AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast

October PSP Insights - Aggregate Gradation and Gravity

October 10, 2023 John Malusky and Ryan LaQuay, Proficiency Sample Program, AASHTO resource Season 4 Episode 20
October PSP Insights - Aggregate Gradation and Gravity
AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast
More Info
AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast
October PSP Insights - Aggregate Gradation and Gravity
Oct 10, 2023 Season 4 Episode 20
John Malusky and Ryan LaQuay, Proficiency Sample Program, AASHTO resource

John Malusky and Ryan LaQuay from the Proficiency Sample Program (PSP) join us to discuss the results of the recent Aggregate Gradation and Gravity samples 3 and 4. Plus, share in our excitement as we discover the benefits of using slide lock bags in the PSP packaging process. 

Related information:

Show Notes Transcript

John Malusky and Ryan LaQuay from the Proficiency Sample Program (PSP) join us to discuss the results of the recent Aggregate Gradation and Gravity samples 3 and 4. Plus, share in our excitement as we discover the benefits of using slide lock bags in the PSP packaging process. 

Related information:

AASHTO re:source Q&A Podcast Transcript

Season 4, Episode 20: October PSP Insights - Aggregate Gradation and Gravity

Recorded: October 3, 2023

Released: October 10, 2023

Hosts: Brian Jonson, AASHTO Accreditation Program Director; Kim Swanson, Communications Manager, AASHTO re:source 

Guests: John Malusky, Proficiency Sample Program Director; Ryan LaQuay, Laboratory and Testing Manager, AASHTO re:source

Note: Please reference AASHTO re:source and AASHTO Accreditation Program policies and procedures online for official guidance on this, and other topics. 

Transcription is auto-generated. 

[Theme music fades in.] 

00:00:02 ANNOUNCER: Welcome to AASHTO resource Q & A. We're taking time to discuss construction materials testing and inspection with people in the know.  From exploring testing problems and solutions to laboratory best practices and quality management, we're covering topics important to you. Now here’s our host, Brian Johnson.

00:00:21 BRIAN: Welcome to AASHTO resource Q&A. I'm Brian Johnson.

00:00:24 KIM: And I'm Kim Swanson. And we have another PSP insights episode this week.

00:00:29 BRIAN: This week, we're going to talk about the aggregate graduation and gravity samples with John Malusky, our Program Director for the Proficiency Sample Program.

00:00:40 JOHN: Glad to be here, Brian.

00:00:41 BRIAN: And Ryan LaQuay the Laboratory and Testing Manager for the Proficiency Sample Program. 

00:00:45 RYAN: Thanks Brian.

00:00:55 BRIAN: So John, let's take it from the top with the aggregate samples since some of us may not remember the big change that took place last year, go over that first and then lead us into what is new this year.

00:01:00 JOHN: We made the decision in 2022 to switch the aggregate programs from our traditional fine aggregate and course aggregate samples and reorganize them a little bit more based off of the tests that were included in the scopes. So we changed the program to. Have a graduation in gravity sample which is exactly what it says. Most of the tests involved in the scheme are graduation or specific gravity. And then we. Adjusted the other scope which the other program excuse me, which comes out in January. And that sample is degradation, so that covers your Los Angeles abrasion. Sulfate sound is basically anything we're going to break apart, rock some sort of other capacity than simple graduation. Just made it more efficient, more reasonable to process and package. It actually saved a little bit of money for our customers. The reorganization, I think if I remember, gave around 60% of our customers a little bit of a discount. So that's always nice to pass that on to people.  That's that's kind of where we came from, that's where.

00:01:57 BRIAN: We're at right now this year with the age. Bit sample what kind of test do we have other than graduation and specific gravity? Is there anything else that? You threw in the mix.

00:02:07 JOHN: The only two tests that are not part of the graduation and gravity scheme are the sand equivalent and the uncompacted void content. However, the void content does require the determination of the finite gravity, so you kind of need it anyway to do the test. So that's why that one's in there and then to have the fine AG portion for the sand equivalent it just.  Made a lot of sense to keep it where it was.

00:02:27 BRIAN: Now, what's the reception been with the combined sample from customers because I know. Some customers are used to just testing the same stockpile over and over again, so I don't know if they were interested in the combined sample as maybe some of the other testing laboratories that are used to testing just a bag of aggregate what have. You heard.

