Online Training of Paving Techniques for Asphalt Industry Workers5 minute read
Getting trained to get ahead in the asphalt industry
How do I get started in the asphalt industry?
Unless you already have the ability to operate heavy equipment, or have college training for the technical and testing aspects of the trade, the majority of new pavement industry workers enter the field at the bottom rung of the ladder, pushing a broom, directing traffic, or swinging a shovel.
It is there, next to the heavy road-building equipment (asphalt paver, roller compactor, material transfer vehicles), that novices learn the basics which, once grasped, allow them to progress further up the liquid asphalt binder stream if they wish.
This can be advantageous, since teamwork is crucial to a safe and efficient workplace. Everyone needs to have an appreciation of the efforts and skills of their workmates, much like at Costco or McDonalds, where no job is too lowly, because all are essential.
A surprising number of young people enter the industry "naturally", primarily because they come from a long line of family members who have made blacktop their livelihood, either as business owners, or as a life-long career elsewhere. Money see, money do.
Where can I find and take asphalt paving training courses?
There are asphalt pavement associations in most states, as well as a national body, the National Asphalt Pavement Association, which offer training or information for their members related to asphalt pavement construction best practices.
There are also a limited number of educational facilities across the U.S., such as Auburn University in Alabama, which offer multi-year programs, but these tend to be geared more towards civil engineering, road construction, or materials testing focusing on the latest innovations in asphalt technology. The Auburn-affiliated National Center for Asphalt Technology does offer asphalt industry mini courses, such as for mix design, if you have the resources to travel there.
There are also a few collaborative efforts between state DOT's and their higher education facilities such as in Massachusetts with their Asphalt Academy Quality Control Analyst Program.
Even the manufacturers of rolling stock asphalt equipment (pavers, crack sealers and roller compactors), such as CAT, Wirtgen, Leeboy, Marathon Equipment Inc., offer factory-site training specifically for their customers.
(or you could learn by trial and error)
After all, they want operators of their road building and pavement repair equipment to be able to produce quality work that makes their machines look good and keeps the customer happy enough to keep purchasing new equipment and promoting their brand. Swag alone just doesn't do it.
Asphalt plant manufacturers such as Stansteel and Gencor also want to be sure that their customers know how to run them efficiently so they offer training classes for asphalt plant operations for a fee.
Asphalt Pro Magazine does a great job of providing tips and tricks to their subscribers on a monthly basis and regularily promote the "at your job-site" consulting services of John Ball at Top Quality Paving and Training.
Still, most training in the industry tends to occur while working on-site by watching and listening. Then, once you advance far enough up the ranks, you might get lucky enough to have your employer pay to have you attend an out-of-state conference with them.
World of Asphalt and the National Pavement Expo are annual events where you get to see all the latest asphalt equipment, and perhaps attend a training instructor presentation on a specific topic, related to road construction or pavement preservation technology.
These conference training sessions are usually put on by industry or assocation reps knowledgeable in their field who have been invited to present non-promotional training materials as either slide-shows or video presentations.
They might cover such things as proper techniques for tack coating, joint compaction, screed settings, hot mix asphalt mix design or pavement preservation techniques and processes, over the period of an hour or so each.
Asphalt Tutorials, by comparison, is exclusively an online training platform for asphalt-related companies which provides informational content and asphalt training videos for paving crews, plant operators, sealcoaters and quality inspectors that they watch and read on their own schedule.
We seek to prepare your personnel with online asphalt industry tutorials so that they have the basic and intermediate skills required to work safely and effectively on your highway, commercial and residential construction sites and projects.
Nothing beats hands-on training, but we can still help employers facilitate the training of their crews and staff in order to improve their asphalt industry skills through informative self-guided online training without the expense of travelling. So, let us help train your new hires while also providing refresher and advancement training.
We have numerous courses offering a vast number of lessons on Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA), Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA), cold mix technology and paving equipment operator training.
Who is eligible to participate?
- Anyone who wants to learn more about asphalt manufacturing and paving technologies.
- Anyone who wants to gain an understanding of how to use asphalt products effectively.
- Anyone who wants a better understanding of asphalt plants, asphalt mixing, asphalt binder, asphalt emulsions, asphalt additives, asphalt modifiers, asphalt performance, asphalt repair, asphalt sealer and asphalt maintenance.
- Anyone who wants an introduction to asphalt paving and hot mix asphalt construction.
- Anyone who wants information on asphalt pavement design, preparation, installation and maintenance.
- Anyone who wishes to understand the importance of using quality materials and methods when applying asphalt to roadways, commercial parking lots or residential driveways.
What sort of topics do you cover in your online courses?
We provide affordable online classes that cover asphalt plant production, benefits of pavement preservation and roadside paving training, as well as best practices for testing, design and application of asphalt in the paving industry.
Students will acquire knowledge and best practices related to paving operations, liquid asphalt emulsion, asphalt binders, asphalt mix design, roller compaction techniques, screed operation, plant operations and other topics geared to advance their career.
What job training courses do you have for new field crew members?
Our beginner-level online courses include:
• Introduction to the Paving Industry
• Introduction to Roadside Paving
• Introduction to Liquid Asphalt Emulsion
• Introduction to Binders
• Introduction to Roller Compaction
• Introduction to Screeding
• Introduction to Plant Operation
• Introduction to Asphalt Materials Testing & Design
• Introduction to Application Methods
• Introduction to Asphalt Maintenance and Repair
How does your online asphalt training platform work?
Your students will be able to access the course from any device, at anytime, anywhere. They can view the course from any location, on any device, including mobile phones and tablets. The course can be viewed on laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, etc.
Students will receive a unique login credentials to access the course. Once logged in, they can watch the video lectures, read the text, practice quizzes, and complete assignments.
The course can be accessed 24/7, 365 days a year. Students can log in whenever they like, wherever they are.
Can your platform work alongside our existing training program?
Yes. We can also help companies repurpose and transfer their in-house, in-person training solutions into a customized online platform that can host their training videos. This can help to reduce your travel and employee downtime expenses and inconvenience while minimizing close confinement Covid exposure risks.
After all, it is not economically feasible for most businesses to have a full-time trainer on staff. Even if you do, this platform can supplement your asphalt training class efforts with a vast resource of additional material.
If you are a paving equipment or product manufacturer, you may just wish to ensure that your product training materials reach more prospective customers by sharing your online courses as guest content.