to heat. No heat or emissions are exhausted into the air. Over the lifetime of the heater, that efficiency never drops. Most fossil-fuel-fired burners, however, operate at a lower efficiency when new, resulting in a percentage of the burner’s heat being wasted—going into the air as exhaust, along with burner emissions. The burner efficiency continues to drop over time. Finally, because electricity heats without combustion or emissions, electric heat is considered friendly to the environment. Rick Jay is the president of Process Heating Company. www.mypavingpro.com 35
Find Good Workers to Get Through the Season By Sarah Redohl
Two years ago, Krystal Strassman of DRS Paving and Asphalt Reheat Systems, Fitchburg, Wis., was looking for new employees. A local radio station was having a drive-by job fair where they’d be handing out 2,000 bags of application materials for job openings in the community. Strassman signed DRS Paving up. “I only got one guy, and he wasn’t even qualified,” she said. It was a complete failure. Everyone knows that good employees are hard to find, or, as Strassman puts it, “Finding new employees sucks.” And it gets harder mid-season, she said, when you might be balancing a bunch of jobs while looking for more help. Not only is the industry faced with an aging workforce and the challenge of appealing to young people, but it’s also trying to entice workers who may have left the industry during the recession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the construction industry reached 7.6 million in January 2006 before bottoming out in 2011 at 5.4 million, and has steadily increased each year since. In January 2016, there were an estimated 6.6 million construction jobs. As construction employment is expected to continue to climb in the coming years, finding good employees will be challenging. But there are some things you can do to improve your chances.
Limit turnover “You have to play to your advantages,” Strassman said. “Think about what you do better or differently than everyone else.” For her, that’s offering a work schedule that works with her employees’ schedules. “We don’t work on the weekends, we don’t send them all over the place, so they’re home every night even if they work long hours.” To do this right, Strassman said you have to know your employees. Although she knows that her employees would be able to make more money at a larger company, her crew tends to include people with families who might not be willing to work 80 hours a week and travel all the time. “You’re going to have a lot of turnover in that type of environment,” Strassman said. “We’re a great place for family-oriented guys. That’s what we push.” “For us the proof is in the pudding,” Strassman said about this policy. The company’s prep foreman has been with them for 35 years, the plant manager for 40 years, and another employee just retired after 30 years with DRS. 36 may/june 2016
Motivate your employees “Find out what makes your guys tick,” Strassman said. Each guy on your crew might be motivated by something different, and knowing what it is can help you keep them happy. Key motivations Strassman has seen include a schedule that works for families, opportunity for advancement, variety throughout the day, a fun work environment or money. One way DRS Paving motivates employees is through bonuses based on work quality. “The office didn’t want callbacks and the guys wanted more money, so we started our bonus system,” Strassman said. “If we’re not having call backs, their year-end bonuses will reflect that.” Another thing Strassman does to keep her crew around is offering suggestions for winter work. “I had a few guys leave us for FedEx because they couldn’t keep busy during the winter,” Strassman said. To address this, she and her crew often help each other find jobs to do in the winter. Strassman also makes the crew feel important by showing them they matter to her and her family. “We’ll buy them new t-shirts, new boots, whatever. I want them to know that I appreciate them,” Strassman said. For example, when her employees started complaining about the smell of the raincoats, Strassman immediately went out and bought new ones. Her mom, Cheryl, also stocks the office freezer with ice cream bars. “The little things go a long way.” Look in the right places Recently, Strassman took out ads in a handful of small newspapers from surrounding farming communities. “Those are the kids I want. They grew up on a farm, they have mechanical ingenuity, common sense and a strong work ethic,” she said. “They know that they’ve gotta wake up early, put their boots on, and they won’t be coming home until the last cow is milked. It’s no 9-to-5.” “After those ads, guys just started coming out of the woodwork.” She counted almost 15 perfect candidates walking through her door after the ad campaign. “I haven’t had that in three years combined,” she said, when she was using mostly Craigslist and radio ads. Although Craigslist was her main recruiting tool before, Strassman said the results were nothing compared to the newspaper ads. “I struck gold; I found something that worked really well in my market,” she said.
