The first Minnesota Roadway Maintenance Training and Demo Day was a big hit! Held April 10, 2012, in St. Paul, the new event focused on education and technology exchange through classroom sessions and outdoor demonstrations. Also at the event, the latest batch of LTAP Roads Scholars received their certificates, and about 25 indoor vendors provided information on their products and services.

The day's general sessions included a presentation on the rules, regulations, and exemptions for government commercial driver's license drivers as well as a presentation from a representative of the Public Employees Retirement Association. Classroom sessions focused on tree maintenance, load securement, and pavement.

The tree maintenance session covered a wide range of tree and plant maintenance-related issues, including updates on the emerald ash borer and bur oak blight in Minnesota, tree pruning basics, and options for avoiding contact with poisonous plants. In the pavement session, attendees learned about various types of pavement distresses and the corrective and preventative maintenance activities that agencies use to prolong pavement life. The final session highlighted general rules for commercial vehicle load securement, including rules specific to securing heavy vehicles, equipment, and machinery.

Outdoor Demonstrations

The event concluded with live demonstrations covering each of the three classroom topics. In one demo, participants viewed the detrimental effects of incorrect pruning techniques and got expert tips on effective targeted pruning methods. The demonstration also included a safety briefing on proper wood chipper use.

In another demonstration, participants received step-by-step instructions on the best way to secure equipment to a trailer. The presentation highlighted common mistakes, decals that identify proper lifting and anchor points, and special markings used to determine the working load limit of securement devices.

In the final demo, local paving contractors demonstrated three patching and sealing techniques: infrared heat, blow patching, and clean and seal processes.