Talking Asphalt: Preparing for next year – December 2011

Talking AsphaltIf, like me, you are in a PG 64 climate or cooler, your paving season is pretty much over. It’s now time to prepare for next year. Your efforts during this off-season will go a long way towards determining how successful next year will be.

Here are some ideas for preparing for next year:


Now is the time to prepare your plant equipment and testing lab for next year. Clean and service the plant. Make any repairs or upgrades that are needed. Install any new equipment. Clean up the lab, throw out the junk and restock the supplies. Calibrate your equipment.

Materials and mix designs

Take a look at your work for next year, both carry-over jobs and new projects. Make sure you have made provisions for having the component materials, when needed. Get your mix designs completed and approved. Now is a good time to review this year’s designs and see if they can be optimized. If you had any problem mixes, work on improving them.

Training and trade shows

Get any new people trained and get your experienced people re-certified. Go to a trade show or conference and learn what’s new. It’s a great way to see old friends and business acquaintances. You can trade ideas and share information. Many of the conferences have companion training sessions. You can learn about new technology and hear what agencies are changing or emphasizing. If you need continuing education hours, the off-season is a good time to work on them.

Grow and strengthen

Look around and see if there is work available that you have not been going after. If there’s additional work out there, is it something you can acquire? Don’t take crazy risks but see if you can grow a bit. Maybe, more importantly, check with your customers and business partners and make sure they are satisfied with your efforts. Take care of any hold-over problems. Let your customers know their business is appreciated and that you care about the quality of your work. Not many of us have so much work that we can afford to lose customers. Taking care of people is good business.

Rest and recharge

Take some time for yourself. It’s been a long season. If it’s been a good season, be thankful. If it’s been a tough season, be hopeful. So, spend some time with your family and rest and recharge your batteries. We get a new start next year; let’s take advantage of it. There will be new challenges so let’s try to be ready.

Have a great holiday season and a successful new year.