00:02:50 JOHN: I don't believe we actually heard any. The comments regarding the changes as being problematic. Most of them I said I I believe they found it more efficient. Because we had. An overwhelming number of the participants only participate in graduation and gravity portions of the samples. So you know, once again it stopped the laboratories from having to purchase a second sample that came at a different time of the year and a few more tests that were segregated. So it just seemed like it. Like I said, it made a lot of sense for us to reorganize and restructure and. And we haven't really had any complaints about the reorganization. But if I would go back to some situations that we had last year.  And I can can pinpoint.  Two and maybe Ryan can also chime in. So the first one that we.  Ran into was.  A problem with the bags. Last year we packaged the graduation bags in just a large open-ended 3 mil plastic bag and for some reason the lot of bags that we used had a lot of defects in the seams.

00:03:50 JOHN: So we had ruptures and we had, you know, the graduation sample which. The most critical sample to have homogeneous spill out in the bottom of the boxes, and I think we sent between 50 and 100 replacements to participants last year. So we revamped looked at you know what we could do from our bag suppliers and and the producers and we actually found a larger slide lock bag that. Actually has a leak and rupture resistant coating on it to try to help alleviate that situation. So fortunately I think we only had two or three samples this year that had to be replaced due to bad ruptures. So corrective action success. Let's rubber stamp that one.  Is complete and we'll move on. And then Ryan, you want to talk a little bit about what we saw with the graduation and having?

00:04:37 RYAN: To add a little bit more, go for it, move on, not to look at the key addition with those bags. There's a slide lock, so no more staples going into those bags and making more holes for more material out of. We were super excited about it and it showed in the sample quality that that actually stayed together. So that was huge.

00:04:54 BRIAN: Did you say slide lock?

00:04:55 RYAN: Yep. So like the zip slides like on your storage bags pull across. Yeah, we don't have to staple anymore. We don't have to zip time and all those other methods, you.  Just pull. Across and no rubber bands.

00:05:04 BRIAN: No rubber bands.

00:05:06 JOHN: So here's the other cool thing, and this is like for the future for 20. 24 soil classification degrade.  And CBR value will now be in slide locks because we found a manufacturer who produces the bags that are big enough. Thick enough and.  All have the rupture resistant coating on it, so no more staples through bags, no more rubber bands. No more zip ties.

00:05:25 RYAN: The future is now.

00:05:27 JOHN: The future is now for PSP. Slide locks are here.

00:05:33 KIM: I love that and I love a that you're this excited about it because I can appreciate the excitement, but I am loving. To hear about the.  Joys that you get from having the continual improvement for better quality of samples. But then for the people actually. Assembling thousands of these, it helps everyone out, so I'm glad you're so excited about it.

00:05:56 JOHN: Though you know how sore your forearms are and how you can't grip anything after you pick up. A box, a box that weighs about.  15 pounds spin it and then have to pull a zip tie over it by the end of the.  Day it's kind.

00:06:08 RYAN: Of brutal what 600 reps a day?

00:06:11 BRIAN: Yeah, that's a great improvement from a production standpoint. And I know I've spent. I haven't logged as many hours back there as I used to, but I remember those days of putting rubber bands on and, and the staples were more of a liability.

00:06:28 RYAN: Production side, the staples would jam often and have to get reloaded often, so it would always OK a little slow down, especially whenever it stopped doing what's supposed to do so much better for production. So much better for shipping. It's it's been fantastic.

00:06:32 BRIAN: Ohh that's true.  So how do you? I'm. I'm sorry to stay on the zip. The the zip bags because it is a a major. Technological development. It came out of probably the. But how are you able to keep the bags open with that? Is there like A is there like A-frame that goes down in like a a tube or something?

00:07:06 JOHN: The bags are large enough to fold right over the flaps of the box. Really. To keep them from closing.

00:07:10 RYAN: Excess bag like it's it's not, you know the the the bag isn't tight to the material there's. Extra space but.

00:07:17 JOHN: Yeah, Brian, I feel like we should get T-shirts made that say the future. Is now with the picture of.

00:07:21 RYAN: Yeah, just yeah.

00:07:21 JOHN: A slide lock fan at the bottom of it.