“You have to think like the employee—where are they looking for work,” Strassman said. “If you want someone to drive your truck, you might not find him on Facebook.” In her newspaper ad, Strassman wanted to be sure to attract the right candidates, so she was sure to mention that they care about hiring genuinely good people and that drug tests are required by the company’s insurance provider. “My mom was a little concerned about putting that in the ad, but we would almost get a guy hired to have it fall through after the urine test,” Strassman said. At $200 per test—plus the time it took to go through the hiring process—being upfront about expectations has been really beneficial. Look to the youth “After the downsizing that our industry has experienced over the past eight years, as the market improves, we’ll most certainly experience a shortage of qualified workers, supervisors and managers,” said Jay Winford of Prairie Contractors in Louisiana. To solve this issue, Winford suggests increased support for construction education and community vocational schools. “Finding young and dedicated people to work in a sometimes difficult and challenging job is very much an issue,” said Dan Staebell, regional director for the north central region for Asphalt Pavement Alliance, Lanham, Md. “Companies are looking at every way possible to entice the ‘new workforce’ into our industry." Although most of Strassman’s new hires aren’t fresh out of high school or college—after all, one of her key benefits is most appealing to people with families—she still actively engages young people to be a part of the industry. For example, a handful of local builders recently brought some kids from area high schools and technical schools to a new housing development to “show them the ropes” on a handful of industries, from HVAC to asphalt. “The HVAC teams focus a lot on money as a benefit, but for me, I tell them that the company is just a good place to work and you get to be outside,” she said. Another key point? “I tell them to stay close to whatever excites them.” “If you like asphalt but don’t want to run the paver, you’ll find out all sorts of other jobs in the asphalt industry that you could have if you stay close,” Strassman said. Her own situation was a perfect example. “I knew I wanted to do something in asphalt that wasn’t laying it.” She became a project estimator and loves being outside, meeting new people, and the little office work she does. “Maybe you don’t really want to be a mason, but maybe the best job for you is actually selling concrete to the mason. There’s something out there for everyone, you just can’t get caught in the fine tuning when you’re that young.” Another example from the industry comes from the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association, which has developed a poster to hang in high schools throughout the state to introduce the benefits of working in the asphalt industry. “One thing is for sure,” Staebell said. “Young people who enter these industries will get it in their blood and find a very high level of accomplishment each and every day.” Know when to quit “I would rather have an employee with lots of motivation and no skills than a skilled employee with no motivation,” Strassman said, “because I can teach the skills, but I can only do so much for the motivation. You either want to work or you don’t.”
TOP: Many of DRS’s employees have been with the company for multiple years. The company’s prep foreman has been with them for 35 years, the plant manager for 40 years, and another employee just retired after 30 years with DRS. LEFT: Key motivations might be offering a schedule that works for families, opportunity for advancement, higher pay, variety throughout the workday, and a fun work environment. Photos courtesy of DRS Paving.
DRS offers employees every tool to be successful, but Strassman knows it’s the employee’s job to take the initiative—they have to want it. “My dad always said to guys, if they weren’t happy they could go home,” Strassman said. “Even if he were on his last employee, he’d send him home if he wasn’t happy. That sort of negative attitude spreads fast.” Another common hiring mistake Strassman sees is getting too excited about a single employee. “You can’t put all your eggs in one basket like that,” she said. “You can find someone great, train them for a while and then watch them leave. I don’t want to spend my good guys’ time training someone who’s on their way out the door.” When it comes to hiring the right people, Strassman said to trust your gut. “If something smells bad today, realize that it probably won’t smell like roses the next morning.” Take it national Staebell recommends working with elected officials to educate them on the importance of developing the construction workforce. “Jobs and economic enhancement are critical issues for our elected leaders to hear about,” he said, “and it is wonderful that companies support and provide this leadership.” For example, the Mathy Construction Company has dedicated resources and time to working with and informing our elected officials on industry-related issues and to educate them on the importance of the industry. Developing a workforce for the future of our industry benefits our country’s infrastructure. Whatever you can do—big or small— to help, do it. www.mypavingpro.com 37
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That’s a beautiful curtain of material with no gaps and no extra piles. That’s what you want to see as you apply chips. Photo courtesy E.D. Etnyre & Co.
Chip Seal with Best Practices for Best Longevity By Sandy Lender
While today’s equipment makes the chip seal application less foreboding than it was in the old days, the process still requires good management skills. Materials management, to be exact. Richard Smith, western district territory manager for VT LeeBoy, headquartered in Lincolnton, N.C., explained that the distributor trucks and chip spreaders do the fine-tuned part. The tack wagon uses a processor-controlled system to get the spray rate correct; the chip spreader uses a monitored system to get the chip application rate correct. The crew takes care of the management of the pieces. “If the distributor runs out, they don’t want to be waiting around,” Smith said. “They have a second truck there in the staging area waiting and ready to go.” Tack isn’t the only material to keep track of. When time is money, you want to keep a steady stream of haul trucks delivering aggregate to the chip spreader’s receiving hopper. “You want to know how long it’s going to take to bring the trucks from the chip source,” Smith advised. Once the tack is down, the chip spreader will follow, staying right up on the tack operation, keeping a steady distance between the tack wagon and chip spreader. If a haul truck of chips is late, the whole train comes to a stop. That costs money in laborers who are standing around waiting. Ways to keep project costs under control include planning what machine to take to the job. Don Etnyre of E.D. Etnyre & Co., Oregon, Ill., discussed the benefits of sealing full lane widths on rural roads
where traffic is light and chip seals are a popular preservation tool. Rather than sealing one lane, setting back and sealing another, the crew has only one pass to make with the chip seal train—if the crew has the right equipment. A chip spreader with a variable hopper as opposed to a fixed hopper, for example, gives the crew flexibility. Like the extensions on a screed, the hopper “extends” hydraulically giving the crew more coverage with the veil of aggregate.
