Catch Me If You Can

By October 6, 2017Uncategorized

Many of you have privately emailed me with feedback on the Independence Day blog and I appreciate your feedback! I have had both the critical feedback implying I lost my mind as well as those that echo my sentiments.

One purpose of my blog is to share new ideas or concepts as well as spur discussion on those topics, and it appears it is working. For that I am truly grateful!

I would like to share the top 12 items we observed throughout the past several months — all reoccurring items observed on most of our projects to date. Here is the list:

  1. Insufficient ballast. It always seems like an argument to get ballast put out, but it is worth it. Ballasting should be addressed in the preconstruction meeting to make sure all parties are on the same page.
  2. Vacuum testing equipment does not work. Multiple projects with broken or non-working gauges.
  3. Air pressure test equipment does not work. Multiple projects with broken or non-working gauges.
  4. Vacuum testing performed incorrectly — improper overlap and/or time.
  5. Trial welds and destructive sample pre-screen performed at improper test speeds for the material.
  6. Tensiometers with expired certification certificates.
  7. Dual track fusion welding — operators nowhere near equipment while welding.
  8. ATV excessive speeds, sharp turns, and driving over wrinkles.
  9. Switching operators without performing trial welds.
  10. Extrusion welding — not removing temporary patches heat tacked down previously.
  11. Air pressure testing — falsification of data (recorded pass instead of fail).
  12. Installer putting sole responsibility to mark damages on QA personnel.

The list above included multiple installation firms over multiple projects throughout the United States!

I do believe the above list speaks directly to the value and importance of well-trained, competent CQA personnel on the job, especially given that we are seeing daily deployment averaging between 6 and 8 acres on sites.

My bigger concern is why we keep seeing these same problems across the board, so to speak. It almost seems that the installation mentality is a “catch me if you can.” I definitely should not be having heated arguments with a seasoned foreman of 20 plus years in the industry that the vacuum test overlap should be the perimeter of the box, not the viewable area within the window, or that dragging rolls of geotextile in a choke hold behind an ATV over textured geomembrane (or any for that matter) like a dead animal is acceptable.

I am eager to hear your thoughts and experiences this construction season. Are you seeing the same trend? Who are you working with that does an excellent job, and who not so much? Do you see both good and bad crews within the same company?

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