Saturday, July 26, 2014

Laying Down The Hot Mix

Asphalt crew.  Yuma, Arizona.

You could not pay me enough to do this job.

I used to work for an asphalt construction company.  In the office, of course.

The guys on the crew would go out and pave parking lots, highways, driveways, etc.  Our biggest contract was with the City of Tucson, filling potholes and sealing cracks.  They'd start early in the morning and work well into the afternoon.

Hot mix asphalt comes out of the dump truck and goes into the hopper at somewhere between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  The road surface they're standing on is already hot from the blistering sun, and the temperature of the place they're working is well above 115 degrees.  Any wind is hot wind.  Eyebrow-singeing hot.

The workers on the crew wear jeans.  And work boots.  And long-sleeved shirts.  To keep the sun off, of course.  A hard-hat with a bandanna hanging down the back of their neck, which was soaked in ice water when they started, is now just soaked in sweat.  The clothing is supposed to wick away sweat, keep them cooler.  I'm dubious about that, although I know it's been proven.  And if I were stuck in the Sahara with no shelter for miles, I'd probably be begging for a pair of long pants and long-sleeved shirt to cover my frying skin.

But that will never happen, because I'll never be anywhere near the Sahara.

Being in Southern Arizona is close enough.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Yes You Is
2012: Window Shopping In The East Village
2011: Waiting For Someone To Service Me
2010: Rockin’ Rockaholic Haul
2009: Just Don’t Call Me Late For Dinner
2008: In This Case, R & R Means Recumbent And Recuperation
2007: Posthumously Famous In The World Of Cheap Lodging
2006: What Better Reason To Dine Out?
2005: Hudson Valley Summer

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