“You can taper around mailboxes or at intersections. The big benefit is you can go out 24 feet wide to seal shoulder to shoulder on one pass on the country roads, and then fold it down to 12 feet to haul it home.” – Don Etnyre
“You can taper around mailboxes or at intersections,” Etnyre said. “The big benefit is you can go out 24 feet wide to seal shoulder to shoulder on one pass on the country roads, and then fold it down to 12 feet to haul it home.” With a variable machine, Etnyre explained, there is an auger in the hopper that assists in moving the material along
Richard Smith of VT LeeBoy, Lincolnton, N.C., shared that modern equipment is the specialized part of the chip seal application today. The crew members can rely on processor-controlled systems to apply tack and chip at specific rates for optimum coverage. Photo of the Rosco CSM from VT LeeBoy courtesy LeeBoy.
the extended width. The key in this, as it is in any chip sealing application, is to get a uniform coverage of chips on the ground. “Aggregate coverage needs to be uniform and complete,” Etnyre cautioned. “Neither piles nor missing areas is acceptable. Coverage is computer-controlled and measured by pounds per square yard.” Consultant John Ball of Top Quality Paving & Training, Manchester, N.H., recently helped a crew with a chip seal job, and shared that the maintenance of the 40 may/june 2016
machines was exemplary. The old Etnyre chip spreader that the crew used was in excess of 50 years old. Of course that means components have been rebuilt. Etnyre explained that the frequency of parts replacement depends on the hardness of the aggregate running through the machine. “With the softer limestones of the Midwest, the augers will go longer than when you’re running the harder aggregates from out West.” Keep in mind, the augers won’t run continuously. The material is carried
by the rubber belts you see in the picture; the augers cycle on and off as the computer controls them. The chip is only one component in the chip seal application, of course. Agencies and owners have been looking at the tack used in chip seals to determine how it can be regulated for optimum performance each and every time a chip seal is ordered. During the Argus Asphalt Summit March 3, Jerry Peterson of Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) shared with the
LEFT TOP and MIDDLE: This company has kept its chip spreader in good repair for nearly five decades. They’ve placed a board, where the left-facing arrow points, along the top of the hopper so aggregate streaming in from the conveyor belts doesn’t fall over the lip. The top arrow points out the headlight. Photos courtesy John Ball of Top Quality Paving & Training. BOTTOM: Notice the distributor truck doesn’t get too far ahead of the chip spreading part of the operation. Photo courtesy of John Ball of Top Quality Paving & Training.
audience how his agency came up with a spec for chip seal binders. For the TxDOT regimen—which includes the steps: plan it, build it, maintain it, use it and manage it—the agency uses chip seal, thin-bonded friction course, fog seal and microsurfacing as go-to items for pavement maintenance. In 2013, the state formed an emulsion task force with the goal of statewide implementation of an SPG spec for chip seal binders. TxDOT Implementation Project 5-6616 included researchers Darren Hazlett, Jerry Peterson, Amy Epps Martin, Edith Arambula, Tom Freeman and Jon Epps. Their objective was to improve chip seal binder specification and selection with performance-related tests at temperatures that cover the entire in-service range for a specific climate, while considering aging during the critical first year of the chip seal’s life and possibly adjusting for traffic load. The agency is hoping for implementation of the spec by the 2018 paving season. How does a spec for binder in Texas affect everyone else? It gives all states a precedent for best practice when it comes to the tack in chip seals at varying temperatures and traffic loads. Once you have the tack down and the chips fallen into place from a beautiful, uniform curtain of material, you’ll use a pneumatic or steel drum roller in static mode to roll the surface. The purpose of the roller is to seat the chips. Never put a vibratory roller on a chip seal—the vibration will merely break the aggregates and possibly damage the subbase. The rubber tires of the roller gently massage the chips into place—and that’s what you want. When it’s all cooled and rolled, you have a sealed surface that looks a bit like a gravel road but travels smoothly. If you’ve done it well, the chips are seated firmly in place for a safe driving surface that gives the owner/ agency many more years of service from the pavement. www.mypavingpro.com 41
Simplify, Streamline Job Sites with Versatile Equipment By Sarah Redohl
Hot-Mix Pavers, Tukwila, Wash., started with a coin toss in 1953. Bill Ether and his cousin both wanted to start a paving company. They’d come up with two names, Hot-Mix Pavers and Blacktop Pavers, but they both preferred Hot-Mix Pavers. They decided to flip for it, and Ether won. Luck struck again in 1950 when Phil Clairmont placed an ad looking for work in The Seattle Times. Ether called Phil and hired him immediately to work as a laborer. Then, in 1968, Ether sold the business to Clairmont. At that time, the company focused on parking lot and utility restoration jobs. In 1985, Clairmont retired, passing the business on to his sons, Robert and Roger Clairmont. Today Hot-Mix Pavers has 12 employees and three crews that pave and sealcoat throughout the Seattle area. Secretary-Treasurer Melanie Parrett, Robert’s daughter, estimates that 90 percent of Hot-Mix Pavers’ business is new paving installations, mostly for public works projects. In December 2015, Lady Luck struck again when the company purchased a Carlson CP100 asphalt paver that offered them the versatility Seattle’s narrow city streets demanded. The CP100 offers an 8.5-ton hopper capacity with a standard paving width of 8 to 15 feet, or up to 17 feet with bolt-ons. By closing one
42 may/june 2016
or both damper doors, or using cut off shoes, the paver can pave widths less than 4 feet. “This narrow width ability allows contractors to maximize the versatility of the CP100, paving small utility cuts and large-scale parking lots and municipal streets,” said Travis Colwell, marketing and communications coordinator for Carlson Paving Products, Inc. “The CP100’s high torque and power can push large, highway asphalt trailers for the large parking lot applications, yet is small enough to operate in tight spaces and under covered parking awnings.” Previously, Hot-Mix Pavers often hauled both its 4-ton, 5-foot Blaw-Knox sidewalk paver and a 6-ton, 8-to-16-foot Barber Greene paver to every job site. “We didn’t have anything in between that would allow us to do the big jobs and the small jobs,” Parrett said. That meant switching pavers mid-job, sometimes requiring the crew to move the paver over a mat they’d just laid. It also meant two trailers and two trucks to haul the pavers to every jobsite. Parrett estimates that loading and unloading in the morning alone required an extra hour, not to mention the time it would take for the mat to cool enough to drive a paver back over it.
