Roadtec Inc. - Astec Industries

Improved Training

New advanced courses on servicing milling machines and pavers and a class on effective communication skills will be among the improvements in training courses offered this winter by Roadtec. Courses will be held during January and February 2012 in Roadtec’s new training facility at the factory in Chattanooga, TN.

The company offers two types of training. One is called Service Schools for mechanics and technicians who maintain and repair the equipment. The second is Paving Professionals Workshops (PPW), which teach paving crews and supervisors how to build a better pavement more efficiently.

“We’ll offer two, three-day advanced classes for servicing milling machines and two for pavers,” says Mike Fischer, a Roadtec service technician. “For those courses we’ll assume that participants know how to read an electrical schematic and a hydraulics schematic. Most of the training will be hands-on the machines.” As well, the company will offer a basic two-day class as in the past.

Instead of classroom training, the advanced classes will center on different work stations. There will be seven stations for pavers and eight for mills. Stations will include trouble-shooting for both electrical and hydraulic systems, how to remove and rebuild a gearbox, and how to replace brake packs. Knowing how to rebuild a gearbox can save a contractor thousands of dollars.

“For mills we’ll have a cutter drum station, and we’ll have maintenance stations for both mills and pavers,” says Fischer. “We’ll also have stations for training on MOBA and Topcon systems for grade control.”

Training on electrical trouble-shooting will be emphasized more heavily than ever before. Roadtec figures that 90 percent of the calls that come into the company service center concern electrical systems. “We’re going to plant some electrical bugs in a machine and have participants diagnose the problems,” says Fischer.

Paving Professionals Workshops

“This year we’ll have an outside speaker on communication skills,” says Jeff Ensell, demonstration and training specialist. “It’s very important these days to have communication skills. There’s a right way to do things, and yelling at people is not one of them.”

Ensell says miscommunications on paving crews are common. “Often only one or two people on a crew know what’s going on and the others don’t have a clue,” he says. “We need to teach the younger workers how to do things correctly.”

The PPWs will last two days. Because states are requiring thinner lifts, surface preparation has become even more important. Topics will include tack coats, paver automation, screed fundamentals, set-up of the screed, daily maintenance and compaction. Milling and surface preparation, job layouts, paving for smoothness bonuses, and the pre-paving checklist will be emphasized.

“Many crews struggle with running their grade control systems on pavers and mills,” says Ensell. “We spend a lot of time teaching grade control, because state smoothness specifications and the associated bonuses make it imperative that they get it. We want them to cash a check, not send a check to somebody.”

Following are specific dates for Roadtec classes. You can register online at Roadtec.com or call Carmen Mercer at 800.272.7100.

2012 Service Schools

January 10-12, 2012 Asphalt Paver Tech School

January 23-25, 2012 Asphalt Paver Tech School

February 6-7, 2012 Shuttle Buggy MTV Tech School

February 9-10, 2012 Shuttle Buggy MTV Tech School

February 13-15, 2012 Spray Paver Tech School

February 21-23, 2012 Cold Planer/Milling Machine Tech School

February 27-29, 2012 Cold Planer/Milling Machine Tech School

2012 Paving Professional Workshops

January 17-18, 2012; January 19-20, 2012; January 31-February 1; February 2-3.

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