00:07:23 RYAN: No, I'm game for that. You did it.

00:07:25 BRIAN: You did it exactly. Why wasn't sorry. Go ahead.

00:07:25 KIM: I and I'm excited this.  No, I'm excited how excited Brian is now because you got like you're you're very invested in this. And I I really honestly love it so. Much but continue with your question Brian. So I think I know you were where you were going with that.

00:07:41 BRIAN: Well, I was gonna. I don't think you do. I was gonna ask you, Kim, why was this not in the annual report? So we could brag about the use of these slide lock bags to the entire Committee on Materials and payments.

00:07:54 KIM: I can only put in what information is given to me. This is also a new development for me as I don't go back into the packaging area.  Nearly as often 100% decrease of what I was doing previously, so I was also this is new information for me so I could not share that with the world. I would also put it on a social media. I don't think I'm not going to.

00:08:16 JOHN: I wrote that down is probably going to be a little bit surprising, but it took us almost 2 1/2 months to find the right size of slide. Black bags because to make them two feet by two feet is a pretty large slide lock bag, so.  It took a little while, so there's some research done by our production manager and here we go. We're ready to roll. Game changer for PSP.

00:08:39 BRIAN: Yeah. One one last question about the bags.  What was the normal?  Application or the this the typical application for those bags before they were the proficiency sample bags.  Anybody know like what? Would they use for what industry used these?

00:08:57 JOHN: Everything, I mean, it's everything. Yeah, like so basically any other industry where you're putting something in. Whether it's like marbles or.  I don't know. Just stuff like they're bags all over the place for things.

00:09:11 BRIAN: It's crazy. What did this do to?  The the cost of packaging.

00:09:15 JOHN: Uh, we're talking maybe $0.50 more per bag, which is actually like a 50% increase in the cost of the bags the bags are. Pretty cheap most.  Of the the fees, when you know when you look at the proficiency sample fees. That is specifically tied up in shipping. It's not cheap to ship 1520 thirty pound boxes of rocks and aggregate and all that other good stuff around the world. That's where.

00:09:39 BRIAN: It gets expensive. OK, well, let's talk about the shipping. What did we ship this year for the aggregate samples, how much material?

00:09:46 JOHN: So the graduation and gravity samples contained 2 bags. The first bag was about 3 kilograms and that was the mix of fine and coarse, which is used for the SIP analysis portion and then we sent one bag that was all minus #4 material and that was about 2 1/2.  Kilograms. So the. The total sample weight, including the boxes right around 6K. Grams. Yes. So what is that 15 change pounds? 16 pounds £17.00. So we're at ballpark, but we sent almost 4400.

00:10:16 BRIAN: Wow, that's a lot of aggregate. How many countries were involved in this one?

00:10:20 JOHN: This is our largest sample that is is included in our sample schemes and our program. If I had to guess just about every international or country internationally, that is a participant would have received one of these. I'd be shocked if we didn't hit just about every one of them. The one thing that I do want to point out is is some of the challenges that we've had. To deal with when it comes to the sample bags of material themselves, just really, really want to point out the emphasis on the two different types of material in each bag. So that first bag that we're talking about, that's the roughly 3000 grams of material, it's already pre dried and that is the one that's been used for the graduation portion. So that sample you would use for your course and find 7 analysis as a mixed graduation. And once you're finished with the washing graduation portion, you scoop off anything that's plus #4, and then use that for coarse aggregate specific gravity. So we've been running into a lot of confusion with the participants as to how to handle the samples. Some laboratories think that they need to be using that, and they need to split it.  Or, you know, they need to split it between coarse and fine and then run sieve analysis on each of them. And that's not the case. It should be treated as a bulk cive analysis sample. You know right from the get go. So when you get that product in the 3000 gram bag, you're going to, you know, get the initial dry weight, wash it, dry it. Get your T11 value or C117 and then run your sieve analysis beyond that so it's a little bit different than than what we've done in the past. And then the second bag that we send. Is the 25. 100 moist aggregate bag that is for the finance specific gravity sand equivalent and uncompacted void content. So there was also a little little kink in this year's round two. The fine aggregate bag. That moist sample that we sent out.