LEFT: Prior to purchasing the CP100, Hot-Mix Pavers brought two pavers to most of its jobs: a 4-ton, 5-foot Blaw-Knox sidewalk paver and a 6-ton, 8-to-16-foot Barber Greene paver. RIGHT TOP: Parrett said that Hot-Mix Pavers does mostly public works jobs. She credits the company’s success in this area to the reputation it’s cultivated since 1953. RIGHT MIDDLE: Hot-Mix Pavers has 12 employees that pave throughout the Seattle area. Seattle has many hills, narrow streets, one-ways and traffic for Hot-Mix’s team to work with. RIGHT BOTTOM: In December 2015, Hot-Mix Pavers purchased a Carlson CP100 asphalt paver that offered them the versatility Seattle’s narrow city streets demanded.
“We’d much rather have a smaller paver out there, keep it running, and bring stuff to it rather than bringing it back to the trailer,” Parrett said. When Hot-Mix Pavers won the bid to extend Seattle’s West Duwamish Trail in the summer of 2014, they knew the job would require both pavers to expand the 10-foot-wide trail and pave South Portland Street. It was on this job that the company’s Barber Greene paver broke down and they rented a CP100. “That’s when we decided that we wanted a Carlson,” Parrett said. “We stopped bringing the smaller paver when we realized how easy the Carlson could adjust to different sizes.” Solve City Traffic Issues Although no city government enjoys closing down streets for construction, with Seattle’s hills, narrow streets and one-ways, closed roadways become even more problematic. “Working within Seattle city limits, even just parking that much equipment is difficult, much less moving it around,” Parrett said. According to a report by USA Today, Seattle is the seventh most congested city in the U.S. On average, Seattle drivers spend an extra 63 hours per year behind the wheel due to congestion—only 19 hours less than Washington D.C., the country’s most congested city. Additional fuel—around 28 gallons per driver—and lost productivity cost Seattle commuters $3.3 billion annually. Although traffic, like death and taxes, is inevitable, Parrett said it best: “We know you have to do what you have to do to get the job done, but we don’t want to inconvenience people just to store our equipment.” Hot-Mix Pavers’ Barber Greene paver couldn’t even fit in some jobs, leaving the crew to work by hand, which takes longer and can cause segregation and loss of temperature. “Now, we only have to bring one piece of equipment even if we have to do two things in a day,” Parrett said. “It’s so much more versatile.” The CP100 also only requires two operators, rather than three, saving Hot-Mix Pavers $56 for every hour the CP100 is in use. According to Colwell, some key features to look for in a versatile paver include maneuverability to get in and out of tight work zones, equipment size including height for situations like fitting under covered parking awnings, and screed width to fit your paving applications. Break Into Public Works Work The versatility and lower labor costs of the CP100 may make HotMix Pavers’ public works jobs a bit easier, but Parrett said the key to the company’s success is in its reputation.
“A lot of times it’s not being the low bidder,” she said. “The company wants to know the business has a good reputation and won’t be a headache.” A lot of this, she said, is due to name recognition. “When you start signing bids out, they’ll probably be disregarded because people won’t recognize who you are, but the more they see your name, the more they are forced to recognize you,” she said. “Then you’ll get your first job, and hopefully they’ll start hearing about you!” Although Hot-Mix Pavers is no stranger to a streak of luck, when it comes to high-quality paving, luck has nothing to do with it. www.mypavingpro.com 43
pro d u c t g a l l ery
Atlas Copco Increases Versatility With two speeds and amplitudes, Atlas Copco’s new compact CA1400 soil roller has increased versatility for a variety of applications, from pipe trenches and steep slopes to roads and parking lots. The cross-mounted engine allows easy access for technicians for improved ease of service. The CA1400 also has ergonomic operators’ stations, ECO Mode rpm-management system, and either smooth drum or pad drum options. The machine’s 66-inch drum features two amplitudes, .032 inches and .067 inches, to compact a wide range of materials. Using the adjustable settings, operators can change the amplitude to suit different lift thicknesses. According to the manufacturer, the CA1400 can compact sand and gravel as deep as 20 inches with minimal passes and its pad-drum option will compact silt and clay up to 18 inches. Atlas Copco also featured its line of Dynapac small asphalt rollers, including the CC900, CC1000, CC110, CC1200 and CC1300, at World of Asphalt 2016. The line of articulated compact tandem rollers are available with either dual steel vibratory drums or a combination of one vibratory
Atlas Copco’s CA1400 soil roller offers two speeds and amplitudes for utilization across many applications, including compaction in pipe trenches and on roads, streets and parking lots. 44 may/june 2016
drum and four rubber tires, offer easy access to parts for maintenance, and light operating weights for use on city streets, according to the manufacturer. Also featured at World of Asphalt 2016 was the Dynapac CP1200 pneumatic tire roller, with its flexible steel ballast distributed between all tires for consistent ground pressure from front to rear. Use this for compaction. For more information, contact Tim Hoffman at email@example.com or 303-248-9029. Bergkamp Offers Slurry Seal Solutions Apply premixed frictional mastic surface treatments and premixed slurry seal over highways, roads, parking lots and airport runways with Bergkamp’s MAXX line of truck-mounted applicators. The mixture of asphalt emulsion, increased levels of angular fine aggregates, recycled materials, polymers and catalysts aims to protect the pavement surface and extend its life, according to the manufacturer, while allowing traffic back on the pavement quickly. Bergkamp’s line of MAXX applicators applies a material mix made to precise specification to limit operator calculations and on-the-job adjustments. The MA20 has a 2,000-gallon tank, and the MA30 offers a 3,000-gallon tank. Both steel tanks include a full-length ribbon mixer with counterflow mixing technology to maintain material consistency, according to the manufacturer. In-cab controls allow the driver to operate all systems, from mixer start/stop/ reverse to control of the hydraulic, variable-width, low-pressure spray bar with side shift capabilities that applies the pavement treatment. According to the manufacturer, application is computer-controlled to ensure accuracy.
