To a man (or woman), Riverside Contracting employees understand the value of training. That’s because many of the company’s employees have undergone Paving Operations Training through Caterpillar.
“We send three or four people every year to the Caterpillar training center in Arizona,” said Curt Cooper, paving superintendent with Riverside. “Those training classes have been a tremendous help.”
The sessions are held at the Caterpillar Demonstration and Learning Center in Tinaja Hills, Az.—just outside Tucson.
“There are classroom lessons and hands-on training,” said Cooper, who went through the sessions a few years ago. “You learn in the classroom and take some tests. Then you head outside and pave with sand. The sand is very similar to asphalt in many ways.
“To me, the hands-on operating sessions really helped. You can try certain automation features and experiment with the screed. There are some newer features on these pavers that I wanted to try, but never really felt like I could experiment on a jobsite. Sometimes a jobsite is a hard place to learn the latest techniques and improved machine features.”
Crew members who complete the training have a much more thorough understanding of using automation to improve performance, Cooper said. “They also improve a great deal in terms of screed operation,” he said.
The Caterpillar trainers are professional, knowledgeable and understand the real-world challenges crew members face on jobsites.
“Our employees love going there,” Cooper said. “Those who do go come back energized, and determined to do the job better.”
The result is improved productivity and profitability—and specs that are met and often exceeded. “Training has proven to be a very worthwhile investment,” Cooper said.