00:12:11 JOHN: Had a very high percent passing the 200 in preliminary testing and. If you know we received a lot of questions about what what people were calling was a deviation in the T84C128 specific gravity, the finite gravity, and that was we asked the participants to split the sample out appropriately to get there roughly 1000 grams that they would need for the finite. So the.  And then wash it first. Normally the standard, the standard verbatim does not indicate that you should wash it first, you just prepare it according to standard and test it. However, if you look in the appendix, I believe appendix is non mandatory information. If I remember correctly, if the percent passing the 200 in your sample. Is a little bit higher, say like 6-7 percent. It's recommended that the sample be washed first over the number 200 to reduce variability. Those fine aggregate particles, the P200 will absorb moisture and actually could possibly get stuck inside some of the other larger particles and or you know, or essentially adhere to the outside causing. An inaccurate saturated surface drive value which will really throw off the actual specific gravity material and.  Cause way more.  The ability so we included that instructions and we got all man, Ryan would say hundreds of calls.

00:13:36 RYAN: I was averaging at least five a day.

00:13:37 JOHN: Yeah, about all of this. So rest assured, I promise everyone it's in there and we looked for it and we knew it was there. So hopefully everyone followed the instructions according to what we laid out. Yeah, I had the.

00:13:50 RYAN: Appendix printed out and from a computer for about a month and a half just cause. After the first few days, getting calls like I'm just gonna have this on hand.

00:13:57 BRIAN: So the instructions in the standard tell you to do this, but it's in the appendix.

00:14:02 RYAN: It's the instructions and the standards do not tell you to do this. But the appendix does.

00:14:06 BRIAN: The appendix does, but you refer to the appendix in your sample round instructions, which many people did not read.

00:14:11 RYAN: Which is? Well, that's the issue is that we didn't actually say where we pulling this information from, we just said. Hey, do this.  Thing OK? Umm, so in the future we could have been a little more clear on where we're bringing this information from or this directions from it's there. We could have guided it a little.

00:14:26 BRIAN: Better, OK. Uh, lesson learned.

00:14:28 KIM: So did people think you were? Just making it up and that's. With the.

00:14:32 RYAN: Like, well, we do this.  All the time. What are you talking about? Things like that. Just to make sure it's not a typo, you know, uh, which we do appreciate and and so uh this callback to couple ups ago I don't think that listen but I said I have people call and ask the questions first then do the thing submit the data and then question after the fact. They certainly took it to heart.

00:14:53 JOHN: This time the other good part about that is that the laboratories were also calling and questioning about washing prior to running the sand equivalent. The sand equivalent specifically says you don't wash it because then you're washing all the the silk out of it. Yeah. So if you do that, you don't know what a sand equivalent is.

00:15:06 BRIAN: That's the one side.

00:15:08 JOHN: So the good part is they were they were asking questions. We just need to make sure that we're more clear.

00:15:13 BRIAN: So you had them split it, then wash half of it.

00:15:16 RYAN: That was the other issue is we didn't. Say split it and people just write it top down of step one, Step 2. Step three, you know, cause that's traditionally how you just go through it. If we'd said split this out and then run here, run there, that may be a little better.

00:15:19 BRIAN: OK.

00:15:30 RYAN: For for people.

00:15:31 JOHN: Yeah, 2024 instructions will be.  Laid out that way that we're gonna be splitting.  And that bag of the fine aggregate in the moist condition to basically pull your sub sample 1st and then run the tests.

00:15:44 BRIAN: So from a corrective actions perspective, a laboratory that received low ratings on sand equivalent because they washed it all first would have a pretty reasonable corrective action because they basically ruined the sample by washing it for that test.

00:15:56 RYAN: You know, we did have a couple people reach out like, hey, we ran this where we watched it and we ran. It was like this can't be right. And we shipped a new one because.



00:16:04 BRIAN: OK, that's good. Good, good for those labs for for calling out ahead of time. And good for you guys for making enough samples for shipping those extra samples in anticipation of some issues. Hopefully we we still have some for extra proficiency samples.

00:16:19 RYAN: We yeah. So we have plenty for extra proficient samples, but we actually had to go and make more. Basically after we first starting a couple of calls of like, hey, here's these issues. We just went to the back and basically rebadged and just remade the creation samples again.

00:16:33 BRIAN: Is that the aggregate in the front of the?  Building right now.

00:16:36 RYAN: No, that is actually what's out in front. John, is that seashell stuff still?

