In the past few years, podcasts have become a popular way for people to learn about new topics or hear from their favorite public figures. As podcasts continue to gain steam, they’ve even become a source of industry news and trends.
Because podcast popularity is on the rise, new podcasts (including construction podcasts) are popping up all the time.
For industry professionals, construction podcasts are becoming an essential learning tool -- just like magazines, websites, and tradeshows.
Podcasts help bring current themes, challenges, and hot topics to light and the audio component makes it easy for audiences to listen on the go.
2020 and 2021 were unprecedented years for the construction industry (and to be honest, the world in general). Podcasts give the industry a way to connect, to discuss challenges, suggest solutions, share ideas, learn about construction tech, and celebrate successes.
Here are a few of our favorite construction podcast episodes from the past year:
How Labor Shortages Are Changing The Construction Industries’ Stance on Technology, with Jason Waddell
Podcast: Get A Load of This
Season & Episode: Season 2, Episode 2
Host: Elizabeth Sholes
One of the biggest challenges that the construction industry is facing is labor shortages. While it’s easy to blame the labor shortage on the chaos of the pandemic and the last year and a half, a storm has been brewing in the construction world for quite a few years, and there are many factors at play.
Labor shortages have already made quite an impact on the industry, and they will continue to do so until new and innovative ideas are brought to the table about how to tackle it head on.
Jason Waddell, General Manager in the mining and aggregates industry, with a wealth of knowledge about the people, operations, and challenges in the construction world, joined the second season of Get A Load of This to share some of his views on how the industry can combat labor shortages and how construction technology can help.
In Jason’s opinion, bringing in a younger generation, and getting them excited about the industry is one of the best ways to grow the workforce:
“We've gotta get out and make an impact and show people that somebody like myself, a general laborer, can grow into something else. We're starting to get better at it, but there are other disciplines that we could bring people into -- HR, engineering, marketing, and sales.
It's not just boots on the ground all the time. That is a big component of what we do. The other thing is making technology or allowing construction technology to make our industry cool. I think you're starting to see companies using simulators and giving people the real-world experience that you're seeing either through academies or universities. I think we need to do that more.”
It’s also about being able to plan in the construction industry long-term:
“I think about the IIJA (Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act) a lot. You had Michelle Stanley from NSSGA (National Stone Sand & Gravel Association), on for Episode 2 of last season -- I think [the IIJA] is something that's on the forefront of everyone’s minds, and we'd like to see longer-term infrastructure spending or funding at the federal level and the state level.
That way we can plan for the long term. So part of my role at the company in the industry is getting out and communicating that. We'd like to have a long-term plan as it relates to the micro-level. I think there is a jobs element there, right?
There's a labor constraint issue we're trying to get through, and we're trying to stay in front of that. And, we're trying to retain people and grow people.”
And, Jason’s advice for a new generation entering the construction industry workforce?
“Be open to growing your network because I truly do believe, although it doesn't always count toward financial gain, your network is your net worth.”
Building Strong Relationships, with Matt Stanley of American Pavement Specialists
Episode: Episode 114
Host: Missy Scherber
Matt Stanley works at his family’s company, American Pavement Specialists in Danbury, Connecticut, where he does everything from running operations to managing marketing. His whole family is full of industry leaders. This year he joined host Missy Scherber on the CONEXPO-CONAGG Radio podcast to talk about family-run business, training employees, honing in on your company’s brand identity on social media, and how to instill company pride and values in employees.
The episode touches on many topics, but what comes across the most is the pride that Matt has in their family-run small business, and how they’ve managed to innovate, grow, and stay successful for the past 25 years.
How does American Pavement Specialists attract new talent? It’s all about their reputation:
“I would say attracting employees isn't the hardest part for us right now because of the awesome brand that we've established, and our company morale. Everyone in town knows that we love what we do. And a lot of people, if they're in the construction industry, they would like the opportunity to be a part of it.
Paving definitely isn't for everybody. Okay, it's hot. It takes a certain type of person to do this. So, I would say training would be really tough for us. I think it takes about two or three years to train someone in the way we like.
We don't really always grab people with experience. As long as someone has good character, and they're ambitious, and they want to be there, we'll make it work. You know?"
As a family-run business, what does the day-to-day look like? Is everyone involved?