Bergkamp’s MAXX line of truck-mounted applicators includes the MA20 and the MA30.
Bergkamp’s MAXX line of truck-mounted applicators also features a low-pressure system that operates at less than 40 psi and easy-access mastic strainers. Use this to slurry seal. For more information, contact Rex Eberly at 785-825-1375 or visit www.bergkampinc.com. Chicago Pneumatic Goes LED Chicago Pneumatic Construction Equipment has launched its first LED light tower, the CPLT V5+ HiLight, in the North American market. The compact tower features a polyethylene canopy and a variety of safety features. The V5+ has four panels of 350-watt LED floodlights offered light levels equivalent to or more than traditional four 1000-watt metal halide lamps. The 28-gallon fuel tank offers 150 hours of operating all four lights before refueling. Other features include easy service access and several standard features, like spill containment, a 110-volt outline to run other tools on the jobsite and a vertical mast with a max height of 25 feet. Use this to illuminate your workzone. For more information, visit www.cp.com.
Larson Electronics’ new portable step down spider box allows operators to plug into 240-volt generators to operate 120-volt equipment.
Larson Steps Down 240Volt Power Larson Electronics’ new portable step down spider box allows operators to plug into 240-volt generators to operate 120volt equipment. The WALSB-240.50A6X120.20A-WP spider box offers a 10-foot chemical- and abrasion-resistant cable and six duplex 120-volt outlets that provide a secure connection for up to 12 devices. The spider box has short circuit and overload protection, and its housing of the spider box is powder-coated steel with a glossy blue finish and offers a handle for convenient carrying. Each outlet is protected by a watertight hinged cover for protection from moisture when not in use. Larson Electronics specializes in portable industrial lighting equipment and is based in Kemp, Texas. Use this to power your workzone. For more information, visit www.larsonelectronics.com or call 1-800-369-6671. Stanley Compacts Confined Spaces Stanley’s line of reversible plate compactors offers convenience and ease of use when compacting within a confined area. The SRP2240, SRP3050, SRP3860, SRP4960 and SRP5960 are equipped with a foldable and adjustable operating handle that transitions from forward to reverse motion, a Honda engine, durable housing, a wear-resistant self-cleaning base plate and a two-
Stanley’s SRP2240 reversible plate compactor has a gasoline-powered Honda GX120 engine and compacts up to 8 inches deep.
shaft exciter designed for long service intervals, according to the manufacturer. The 2240 offers a maximum compaction depth of 8 inches; the 3050, 14 inches; the 3860, 20 inches; the 4960, 24 inches and the 5960, 28 inches. Use this for compaction. For more information, visit www.stanleyhydraulic.com or call 1-800-972-2647. Roadtec Innovates With Mill-And-Fill In Mind If you’re milling for a mill-and-fill project, check out Roadtec’s CB-100 heavy-duty conveyor broom. The mobile, self-propelled machine includes the patented clean sweep system for first-pass cleanup and can be used for asphalt milling, snow removal and construction site sweeping, according to the manufacturer.
Roadtec’s mobile, self-propelled CB-100 heavy-duty conveyor broom can be used for asphalt milling, snow removal and construction site sweeping.