00:16:41 JOHN: Yeah, that's the the remainder of the concrete sample that will be coming out for CRL here in a couple of weeks.

00:16:46 RYAN: Yeah, we. Yeah, no, we just took our the the leftover material and just batched out new bags and set them off to the side. So we could just grab them and ship them out.

00:16:53 BRIAN: How did the data look? Knowing all of this?

00:16:56 JOHN: Well, the data was interesting. We actually had to make a suppression for two line items for this round for the SIP analysis portion. The percent passing the 16 SIV or the 1.18 millimeter and the number 30 sieve, the 600 Micron Siv had to be suppressed and basically what happened was we saw too much of or there or I guess I should say the distribution. For sample three was almost three times as large as the distribution for sample 4. So something happened with sample three we believe where there was some additional variability. We don't know what happened upon conducting the data analysis and looking at the homogeneity.  Data I talked to our production manager. We went over the production process, looked at our reports and our preparation logs. Every normal protocol that we follow was followed. There was no deviation, nothing changed. So we're not sure what happened. It was interesting. So I know it's suppressed and you know, the listeners here unfortunately won't be able to see the unit diagram. Normally the unit diagram and the ellipses on a nice looking 45 degree angle.

00:18:11 JOHN: This time the ellipse was actually turned to the left to be almost parallel with the guess it would be the X axis, so the average there and it it's just just a really, really wide distribution. We're not 100% percent sure what happened. One of the interesting things that the. PSP crew noted. To me, when they were actually saving the. They said they noticed that they had a a few drums that seemed like they were more coarse than the other drums and a few drums that were way more fine than the other drums. But the materials all put through the same sitting machines. It's randomly, you know, sorted together. It's not like it's segregated. We didn't segregate 3 and the four, you know we had. Drums here. Drums there. Like they were all pulled at random. So the fact that we had something like this happen is definitely a rarity.

00:19:00 BRIAN: Well, that's interesting and I will normally I would ask Joe, the next question is, OK, what does that mean for accreditation but I I will ask myself that question I will.

00:19:10 RYAN: Hey, Brian, what does this mean for accreditation?

00:19:11 BRIAN: Thank you for jumping in there, Ryan. Uh, well, it it does complicate things a little bit for us. First of all, because of the the issue and because we suspend for repeat consecutive low ratings and no data on individual sieve sizes, there won't be any new suspensions for low ratings on #16 and #30 because the ratings are.  Pressed on both three and four, even though three was the one that they had issues with, things can't be that simple because we never are simple about things we do have these follow-ups from laboratories that were suspended last time. We evaluate the results from a blind sample and they can get reinstated, but then they have to get satisfactory ratings on the next normal round now. This time they were suppressed. So what we did is we just said OK, as long as they do it well on everything else, we're going to mark the issue as resolved and then we have other issues.

00:20:13 BRIAN: Where a laboratory could have a current suspension.  On the number 16 and #30 that they didn't resolve, this is a little trickier because what we kind of would have to do is. Evaluate whether or not they could have done well. So all we can lean on is #4.  So we can calculate what their results would have been on the number four since it was a satisfactory round, and if they did well, we can say all right, you're reinstated for that and that's about as good as we can do. But it's kind of like a still. Not as good as having two shots at it with #3 and #4, but there's always a chance for a blind sample for somebody, so it's not really the end of the world. And and. And I will remind people. Suspension is for two consecutive low ratings on 2 rounds of samples, so that's four low ratings over the course of two years, which is not good. It's not like it was just a random suspension of somebody who didn't deserve to have their accreditation suspended anyway. That was complicated, but it always is. When we have suppressed.

00:21:28 JOHN: Settings, but unfortunately you know it's just one of those things that happened for this round. The other thing that we're going to have to deal with too from our end is this is going to have an impact on our XPS. We're going to have to prepare for it accordingly down the road and see how we can handle this to make sure that any other samples are prepared in a little bit better fashion and we can ensure that we're sending what we need to the labs.

00:21:49 BRIAN: Yeah. Anything else? So that's the graduation. Now that we've got the combined sample we had this issue before where we did the the C117T11 wash the number 200 wash on the graduation sample. Are we getting more than just trace? I know you talked about the fine aggregate bag, but what about the other bag? Are we getting a decent amount of material loss on the graduation sample where you can actually evaluate that wash loss?

