Astec goes hands-on for expanded tech training for controlling costs


Astec's 2014 Advanced Customer Schools sold out in three weeks—record time. Training sessions started in early January and ended mid-February. New to the sessions were a breakout of training for first-time students and a "Top Gun" class for returning students.

Astec's Training Center East and Training Center West in Chattanooga, Tennessee, hosted the training sessions.

"Level I was designed to highlight the basics of every single aspect of plant production, from stockpiles to loadouts, for attendees," said Astec service coordinator Troy Norris. "Increasing the knowledge base provides confidence to get the most out of plant operations, and we strive to make every class count."

Two weeks of Level I training were offered and featured four full days of classes and networking, plus hands-on time with equipment demos. Two weeks of Level II training were also offered.

"Level II, called Top Gun Class, provides more in-depth training in four vital areas: burners, drums, controls, and electrical systems," said Norris. "Level I is a prerequisite for Level II."

Averaging approximately 80 attendees each week during 2014 customer schools, representing 38 states, 7 Canadian provinces, and 3 countries. Astec is already looking forward to the 2015 training classes.

"It was good to see an abundance of new people to the school training," said Norris. "Over the past two years, 90 to 95 percent of the attendees have been first-timers."

The Astec Advanced Customer Schools is an ongoing effort to provide the necessary training for Astec's diverse line of plants and new technologies to better efficiency, uptime, and to gain a competitive edge in the market.

"The insight of the hot-mix asphalt industry gained from time spent with Astec's experts is one more benefit for successful plant operations," said Norris.