Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 9


Back to Basics: Plants and Paving
Every person working in plant and paving operations has
an important role in producing quality products.

By Adam Hand,
Ph.D., P.E.

t takes more than just a good game plan and a
strong team to be successful in sports. All the
planning and team building means nothing
if you can't execute the plan in the field. Back in
1961, when Vince Lombardi began his historic relationship with the Green Bay Packers, he focused
with laser-like intensity on the fundamentals of
the game. That approach lead to Green Bay's winning a string of national championships, including
the Super Bowl I and II.
It's a lesson that also applies to paving: Getting
back to basics and focusing on fundamentals will
lead to good product quality. Good mixture and
paving quality results in good pavement performance, creating value for our customers along with
a positive asphalt industry image and worker pride.
The challenge lies in implementing and acting on
the knowledge of the fundamentals. It sounds so
simple. In paving, all that is needed is plant production to be on-target and consistent, coupled with
paving operations that result in smooth pavement
with high mat and joint density without segregation. While it does not sound complicated, it doesn't
necessarily always happen. So how can our industry
achieve these goals every day? Fundamental skills
professionals possess are what make them successful. A team of professionals consistently applying
knowledge is what makes a project successful. Teams
that focus on fundamentals not only produce quality
products, they are also normally highly productive
and safety conscious. Every person working in plant
and paving operations has an important role in
producing quality products. When they know how
their work impacts mixture and paving quality,
they are even more motivated to execute basic
fundamentals every day. Newcomers to the industry
need to know what those basic fundamentals are
for their roles while the rest of us need regular
reminders. Whether they get this training through
mentoring by seasoned professionals or from industry education sessions, the basics are crucial to
high-quality work.

A couple decades back I was fortunate to get
to shadow a seasoned, grizzled paving superintendent leading a newly assembled paving crew.

He was known for being highly productive and
producing excellent projects at the same time, so I
asked him why he had the reputation he'd earned.
He glared down at me through his safety glasses
like a general in his well-worn hardhat and said,
"without proper planning, direction, and communication our team won't succeed. And when
working with a group of rookies like this you have
to stay on them along the way."
The statement made sense at the time, though
a couple of things just didn't add up for me. One
was that he would only move north and south
from where we were standing, although the job
was paving eight lanes wide about a half mile in
length, and he was in constant communication
with the QC inspector/density tester on the job.
The other was that what he was saying was familiar, but I couldn't quite remember exactly where I
first heard it from.
Well, the second thing came to me fairly quickly;
I realized that he was preaching an age-old basic
quality management philosophy used extensively
across many industries - the PDCA.
PDCA stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act. Some refer
to it as: say what is going to be done, do it,
check to see if what was said/planned was done,
and act on what did and didn't go as planned to
get better next time. For plant production and
paving basics, it could be looked at as planning
and communicating the work, then executing and
reviewing for success, with things that worked
well and opportunities for improvement identified, that are executed on the next day or shift.
For plant production and paving, this involves
preplanning for balanced consistent operations
with on-going quality checks and team communication so the right activities and decisions occur
at the right time.
Each stage of this involves basic fundamentals.
It might start each day with the safety, quality, and production start-of-shift crew meeting and the superintendent explaining the plan
with consideration of those "what ifs" that are
possible, but have been thought through with
contingencies. Then at the plant, verifying plant
control inputs against the mix design before
Continued on page 19

Texas Asphalt Magazine FALL 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017

President’s Message
Associate Member Forum
The Major’s Perspective
TXAPA Scholarship Program Changes Produce Big Results
Partnering Opportunities for Quality
San Antonio Downtown Y Stands the Test of Time
The Pros and Cons of Expectations
U.S. Polyco
HMA Labs
Calendar of Events
New Members
Products & Services Marketplace
Advertisers Index
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - Intro
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - cover1
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - cover2
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 3
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 4
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 5
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 6
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - President’s Message
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 8
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - NAPA
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 10
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - Associate Member Forum
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 12
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - The Major’s Perspective
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 14
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - TXAPA Scholarship Program Changes Produce Big Results
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 16
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 17
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 18
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 19
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 20
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - Partnering Opportunities for Quality
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 22
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 23
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 24
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 25
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - San Antonio Downtown Y Stands the Test of Time
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 27
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - The Pros and Cons of Expectations
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 29
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 30
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 31
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 32
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - U.S. Polyco
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 34
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - HMA Labs
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 36
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - Calendar of Events
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 38
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - New Members
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - Products & Services Marketplace
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 41
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 42
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - Advertisers Index
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 44
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 45
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - 46
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - cover3
Texas Asphalt - Fall 2017 - cover4