00:22:17 JOHN: We're getting more reasonable numbers that you would see for someone or a facility who's actually doing concrete mix design or asphalt mixed design typically seeing first two rounds are around a percent to a percent and a half, and Ryan and I have been messing with the graduation a little bit each year to see what we need to do to get those numbers a little bit higher.  I think last year we were right around 1% or a little bit below this year we're a little bit over and we added to was it right another 200 grams of sand into the graduation. I remember correctly, I think it was 300, we went to 500 this year. That's just going to be something going to keep working on and changing the numbers and changing the graduation and the values that allows us to.

00:22:48 RYAN: So yeah.

00:22:57 JOHN: Provide a better sample. Better measure for the participants rather than sending out consistently the same material over and over again. That doesn't provide a good means for evaluation, so we can keep adjusting the numbers and the values and you know, doing our best to to make sure we're getting reasonable data.

00:23:13 BRIAN: That's good for people to know.  Because if they are running these samples and they say, well, this can't be right.  It just considered that these samples may have been manufactured. Just for proficiency testing and it it may not be indicative of what you test every day, and that's not a problem with the proficiency samples I know sometimes we get feedback like that saying that people aren't happy because this doesn't resemble what they typically test. Well, it doesn't need to. It needs to be a good evaluation for these laboratories. The other thing is if you see rating or if you see results that seem a lot.  It's fine for you to question it, but please do not share data with other people to see what they got and then kind of change your results to match somebody else's. We actually do look for that. We have seen cases of people sharing and falsifying data on their proficiency samples and.  It becomes an accreditation issue because this is supposed to be an objective evaluation of your laboratories quality. If testing, and if you're cheating, which we would call that cheating, you may not call it that, but we would call it that. That becomes an integrity issue. So I hope you consider that when you're looking at the data. And wonder if it's the right result. Now let's talk about the uncompacted voids. Not a very exciting test by all measures. But did you see anything interesting in this round?

00:24:38 JOHN: No, not within.  Compactive voids. That's usually a pretty straightforward test. The laboratories, you know, do what they need to do to determine the specific gravity, and then go ahead and run it. And you know, traditionally that looks pretty good. We don't really see an issue with it. Very, very rare where we would do any kind of suppression, pretty typical for what we would see for angularity. Foot contents around 4748% that's that's pretty typical.

00:25:02 BRIAN: Yeah, and I say not exciting. But it is kind of. A fun test to run.  It is, I agree. I always like that one. I I like to train people and show them. That one is.  It's something that, like uh, I think a kid would be in, would enjoy it too, because it's, you know, you watching the aggregate fall down and striking it off, you know, tapping it anyway. Other interesting information from this, from this sample around.

00:25:25 JOHN: No, I think that's pretty much it. I mean the unless Ryan, you got some else.

00:25:28 RYAN: We can't compare apples to apples. We'll compare this year's apples, the last year's apples, at least as far as how that washing affected the finite rest of the gravity results, so meaning that annex the whole point of washing is supposed to lower your absorption and give you a higher bulk specific gravity. So I went and pulled our data.  From the last 20 years or so looking at at you know how how it compared relative to other samples in. It's definitely on the lower lower end of absorption, but we've had lower. So we the absorption was average of .475 and .498 actually kind of close we had last year we've gotten lower.  Two times in the past 20 rounds, but about 1/4 to 1/2 lower than than everything else, so it actually shows that impact there.

00:26:16 JOHN: Yeah. So this is one thing too. If we see another material that's a little bit similar, you know we'll change our source up and if we see, you know, the percent passing the 200 around 5%.  You will keep it in there and see if we introduce any variability and take a.  Look at it. Why not, right, that's what.

00:26:32 BRIAN: We're here for yeah. And this material is all, is it all locally sourced too? Is this all Mid-Atlantic region aggregate, correct. What's the farthest away material we've gotten to your knowledge?

00:26:46 JOHN: My knowledge.  This is kind of kind of a weird borderline, but I'm going to I'm going to call this north. Central Pennsylvania is about two hours and 40 minutes. That's that's been about the the longest haul we've had.

00:26:56 BRIAN: OK.

00:27:02 KIM: What's the reason that we keep it? Relatively local to this area.

