Each day, the quality control team—Ryan, Ian, and Trevor—test several materials for quality and compliance.
They also create new mixes and host engineers and inspectors who are eager to make sure that Washington Rock’s products are just as good as the specs boast.
Ryan’s own day is a balancing act of managing his team, conducting tests, creating new designs, and meeting engineers. Take a peek at a day in his life.
6:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Ryan works with Edgar to determine the correct screens needed to process polyester concrete aggregates. The screens will be used in the drying plant.
After helping Edgar, Ryan helps adjusts equipment to make fairway sand. Then he helps a loader operator come up with a mix design for river rock.
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Ryan works with his team to test materials for production. The team tests for characteristics such as moisture content, gradation, clay content, cleanliness, and mass.
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Zeke, a senior engineer for an Anchorage-based firm, arrives. Zeke’s job is to inspect Washington Rock’s shoreline protection stone and make sure that the excavator operator has a good eye for dimensions and weight. Each stone should weigh between 1800 and 3600 lbs.
The stones are handpicked by Ryan and the excavator operator, placed on a flatbed truck driven by Ian, marked and measured by Zeke, and weighed by the scalehouse master. The results show that the excavator operator is on point with each stone, satisfying the construction requirements.
Once Zeke submits his recommendation, the shoreline protection stone will be loaded onto barges and shipped to their destination 3,200 miles away: the WWII battle zone Midway Island. The barge trip will take approximately two weeks. Once there, the stone will be used to fortify the emergency airport and prevent erosion.
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Back at King Creek, Ryan takes Zeke on a tour of the quality control lab to give him an idea of the type of work the quality control team does.
Ryan also instructs a loader operator to mix two types of gravel backfill for a WSDOT representative. The WSDOT rep arrives to take samples, and Ryan leads her to the freshly mixed materials and helps her fill bags with each variety.
12:30 p.m. –1:00 p.m.
At lunch, Ryan talks over projects with Zeke and a local landscaper, Ken. They discuss plans to continue testing stone, and Ryan talks to Ken about project needs.
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Ryan takes Ken on a tour of various overlay aggregates. Ken owns a landscaping company and has recently been hired to create a special rubber mixture to put around trees in Seattle. The mixture is a composite of recycled tires, small stones, and glue, and it expands as tree roots do. What Ken needs from Washington Rock are the small stones that will go in the mixture. The stones need to be clean so that they adhere well to the glue.
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Ryan introduces Ken to Greg, the Armorstone sales representative, and Ken joins Greg’s guest on an adventure to collect samples and find the perfect product for Ken. Meanwhile, Ryan takes Zeke back to Kapowsin to continue surveying shoreline protection stone.
At the end of a long day, Zeke gets all of the measurements he needs, and Ryan is ready to go home.
For more information about Washington Rock’s quality control program, watch our YouTube video, “Making Quality Rock, Sand, and Soil.”