Contractors Hone Paving Skills at Briggs Equipment

Wed April 13, 2005 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

During Major League Baseball’s spring training, players hone their skills after a long winter away from the diamond.

While they already know the ins and outs of the game, it’s a valuable way to prepare for the new season.

That’s how Matt Wilson hopes the people who attended his Quality Paving School in February felt about the experience.

Wilson, the branch manager of Briggs Equipment’s Asheville, NC, location, hosted 85 private contractors and municipal workers at the six-hour school.

It was the first time a Briggs location hosted this type of event.

“A lot of the time, these are hosted by the manufacturers,” Wilson said.

Throughout the day, Wilson discussed the lay down process, joints and other aspects of asphalt work, while Wirtgen representative Richard Evans discussed compaction. The lessons were supported by materials from NAPA.

The most valuable part of the day was the interaction among the students.

“There were a wide variety of people doing similar things in different areas,” said Wilson, who worked with Wirtgen for two years before joining Briggs.

One Asheville contractor was about to tackle a paving project with steep hills and one of his rural counterparts jumped in with some valuable advice.

While most of the time was spent on technique, Wilson said he discussed new technology as well.

Briggs Equipment took on Wirtgen’s full line two years ago, which includes mills, pavers and rollers.

Just in the past year and a half, Wilson said his store has sold three pavers in western North Carolina.

Reaction to the paving school was favorable. In a survey conducted at the end of the day, only one person said he wouldn’t return. Many suggested the school include a demonstration or some hands-on learning.

Wilson said he would be willing to include demonstrations at a school in a larger market.

In the meantime, Wilson is planning another Quality Paving School in eastern North Carolina at Mac Construction in Shallotte. CEG