00:27:07 JOHN: Has to do with expense Kim, the aggregates cheap, the hauling is expensive, and Even so too. When when we got that product that was, you know, the the two, 2 1/2 three hours away. That plant was actually very specific in what they would provide to us. Usually we get two different types of or two different sizes of stone. Sorry, excuse me. And number 57 and a #67 stone and that company said. Look, no matter what. We can't send you the 67, so you have to use the 57 stone, which is more of a course material.  It's got a bit more material on the the three quarter and half inch than the 67 and we ended up having to purchase I think it was almost 200 to 250 tons to get what we needed and we only needed about 100 tons. So we ended up wasting roughly half.  use it the appropriate way, we probably only need about 140 to 100. And sixty ton so. It saves us a lot on material ordering and. : Hauling and then those prices would be.

00:28:14 KIM: Increase the price for our customers.  If we chose to do that more regularly.

00:28:19 JOHN: That's correct. We have ventured into looking at trying to get material from. Some states that are further West, but it's it's difficult, you know, to try to get.  You know, hauling trucks to go that far, then you're talking about, you know, paying for overnight stays. You have to worry about going across state lines. With different products.  We've actually already investigated rail car. There is a. Rail line, right behind the office and we hear train horns 10 to 15 times a day, usually in the middle of calls. In meetings, but we really don't have a good depot in the area where we could actually have some product from somewhere else brought in, dumped and then delivered. It's a possibility, but once again, logistics and expense, you know, it's something that we really don't know if we should pass on to our customers because it would. We want to keep it as reasonably priced as we as we can.  But if anybody's willing to front the.  Bill for that, we'd be excited.

00:29:16 BRIAN: What? What do you mean for making a train depot?.

00:29:18 RYAN: for Any of the above.

00:29:19 JOHN: Yeah, I mean, right. So even if if there's some supplier out there who's like, hey, you know, we'd love to have our rock tested as part of your program. Call us, let us know and we'll see if we could figure out a way to make it work. I mean, it's not like we couldn't try it just we just have to see how to do it. I mean, that's the hard part.

00:29:37 BRIAN: Sounds like we need to start a trucking company after resource trucking company to handle all these halls, yeah.

00:29:44 KIM: I'm going to say we should discuss that in the change management meeting and see how far that goes. Brian.

00:29:50 RYAN: Fleet of trucks and just have the assessors drive around and just bring.  It back and then bring it back.

00:29:54 BRIAN: Yeah, I'm sure they would love to drive the big rig.

00:29:58 RYAN: Some would, yes.

00:29:59 BRIAN: While they're performing their assessments.

00:30:02 RYAN: Yeah, there's there's a couple. I know it would be super. Excited about it?

00:30:04 BRIAN: Yeah, that's true. Some would. It would be, yeah, some would. Some would really not.

00:30:07 RYAN: I got two in my in particular, yeah.

00:30:09 BRIAN: Yeah. So we will table those ideas, but I.  Think that's it for this?  On as far as I know, Kim, do we have anything?  Else on this.

00:30:18 KIM: No, I think you covered all the bases. I mean you had Ryan ask the question of the accreditation program to you as opposed to me. So I don't really know why I was here in this episode, but I enjoyed your enthusiasm about the slide back bags. Take that and cherish that moment as I'm editing this episode as well.

00:30:37 JOHN: Yes, slide lock is the appropriate term. You can't say the other one because the other one is.

00:30:40 KIM: Yeah, yeah, you're cool.

00:30:41 JOHN: A brand.

00:30:44 KIM: All right. Well, thanks for joining us. John and Ryan. And I think I'm going to tease, I don't have any details, but I'm going to tease anyway in this future of some point we are going to have a live recording of one of these PSP insight episodes. So look for details.  In 2024, I'm assuming you could attend a live recording. It will be virtual, but you can see how a podcast episode is made and it will be for one of these PSP insight episodes, so stay tuned for more details there.

[Theme music fades in.] 

00:31:18 ANNOUNCER: Thanks for listening to AASHTO re: source Q & A. If you'd like to be a guest or just submit a question, send us an email at podcast@aashtoresource.org or call Brian at 240-436-4820. For other news and related content, check out AASHTO re:source's social media accounts or go to aashtoresource.org.