Its flow system design features free-floating brushes rotating at 150 rpm to reach into crevices. The CB-100 also has a front-mounted rake to separate and remove large debris, dual moldboards to direct material to the center and front discharge endless-cleated 48-inch conveyors transferring material away from the work zone. The machine offers a comfortable cabin, a low-emissions Kubota 3.8L hp engine, oil bath sealed brakes, 10 mph travel speed and an optional 220-gallon water tank. Visit bit.ly/roadtecCB100 to watch a video tour of the CB-100 conveyor broom. Use this for sweeping. For more information, contact Kyle Hammon at 256-996-6954 or khammon@roadtec. com, or visit www.roadtec.com. Thunder Creek Stores, Refuels Thunder Creek brought a handful of jobsite storage and refueling solutions to World of Asphalt 2016, including its line of multi-tank trailers, its DTT50 DEF transport tote and its newly redesigned service and lube trailer. Its multi-tank trailers are the first fuel and service trailers designed for legal transportation of bulk diesel without requiring drivers to maintain a CDL or HAZMAT endorsement, according to the manufacturer—though additional local regulations may apply. The 460-, 690- and 920-gallon-capacity tanks isolate diesel in four, six or eight 115-gallon non-bulk tanks, joined by a manifold to common pump to completely isolate material during transportation and control dispensing of fuel on the jobsite. Thunder Creek’s DEF transport tote can transport diesel exhaust fluid and fits inside a standard-sized bed of a pickup truck. Its two-in-one DEF pumping system allows users to fill and dispense DEF with a single pump, eliminating the need for a transfer pump, and the closed system ensures DEF purity, according to the manufacturer. Lastly, Thunder Creek’s service and lube trailer features a new chassis and frontend design, expanded storage in the front and rear utility boxes, and a modular design to allow owners to add new features at any time after purchase. The new SLT can hold 440 gallons of fluid, like diesel fuel, oil www.mypavingpro.com 45
pro d u c t g a l l ery
Thunder Creek’s SLT 440 features a new chassis and front-end design, expanded storage in the front and rear utility boxes, and a modular design to allow owners to add new features at any time after purchase.
delivery, grease delivery and more, in up to eight tanks with combinations of 25, 55 and 110 gallons. The new front-end design offers an additional 100-gallon DEF storage tank with Thunder Creek’s two-in-one DEF pumping system, and more space to add toolboxes, workbenches and more. The SLT retains many of the design and performance features of previous models, as well. Use this for refueling. For more information, contact Tim Worman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 641-7809551, or visit www.thundercreek.com. Hamm Extends Oscillation Compaction Options Hamm has extended its oscillation compaction technology to its smaller compact asphalt rollers, with conventional vibration in the front drum and oscillation compaction in the rear. Rather than vertical vibrations, the Hamm oscillatory design compacts with a rocking motion, keeping the drum in contact with the mat. Compactors with this design include the 39-inch HD 10 VO, the 47-inch HD 12 VO, the 51-inch HD 13 VO and the 54-inch HD 14 VO. Hamm also offers rollers with vibration drums in the front and rear. Models include the 31.5-inch HD 8 VV, the 39-inch HD 10 VV and HD 10 C VV, the 47-inch HD 12 VV, the 51-inch HD 13 VV and the 54-inch HD 14 VV. Each compactor offers an offset capability for compaction right against a curb without risking damage. The HD 10 VT, HD 12 VT, HD 13 VT and HD 14 VT are combination models with smooth drum in front and four smooth pneumatic tires in rear. The compact line includes driving characteristics like three-point articulation, 46 may/june 2016
Hamm now offers oscillation compaction technology in its smaller compact asphalt rollers.
Toro Tackles Versatility Toro’s Dingo compact utility loader now has more than 30 attachments available for improved versatility. Attachment uses include earthmoving and augering, trenching and tilling. Attachments include an adjustable fork, vibratory plow, trench filler, standard bucket, utility blade and much more. All attachments feature the Toro Quick Attach System, to improve ease and speed of changing out attachments, according to the manufacturer. Use this for hauling and loading. For more information, visit www.toro.com.
Caterpillar’s New Pavers Have Mid-Size in Mind Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill., had contractors paving parking lots, urban streets, cycling and walking paths, trenches and narrow shoulders in mind when it designed the AP300F and AP355F asphalt pavers. The AP300F wheel-type and AP355F rubber track-type pavers are equipped with electrically heated SE34 Series screeds, available in vibration-only and vibration/ tamper-bar configurations. The screed paves up to 13 feet on the AP300F and 15 feet, 1 inch on the AP355F. The machines also feature engine eco-mode, an auto-fill feeder system, single-touch feeder system activation and automated travel mode. The AP300F and AP355F each have a hopper capacity of 7.3 tons. Use this for paving. For more information, contact your local Cat dealer.
Toro has announced its Dingo compact utility loader now has more than 30 available attachments.
Caterpillar’s AP300F paver can pave up to 13 feet and has a hopper capacity of 134.2 feet, cubed.
visibility to the drum edges and a fully insulated operator platform. Use this for compaction. For more information, contact Richard Evans at 615-501-0600 or email@example.com.
H er e’ s h ow i t wo r ks
Step 1 The 8-ton hopper receives mix.
The four-auger automatic feed control system supplies material to the screed.
Step 4 Material is compacted under the electric-heated screed.
When the endgate slides back in, the auger on the extension goes under the mainline auger. 85 horsepower or 99 horsepower Cummins Tier III diesel engine
Propane screed heating is optional.
Dual-feed conveyors in the hopper floor move the mix to the back.
