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Episode 97: Where’s the snowplow

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Whenever you mix snowplows, winter storms, and motorists on the same stretch of pavement everyone needs to be at the top of their game in vehicles equipped for conditions. Most of the time folks get where there headed and the roads get cleared without incident. But, there are times when vehicles get tangled up with a snow plow and the outcomes can be catastrophic.

On this episode we’ve got Jed Falgren, State Maintenance Engineer for the Minnesota DOT who’s been involved in some really innovative projects to help reduce the number of interactions between snowplows and motorists from their CAV-Traveler Alert System to reflective materials and lighting.
For more information on MnDOT’s efforts to reduce crashes with snowplows and other slow moving maintenance operations you can reach out directly to Jed at jed.falgren@state.mn.us

Sign up for email notifications for future episodes and other communications from AASHTO’s Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program at clicking on subscribe on the Talkin’ Winter Ops website at TalkinWinterOps.com

Episode 96: Shaken not stirred – the rocker ice melting test method

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When it comes to liquid deicing products how do you know you’re getting what you paid for and that it’s likely to perform as promised? The Nebraska DOT has been working on developing a easy to run, repeatable, and cost effective test method to determine the ice melting capacity of liquid deicing products.

Mike Mattison and Jasmine Dondlinger of the Nebraska DOT take on the journey this test method has taken from the initial idea using a instrumented martini shaker to the Rocker AASHTO Provisional Test Method and why this test method should be part of your winter operations program when it comes to liquid deicing products.

If you would like more information about the new Rocker Test Method or how it might fit into your winter maintenance program you can contact Mike Mattison at Mike.Mattison@nebraska.gov or Jasmine Dondlinger at Jasmine.Dondlinger@nebraska.gov .

If you’d like to be a guest on SICOP Talks Winter Ops or you have an idea for an episode send an email to Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or Scott Lucas at SELucas@columbus.gov

Sign up for email notifications for future episodes and other communications from AASHTO’s Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program at https://subscribe.talkinwinterops.org We’ll never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for listening in and stay safe out there!

Episode 95: Help is on the way

By Podcasts

There’s lots of discussion going on these days regarding artificial intelligence or AI. Like it or not you’re probably using or at least taking advantage of AI applications right now and you might not even know it. Winter operations takes place in an environment well suited for AI applications to provide assistance across a broad spectrum of activities from road weather forecasting to decision support to operator assistance in the cab through lane guidance, material applications, and a host of other potential applications.

In this episode Software Engineer Tom Brummet with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Research Applications Laboratory discusses AI and ongoing work in winter maintenance and road weather.

If this episode peaked your interest in Artificial Intelligence applications in winter maintenance you can check out what’s happening at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Research Applications Laboratory at this link https://ral.ucar.edu/technologies/artificial-intelligence-and-machine-learning or you can email Tom Brummet directly at brummet@ucar.edu.

If you’d like to be a guest on SICOP Talks Winter Ops or you have an idea for an episode send an email to Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or Scott Lucas at SELucas@columbus.gov

Sign up for email notifications for future episodes and other communications from AASHTO’s Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program at https://subscribe.talkinwinterops.org We’ll never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for listening in and stay safe out there!

Episode 94: 2nd Chances

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Public works agencies have struggled for years recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce. These challenges have reached critical levels for many agencies since the pandemic. In this episode were Talkin’ Winter Ops with the City of Columbus Department of Public Service Human Resource Officer Lauren Hunter and Infrastructure Operations Coordinator Scott Lucas about a recruiting program that takes them into the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio and a unique vocational program partnership offering 2nd chances with the City of Columbus.

For more information of this program email Lauren Hunter at lbhunter@columbus.gov or Scott Lucas at selucas@columbus.gov
If you’d like to be a guest on SICOP Talks Winter Ops or you have an idea for an episode send an email to Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or Scott Lucas at SELucas@columbus.gov

Sign up for email notifications for future episodes and other communications from AASHTO’s Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program at https://subscribe.talkinwinterops.org We’ll never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for listening in and stay safe out there!

Episode 93: It’s not just a job

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Part 3 of our workforce recruiting and retention series showcases a grass roots program the Washington State DOT launched a few years back to encourage high school students to consider a career in transportation maintenance. Pasco Bakotich, State Maintenance Engineer for the Washington State DOT explains the program, the benefits they’ve seen, and success they’ve witnessed by bringing these young adults into the maintenance family.

If you’d like more information on the Washington DOT High School to Highways program contact Pasco at BakotiP@wsdot.wa.gov
If you’d like to be a guest on SICOP Talks Winter Ops or you have an idea for an episode send an email to Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or Scott Lucas at SELucas@columbus.gov

Sign up for email notifications for future episodes and other communications from AASHTO’s Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program at https://subscribe.talkinwinterops.org We’ll never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for listening in and stay safe out there!

Episode 92: Why’s that snowplow pink?

