Quality Control: It Matters More Than Ever For Public Contracts

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When it comes to funding for road repairs, you will hear the same story everywhere.

Whether it’s at a state level, or federal government, budgeting is tight.

Today, more than ever before, financial constraints are considered foremost, when it comes to planning road repairs.

In fact, it doesn’t really matter who your crew work for. Be it a private company, a municipality or a multinational company; they all have this in common – the cash is being counted carefully.

No one, the government or the private sector, is going to dole out money without wanting to know where every cent is going.

And this is true for the large scale projects, laying highways, as it is for the smaller level stuff. Even relatively minor repairs are now feeling the pinch, when it comes to budgeting constraints.

Everyone knows that potholes are the neglected child of city budgets everywhere. And Philadelphia is no exception.

Like everywhere in the country, drivers in Philadelphia are finding themselves besieged by potholes, which damage their vehicles.

And like everywhere, there has been a struggle to raise cash to deal with the problem.

On the positive front, it seems as if finally, something is beginning to get done about it.

The city’s mayor has pledged $178 million to a repaving project over the upcoming five years.

It is planned that 75 miles will be tackled this year and by the fifth year of the plan, 131 miles will be repaved.

Encouragingly, in the first two months of 2018 an impressive sounding 17,298 holes had already been filled.

But this does not mean that the taxpayer – and by default project managers – are being generous with the funding.

They’re not.

Managers and officials are expecting outstanding value for money.

For the professional asphalt paving contractor in Philadelphia, this means getting it right first time and every time.

And for crew managers and the foremen of the asphalt paving companies undertaking public contracts within Philadelphia, there are some important things to remind their teams.

CLEAN IT

This is basic stuff, but do make sure that your crew clean all the road surfaces to a high standard before beginning the job.

Just in case your crew have forgotten, laying asphalt on a dirty surface isn’t going work properly and the mixture won’t stick as well.

TACK IT

Ensure that all joints and edges are tacked correctly. Get your crew in the habit of checking this has been done to a satisfactory standard, before moving on to the next job.

WATCH IT

When you are mixing HMA, you need to ensure that your crew checks the temperature correctly.

Yes, there may be some crews out there still using cold patch asphalt for reasons we won’t speculate about, but the chances are that you’re using HMA from a hot box.

This is going to require a temperature gun to keep a careful eye on the temperature. If you find that, in all honesty, it should be hotter, this is when it is time to exercise some quality control.

So, if it is losing temperature, do the right thing and either return it or remix it.

We know this is going to cost you, but so will having to do the job again for free, on your own time, come the middle of summer when the surfacing gives way.

COMPACT IT

Now this is where your crew really have to employ their judgement.

When it comes to compacting, it should not be overdone. If it is over compacted, it will destroy the aggregate.

You don’t want this, because then uncovered rock gets into the mat. And that’s just for starters.

CHECK IT

The moral of this story is that everything needs to be checked carefully and should be done by the book, with no short cuts, every step along the way.

That way, your client will be happy with the standard and value for money they are getting and you won’t be asked to re do any work for free!