“So, it depends, sometimes we're on a big job, like a really big job, we'll have the entire crew out there, one crew going. And my dad will be there too. Like as for today, we got two crews going, my dad's bouncing around, my brother Jack has the milling crew. My brother, Josh runs the paving crew, and I run it with him.
So, on days like this, my dad does a lot of bouncing around. As far as my mom goes, she's in the office. She would like to get out to the field a lot more, but it's only her and another girl in the office. She's definitely got her plate full. So, her day-to-day is taking care of the bills. Obviously, we get a huge blacktop bill all the time, so you got to make sure the suppliers are paid first.”
Using Data to Make Better Decisions
Podcast: The Contractor’s Best Friend
Episode: Released November 17th, 2021
Host: Brad Humphrey
Every other Wednesday, Brad Humphrey and experts from Caterpillar talk about anything and everything related to the construction industry in podcast episodes designed for listeners to consume on their commute. With all episodes around 15-minutes, this construction podcast is the perfect length for listeners to learn something new in a quick, easily digestible episode.
In a recent episode of this construction podcast, the team of construction professionals talk about the importance of data in the construction industry and how it impacts the construction business. It can help contractors save money by driving worker efficiency, and helps with measuring and estimating costs.
With special guest Chris Seger, Director of Programs and Pricing for the Pavement Network Buyers Alliance (PNBA), listeners also get insight into how data can help with fleet maintenance.
In what ways can data help companies with fleet management? Specifically, with money saved, or money better invested?
“The big thing with GPS is being able to properly maintain equipment on time. We’re not maintenancing it too early, we’re not going over the maintenance schedule, being able to monitor that piece of equipment.
The second thing is productivity. There’s a truck, whether it’s the routes we’re taking to get to a jobsite or a piece of equipment on the jobsite, how can we be more efficient? Also, theft and geofencing, that’s another huge thing with GPS.”
How To Increase Visibility into Construction Material Delivery, with Bart ronan
Podcast: GroundBreakers - a ForConstructionPros podcast
Episode: Released May 5th, 2021
Host: Curt Bennik, Senior Editor, Equipment Today
How to Listen: iTunes
GroundBreakers is a ForConstructionPros construction podcast that features construction professionals, industry experts, companies and new technologies that are breaking new ground in the construction industry.
No one can argue that construction technology hasn’t had a huge impact on the way things are done today. Real-time information has become a huge part of construction operations and planning, and it has been transformational for the industry.
In this episode, Bart Ronan, CEO of Trux, joined Curt Bennink to talk about last-mile delivery logistics -- a place where there historically isn’t a lot of visibility. Last-mile delivery has a huge impact on the customer -- without visibility, they’re left wondering -- Where is my rock? When is the truck going to get here?
When these questions go unanswered, things can get complicated (and costly!).
Why does the construction industry get such a bad rep when it comes to visibility into last-mile logistics?
“If you think about the use cases out there like tracking your pizza from Domino’s to your door, it’s a lot simpler than trucking, and tracking dozens of loads or asphalt to roadway construction projects. There’s a lot more stakeholders in our cases. Dispatchers, fleet owners, drivers, the construction crews, foremen, and in some cases, the Department of Transportation (DOT). There are a lot of drivers toward bringing better visibility and transparency to logistics of last-mile delivery in our industry."
How have COVID and other industry factors impacted eTicketing, and how does this affect last-mile delivery?
“We see eTicketing as removing paper and manual processes from the overall process [of trucking] in general, and this is just one manifestation of that. Removing the paper tickets with all the errors that that’s prone to -- mistyping something, mislabeling something, etc., that in and of itself provides a lot of benefits.
Using that as a basis for communication and acceptance at the jobsite, so you can say -- ok, this load came in, and I’m going to accept it or reject it and put notes into the ticket. And that call gets uniform into one data set that everyone is taking advantage of.
Historically, it’s been a very opaque world in terms of data for last-mile delivery and that’s a huge benefit as well. You have the granular GPS tracking and historical data all in one place.”
The construction podcasts that we’ve loved this past year have brought light to the human aspects of construction as well as the cutting-edge construction tech and advancements that are happening every day in this space. These are just a few of our favorite podcasts -- there are tons more out there.
Want to stay on top of the latest industry trends and stories, hear from industry leaders, and learn about all things construction tech? Subscribe to Get A Load of This, Trux’s very own construction industry podcast which has new episodes every Tuesday, or schedule a call to talk to a Trux expert.
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