After building designs are finalized and the ground breaks on a development site, geotech field technicians quickly become the next big asset in the construction process. The right expertise is essential, from early soil testing through special inspections. But how a field tech handles the responsibility can make a big difference in the eyes of the design-build team, and even the project owner. Great field techs exhibit the following 3 behaviors every time they work on site.
1. They Make A Lasting First Impression
A geotech field technician must understand the context and purpose of each new project. There can be tremendous anticipation for signs of progress on an empty landscape, and the general contractor is usually under pressure to meet a tight schedule. There’s no reason anyone should be standing around wasting time in the background. Great field techs pick up on the energy of new projects and become part of the momentum to move things forward.
While project owners aren’t always interested in every construction detail, they are certainly focused on progress and often show up unannounced at the project site to see what’s going on. They can easily form opinions about contractors based on what they encounter, and their initial impressions are not limited to the actions of supervisors and engineers. Geotech field technicians also shape perceptions.
A great field tech is present and prepared, not lounging around in a truck or absent from the scene altogether. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression and the same applies to a job site. Your company’s good reputation can quickly crumble if a construction partner or project owner feels the need to contact your president with concerns about a field tech’s behavior.
Trust is the glue that bonds a project team together. Field techs are trusted with the important responsibility of guiding compliance and warding off problems. They aren’t expected to have all the answers all the time, but great field techs will always be proactive, ready to investigate and perform aggressive due diligence.
2. They’re Highly Engaged
No one likes surprises and they’re more likely to happen if a key project partner doesn’t have their head in the game. Great field techs resist drifting toward the sidelines, even when they’re not actively taking samples or conducting site inspections. They are genuinely interested in the project’s evolution, paying attention to details, and staying in close contact with key stakeholders and their own supervisors.
They don’t wait for snags before they speak up. They facilitate communication in all phases of construction to keep everyone in the loop. This puts project managers in the best possible position to make informed decisions, anticipate challenges, and minimize the risk of costly or time-consuming disruptions.
Great field techs also ask a lot of questions. Their goal is to keep an ongoing mental snapshot of project plans and current conditions, and continuously relay what they see at the project site back to contractors, engineers, and supervisors. This helps provide real-time information that keeps the project team out of trouble and the project moving forward.
Choosing the right people for the job is more than a matter of assessing expertise. Great field techs are naturally curious, ready to apply their skills, and eager to get to work. Someone with too little experience can’t be as helpful as you’d like them to be, and someone with more experience but waning interest won’t tune into important details. Savvy geotech firms give serious attention to both experience and interest when hiring new field techs and especially when assigning them to specific jobs.
3. They’re Passionate About Solving Problems
At Alpha-Omega Geotech, we believe geotech firms should work harder than the same old routine of testing, reporting and then moving on with only a calling card left behind for follow-up questions. We prefer to keep our field techs on the job to watch for problems and then communicate with geotech engineers to help the project team shape solutions. Great field techs take on the responsibility with enthusiasm.
We also believe in going the extra mile with special inspections. The work should involve more than just sending someone out to a job site with a checklist. Unfortunately, some geotech firms still operate that way, but more seasoned firms are never satisfied with such a low bar. AOG recognizes that special inspections are far too important to be simplified into a checklist. Our field techs are prepared to be part of the construction team and do everything they can to bring value to the project.
During all phases of construction, great field techs are always focused on solving problems as they happen, and even before they happen, if possible. They’re quick to alert crews about sudden red flags and tricky conditions, and embrace their role as the compliance ‘eyes and ears’ throughout the project.
Field techs are not cogs in a wheel. The best ones are open-minded, broadening their attention beyond their technical contributions to help identify, solve, and prevent future problems. They’re always on the lookout for opportunities to keep things moving forward and are ready to help knock out obstacles that get in the way of progress. They’re natural team players, share the greater team’s commitment, and are completely invested in the success of each project.
The AOG Difference
Team AOG is a tight group. We take pride in bringing our collective experience and open-minded approach to every project we’re invited to join. We know we set a high-quality standard for geotech work in the Kansas City area that translates into greater value for our partners and clients.
Our field technicians are no exception. We consider honesty, integrity, and reliability to be the golden traits of a great field tech, along with natural curiosity and a strong desire to collaborate and solve problems. We demand this behavior from all of our field technicians and hope you will do the same too.
Need a site visit or have questions about Special Inspections? Please give our Director of Business Development, Dave Flessner a call! 913-433-3623