By Podcasts

Part 2 of the workforce series focuses on the No Boundaries synthesis Innovation strategies in Recruiting and Retention with Sandi Sauter, Deputy Director of Operations for the Maryland State Highway Administration. This episode zeros in on recruiting and retention and steps that some states are taking to include all segments of the applicant pool. Check out the No Boundaries synthesis at this link https://maintainroads.org/responses-to-staffing-shortages-synthesis/

0:00 Intro
3:29 Sandi and the Maryland SHA
7:22 No Boundaries synthesis-recruiting
10:12 The applicant pool
15:53 The hiring process
18:42 Messaging & alternative recruiting techniques
24:48 2nd chance programs
28:35 Getting diversity in the workforce
45:01 “can we” vs “why can’t we”
53:34 tying up loose ends

Email Sandi Sauter at SSauter@mdot.maryland.gov or Kristen Seeber kirsten.seeber@ctcandassociates.com at CTC Associates who provide support to the No Boundaries Pooled Fund Study.

If you’d like to be a guest on SICOP Talks Winter Ops or you have an idea for an episode send an email to Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or Scott Lucas at SELucas@columbus.gov

Sign up for email notifications for future episodes and other communications from AASHTO’s Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program at https://subscribe.talkinwinterops.org We’ll never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for listening in and stay safe out there!

Episode 91: This ain’t your Dad’s workforce

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The topic of workforce, recruiting, and retention has dominated the discussion for years, but nowadays the issue seems particularly acute. In Part 1 of a 4 part series on workforce we’re focusing on a domestic scan conducted by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) recently conducted titled Leading Practices in Strategic Workforce Management by Transportation Agencies. During the Committee on Maintenance annual meeting Bill Lambert of the New Hampshire DOT presented some of the findings and we’re revisiting his conversation with Lee Wilkinson of the Iowa DOT. Both Bill and Lee were members of the scan team and would welcome any discussion or comments. Read the final report at this link NCHRP domestic scan 19-02 and reach out to them by email William Lambert and Lee Wilkinson

0:00 Intro
6:48 Driving force for a domestic scan
11:14 Retention of workforce
13:15 Domestic scan process, some observations
20:43 employee engagement
27:15 Employee development
34:21 Employee recognition
45:13 the applicant pool & recruiting
50:09 Key outcomes
If you’d like to be a guest on SICOP Talks Winter Ops or you have an idea for an episode send an email to Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or Scott Lucas at SELucas@columbus.gov

Sign up for email notifications for future episodes and other communications from AASHTO’s Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program at https://subscribe.talkinwinterops.org We’ll never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for listening in and stay safe out there!

Episode 90: Where’s SICOP

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Introducing the transformation of SICOP to the AASHTO Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program and SICOP Talks Winter Ops to Talkin Winter Ops.  With the re-branding of SICOP we’re re-branding the podcast as well.  Same program, same podcast, with a new look.

If you’d like to be a guest on SICOP Talks Winter Ops or you have an idea for an episode send an email to Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or Scott Lucas at SELucas@columbus.gov

Sign up for email notifications for future episodes and other communications from AASHTO’s Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program at https://subscribe.talkinwinterops.org We’ll never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.

 
 

Episode 89: It’s about the speed

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There’s a lot of ways we use salt in winter operations from solids to pre-wet, brines straight up or blended, and combinations of all of the above.  regardless how you use it there a lot of chemistry going on when you put it on a snow packed or about to be snow packed road.  Our guest for this episode is Dr. Scott Koefod who’s an inorganic chemist with 30 plus years of experience researching various aspects and uses of salt which includes our business of winter maintenance.

You can reach out to Dr. Scott to discuss the chemistry of salt by email Scott_Koefod@cargill.com or visit his Q&A website at https://www.cargill.com/industrial/winter-road-maintenance/questions-and-answers

 

If you’d like to be a guest on SICOP Talks Winter Ops or you have an idea for an episode send an email to Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or Scott Lucas at SELucas@columbus.gov

Sign up for email notifications for future episodes and other communications from AASHTO’s Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program at https://talkinwinterops.org/subscribe We’ll never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Episode 88: 4th National Briefing – Northwest Passage

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4th National Briefing on Winter Maintenance and Road Weather give organizations working in the severe weather and maintenance operations space an opportunity to showcase their recent efforts to advance the state of the practice through collaboration, research, technical support, and implementation.  This briefing features the Northwest Passage Pooled Fund Study.

This briefing series is produced in collaboration with the AASHTO Maintenance Committee, the Maintenance Operations Technical Working Group, and the Winter Weather Management Technical Service Program – SICOP.

Watch the video at this link:
https://youtu.be/-ou8P9oO10Q

 

For more information Contact:
Dave Huft at Dave.Huft@state.sd.us

Visit their website at this link:
http://www.nwpassage.info

SICOP Talks Winter Ops is always looking for interesting topics and guests to visit with regarding winter maintenance and road weather. If you have any ideas for future episodes contact Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or our our co-producer Scott Lucas at SELucas@columbus.gov