By Bryce Davis Jr.

If the groundhog in northwestern Pennsylvania was correct this year, the paving season will be starting early. For most of us that live in the northern United States and Canada, it’s already been a quite a long winter. Hopefully by this time of the year you and your team are ready to start smelling that hot asphalt again.

This year’s PaveX show was a good way to spend the off season, learning new skills and techniques and meeting up with old and new friends from our industry. I’m sure most of you will be doing the same thing at this year’s World of Asphalt show in Nashville, Tennessee this month. Hopefully you all got to take a nice vacation somewhere as well, to relax and recharge your batteries for the upcoming season.

Winter was also a good time to go through all your machines from your paver to your rollers, skid steers, trailers and trucks and hand tools. A little winter maintenance and cleaning of your equipment will go a long way in helping you and your crew make it through the 2024 paving season. If you haven’t yet, this is a good time to rely on your equipment and truck dealerships for their expertise in going through and evaluating all your machines for the proper repairs needed for a successful 2024 out in the field. Also, you should take some time to think of your company image and branding during the winter months. Is it time to repaint a machine or put new company logo decals on your machines? Your branding in today’s world should be the best you can make it. This is also the time of the year for hiring, lining up and training any new people to fill holes in your team from last season. Taking your time to hire the right person and get them trained now is very important for the success of both your company and your crew.

We still think that the asphalt market will be strong again in most markets for 2024. Hopefully, all of you had a super winter of selling new jobs and promoting your businesses to new customers and markets in your area. Some of you might be interested in starting in a new section for your market in 2024, like striping, sweeping, potholes, seal coating, excavation, curbing or maybe even hauling material for other companies via trucking. Whichever direction you plan to go in 2024, we wish you all the very best in starting something new and growing your business.

Our industry is a tough one, and it’s not an easy life during the season. Sometimes we have 14, 16-to-18-hour days, dealing with weather, employee issues, machine issues, and the stress of running a top-notch business, it’s not easy. Hats off to all of you for being in this industry. It’s very tough and very rewarding at the same time. If we can ask for one thing in 2024, safety first, make it your top priority with all of your team and crew.

Looking forward to the smell of asphalt again this spring on job sites all over the U.S. and Canada.

Bryce Davis Jr. is the Director of Sales at LeeBoy. He can be reached via email at bdavis@leeboy.com