Mauldin’s 1750-C Asphalt Paver No contractor wants to buy a paver that offers a very narrow range of use, because no contractor wants to limit his potential to successfully tackle projects both big and small. For improved flexibility, the 1750-C commercial class asphalt paver from Mauldin Paving Products, Taylors, S.C., can pave jobs ranging from 8 to 16 feet wide. Here’s how it works. First, the haul truck delivers mix to the paver’s 8-ton hopper, where dual-feed conveyors in the hopper floor deliver the mix to the paver’s four-auger system. Meanwhile, the paver’s two-speed outboard-mounted polyurethane crawler track drive system moves the machine forward. Next, the four-auger automatic feed control system supplies a constant head of material to the screed. The auger on each extension is mounted to the endgate. When the endgate slides back in, the auger on the extension goes under the mainline auger and the
two rotate in the same direction, preventing segregation and feeding material to the screed. The 1750-C distributes heat through the 4,500-pound screed using four propane-powered burners on the main screed and one on each extension. The screed can be optionally equipped with thermostat-controlled automatic electric heat. Meanwhile, the 3/8-inch-by18-inch free-floating vibratory screed plate initially compacts the mat. At the back of the machine, there are dual control stands with adjustable control heights for seated or standing use, and full machine controls, including automatic sonic feed control. Operators also have access to an electronic gauge display with engine diagnostics and electric-over-hydraulic controls with joystick steering and a pause/ resume switch for controlled stops and starts. For more information, contact your local dealer or visit 4amauldin.com. – By Sarah Redohl
Here ’ s how it wor ks
Step 4 The barrel comes to a stop when it reaches the end of the arm.
Step 3 The barrel glides along the wheels and rollers of the arm.
Step 1 Once at the work site, the work truck driver lowers the BarrelMover 5000 arm into place.
Step 2 As the truck moves forward, the arm “captures” the barrel.
The BarrelMover 5000© No matter the size of your project, getting the safety barrels back and forth at the beginning and end of each shift opens personnel up to hazards. Kyle Ruby, inventor of the new safety item from BarrelMover 5000, Dry Ridge, Kentucky, lessens the danger to workers by taking them off the road with the BarrelMover 5000. Here’s how it works. Before work begins, the mechanic will replace existing tow hooks on any Ford, Chevrolet, GMC or Dodge work truck with the BarrelMover 5000 mounting brackets. Once at the work site, the driver follows a set of three steps to lower the BarrelMover 5000 completely-welded frame from transport mode into working mode, offsetting it from center to the left or right depending on the arrangement of the work zone. With the spring-loaded mainframe in place, the worker drives the truck forward at 10 to 12 MPH. From the safety of the driver’s seat, he
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can watch the arm contact and move barrels through an optional magnetic-mounted camera and in-cab screen. A specially designed hook attachment comes into contact with the barrel with minimal impact to the barrel, and directs the moving barrel along the wheels and rollers of the arm. When the barrel reaches the end of the arm, it comes to rest at the edge of the work zone in line with previous barrels, delineating the work zone. LED safety lights on the ends of the mainframe offer additional safety, delineating the equipment passing motorists. Depending on the size of the work zone to be protected, the operator can add an optional 12-foot attachment to extend barrel logistics to two lanes. For more information, contact Dave Wyrick at (513) 813-8920 or Clark Nowland at (859) 428-7411.
– By PavingPro Staff
o f f t h e m at
Stay Ahead of Sick Leave Laws Federal highway projects bring good revenue, but compliance complications. Consider the recent Executive Order 13706 concerning paid sick leave.
Coverage and Requirements The Executive Order applies to federal contracts for services or construction, among other types of federal contracts, entered into after January 1, 2017. Covered contracts, which likely include federal highway contracts and subcontracts, will be required to include a clause, which the contractor and any subcontractors must incorporate into lower-tier subcontracts, in which the contractor must certify that all employees performing work on the contract will receive the benefits required by the Order. Specifically, the Order requires that, for work done on covered federal contracts, • Employees must accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked; • Employees must be permitted to accrue at least 56 hours of paid sick leave per year; • The accrued paid sick leave must be permitted to carry over from one year to the next; • Accrued paid sick leave must be reinstated for employees rehired by a covered contractor within 12 months after a job separation; and • Contractors will be required to keep and preserve records showing compliance with the Order. Contractors are not, however, required to pay out accrued but unused sick leave to employees upon a separation of employment. Contractors may not receive credit toward their prevailing wage or fringe benefits obligations under other laws, such as the Davis-Bacon Act, for any paid sick leave provided in satisfaction of the Order. In other words, the requirement to provide paid sick leave is in addition to, not instead of, other federal contract compliance requirements that are already in place and with which contracts already must comply. Use and Documentation Paid sick leave earned under the Order may be used by an employee for an absence resulting from any of the following:
i. The employee’s physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition; ii. The employee obtaining a diagnosis, care or preventative care from a healthcare provider; iii. The employee caring for a child, a parent, a spouse, a domestic partner or any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship and who has any of the above conditions or needs in points one or two; or iv. If the employee is the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, if the time absent from work is for the purposes described in points one and two, above, or to obtain additional counseling, to seek relocation, to seek assistance from a victim services organization, to take related legal action, including preparation for or participation in any related civil or criminal legal proceeding or to assist an individual related to the employee as described in point three above. Employees are entitled to take accrued paid sick leave for the reasons identified above upon either oral or written request, made at least seven calendar days in advance, where the need for leave is foreseeable, and in other cases as soon as is practicable. Contractors may not require the employee to identify a replacement worker before taking paid leave. Contractors may only require certification from a healthcare provider for paid sick leave used for the purposes in points one through three, above, if the absence is for three or more consecutive workdays. In those circumstances, the employee must provide the certification within 30 days of the first day of the leave. If the employee requires three or more consecutive workdays for the purposes identified in point four, above, contractors may require documentation from an appropriate individual or organization with the minimum necessary information to establish a need to be absent from work. Contractors must maintain confidentiality of information obtained through this process. Perhaps most importantly, contractors may not interfere with, retaliate against, or in any other way discriminate against an employee for taking, or attempting to take, paid sick
leave required under the Order. Discouraging employees, either explicitly or impliedly, from using paid sick leave will be considered a violation of the Order. The Secretary of Labor will issue additional regulations implementing and interpreting the Order on or before September 30, 2016, and additional guidance will be available at that time. Contractors should, however, take steps to be prepared to comply with the Order beginning on January 1, 2017. Reasonable steps include budgeting, planning to document accrual and use of paid sick leave, including updating payroll software, and preparing a written paid sick leave policy. Also, the Executive Order applies only to covered federal contracts, so Contractors should begin thinking about whether employees will accrue paid sick leave only when working on those contracts, or for all hours worked, and if the former, how to handle tracking accrual of paid sick leave separately for work on federal contracts. Additionally, although contractors have until next year to prepare to comply with this Executive Order, it is important to note that a number of states, including Oregon and Massachusetts, have their own paid sick leave laws that are already in effect, and contractors are already required to comply with those laws. As more and more of the workforce becomes covered by state and federal laws that require paid sick leave, those employers that do not already have a paid sick leave policy that meets or exceeds these requirements should give serious thought to adopting such a policy to avoid piecemeal compliance headaches in the future. – By Jeremy Brenner
Jeremy Brenner exclusively counsels and represents employers in matters pertaining to their workforces, including wage and hour, harassment, discrimination, tort, and contract claims, non-compete disputes, and labor matters. Brenner practices nationwide and represents businesses of all sizes, from “mom and pop” businesses to Fortune 100 corporations. Jeremy M. Brenner, Esq. • Attorney Armstrong Teasdale LLP • (314) 342-4184 Jbrenner@ArmstrongTeasdale.com www.mypavingpro.com 49
new t ec h
Smart Apps Save Time, Simplify Inspections Get ready to retire your pen and paper, and pull out your tablets. HeadLight, a mobile project inspection system, helps property owners, contractors and DOTs bring the project inspection process into the 21st century. HeadLight turns your tablet into a digital field notebook that allows you to inventory equipment and personnel, record detailed observations, automate the daily reporting process and more. “At the end of the day, an inspector might end up with 15 or 30 observations and would have to drive back to the office to file the day’s notes,” said Si Katara, president and cofounder of Seattle-based Pavia Systems Inc., the software technology company that created HeadLight. With the ability to take photos and videos with time and location stamps and add notes either by text or voice, users can hit a button from the jobsite to generate daily documentation. “With the push of a button, a job that might take 60 minutes takes 60 seconds.” Based on its pilot program, Pavia estimates HeadLight saves the average inspector one hour and 45 minutes each day and allows him to capture 275 percent more information. In addition to changing the observation process, HeadLight also aims to make solving problems simpler by offering e-signatures from the field and automatically updating teammates about the project from within the system, or by email or text. “You can show the project engineer a photo of what you’re looking at and tie it into the plan sheet, so if you need approval to move something over a few feet, you can ask if that’s okay immediately. It’s all integrated together,” Katara said. “People back at the office have a virtual window to every job site.” Users can also access digital copies of reference materials, project specs, plans and change orders on-site from within HeadLight, rather than carting stacks of paper plans to each job. In addition to offering a backup of all files, the digital copies are also searchable. “We use the same search engine Amazon has spent millions producing,” Katara said, “and we tailored that search technology and put it under the hood so users can search for any slice, view or subset of information in milliseconds.” HeadLight is built to work even on remote job sites. “You can still record all the information you need and view reference documents, and the device will upload everything to the backend infrastructure when it detects network connection,” Katara said. HeadLight is currently deployed on about 40 active job sites, and Pavia expects to expand the system into other states; California is conducting a proof of concept this spring. The majority of HeadLight users are government agencies, but the platform is also helpful for owners and contractors, Katara said, and is hoping to expand further into the contractor market.
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HeadLight can be purchased user by user, “all you can eat” per project, and “all you can eat” by company or organization, Katara said.
Born In Academia Pavia Systems was born out of a research effort at the University of Washington in 2005. One of Pavia’s earliest research initiatives was to work with DOTs in Minnesota, Texas and Washington to discover ways technology could improve the processes of the transportation industry. “Transportation is a fundamental industry people take for granted, but touches everyone’s lives every day,” Katara said. “We wanted to apply the practical use of remarkable technology to the transportation industry.” Before writing a line of code, Pavia researchers spent six months on job sites in Minnesota, Texas and Washington. From its research, Pavia produced HeadLight, but also created Pavement Interactive, a website with free paving resources, and a handful of free apps for gradation testing, moisture susceptibility, flexural fatigue and more. For example, PaveXpress, a collaboration with the National Asphalt Pavement Association, is a free app that recommends pavement designs based on certain roadway usage inputs. “Our longer-term vision is that we want to create a platform and toolset that helps with all stages of transportation infrastructure: planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance,” Katara said. “The magic will be when you can push a button and move each project to the next stage in its lifecycle.”
– By Sarah Redohl
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