Join us this summer during Contractor ABU (Allan Block University) Online to participate in 20-30-minute training events on tools available and topics that may help you with your business. Simply click the links below that best fit your schedule to register.
In addition, our traditional Friday training event that dives into the a Allan Block 3D Modeling Tool in more detail will continue. Register at the date and time that best fits by review options at the link below. Each of these events occurs at 1:30 PM CST, but a one-on-one event could be arranged too.
AB 3D Modeling Tool: What is it and how to use it?
With the addition of AB Courtyard into the Allan Block 3D Modeling Tool, it’s never been easier to get customers committed to patio projects. You can now use the AB Courtyard Estimating App to create your customer’s custom patio, generate an accurate material estimate, and receive a 3D file that can be opened with the Allan Block 3D Modeling Tool in SketchUp. These fully-textured 3D models are the perfect way for customers to visualize what they’re getting before they fully commit to a design.
With the recent influx of home makeover and renovation television shows on the HGTV and DIY networks, a new standard has been set for what customers expect before they commit to designs and the Allan Block 3D Modeling Tool is the perfect solution to this new demand.
Email Jeremy Zeis at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a showcase of the 3D modeling tool and learn how to use this revolutionary tool to get ahead of the competition and increase the number of projects your customers commit to.
Along with becoming certified you will then qualify for our rewards program. Every project counts for moving your certification to the next levels, Experienced and Master. Every project built within the current year counts for our Rewards Program.
Contractor Talk: Plan, Design & Build Part 1: Planing for Potential
If you want to be better at what you do, which means being faster with more profit, you need to make sure you incorporate a Plan, Design and Build approach to every project. However, during the busiest time of the year time does not allow you to even collect your thoughts. This is why it needs to become a habit. We will be doing a 3-Part series where we focus on plan, design and build in hopes you can incorporate them into good habits.
Planing for Potential:
In Part 1 of this series we will focus on the plan considerations and for the full information you can reference Retaining Walls by Allan Block. As you start working through your initial plan consider the following:
Where is the wall going to be located – Lot lines, utilities and existing site features will limit possibilities. Existing vegetation or even new plants all must be considered. You may also want to minimize soil excavation and backfill activities by balancing your cut and fill requirements.
What are the site soils – Understanding what you are working in will help reduce headaches and speed up the process. Having the right equipment to excavate, backfill and compact clays are different than sands and gravels. Clays may also require additional reinforcement.
Water Management - One of the key components for wall location and ultimately a successful project is optimizing your grades to handle drainage patterns. When your determining the wall heights, make sure the water is not draining over the wall.
What about engineering – By partnering with Allan Block you have the tools to handle the permitting process. You can ask your local Allan Block representative about the Pre-Engineered Wall program that is available. Otherwise, we have a network of local engineers that understand how to provide you the best solution.
Don’t forget the neighbors – One way you can market yourself is by communicating with the neighbors. This may lead to more business and reduce the stress when you are explaining that they are living next to a construction site.
If you aren’t already familiar with the AB Fence system, you are missing out on a goldmine of opportunity. After attending an AB Fence Certification Course, you will have all the tools you need to be armed and dangerous. This system can be installed efficiently and economically, and it provides a premium aesthetic that can meet the owner’s needs for a variety of applications. AB Fence is perfect for:
Sound Abatement Walls
AB Fence is a product that has been around for over 20 years and continues to solve sound and sight concerns on building sites all over the world. Many SRW contractors have learned and many are learning the advantages of the system which include:
Profitably install a unique system that solves site problems
Provide a cost effective and aesthetic solution to the General Contractor and/or Property Owner
Allow them (a contractor) to sell the segmental retaining wall (SRW) work on the same site at the installed price they want because of the “package price” with the AB Fence solution.
AB Fence is a mortarless, maintenance free system. Installation methods are simple, and our training program can get you up-to-speed quickly. The next time you are looking at a grading plan and/or site plan, don’t forget to check out the fencing details on that site. Proposing a similar product for the fence system may help you land the segmental retaining wall sale, while also adding a profitable AB Fence sale on top!
Contact your local AB Sales Rep. today for more information on attending their next AB Fence Certification Class in your area.
Are you complying with the new OSHA Silica Dust collection rules?
Although we covered the new silica dust issue in our 3rd Quarter Newsletter last year, we felt it important enough to revisit the topic and provide you more information and talk about how using Allan Block products help minimize cutting thus minimizing the dust issue all together.
The OSHA fact sheet is invaluable and will help you make modifications to how you handle your jobsite safety and specifically how you are capturing your dust. This topic cannot be overlooked by you and your company. There have already been huge fines implemented against many companies across America. One Virginia company’s well documented fines totaled over $304,000 dollars and are outlined in this detailed Worksite Medical article.
Allan Block producers around the world take pride in the quality of the products they produce. With high precision masonry block machines, they produce products with the highest height tolerances in the industry. Also we have you, the contractor in mind with all our products. Our goal is to provide you products that require minimal to no cutting at all. As examples:
All of the Allan Block retaining wall products have wings to allow you to easily turn inside and outside curves. All you need to remove the wings with is a hammer, no cutting required. See more information within building curves in our installation manual.
Our Allan Block Courtyard products may fit perfectly into your plan for dust reduction. Minimal cutting is required for most applications and when building a standard structure all products have built-in splitter grooves that are easily fit into a guillotine splitter or may be split with a hammer and masonry chisel. The AB Courtyard How-to Sheet #210 will show you how easy it is to split the blocks.
The AB Fence product is the easiest of them all with all individual block units manufactured to fit so no cutting is required except for the occasional cap unit as illustrated in this AB Ashlar Patterned Fence
Silica dust is a huge health issue and why OSHA has taken these dramatic steps. Please take these new rules seriously to continue to keep you and those that work on your job sites safe. It is the number one rule!
Come with us as we travel west to the beautiful rose city, Portland, Oregon. This quarter we’re featuring Allan Block Master Wall Builder Edward Simpson - owner of Mainstream Landscape in the South-Western Portland metro area. Mainstream Landscape is a family owned company that started over seven years ago and has since made quite the name for themselves. They specialize in both residential and commercial hardscapes, landscaping, and home services but where they really stand out is making their customers happy. Edward and the others at Mainstream Landscape treat their customers like their own friends and family and always make sure that they are left with a smile on their face.
Edward values relationships above all else. He always puts his wife and two children first and runs Mainstream Landscape in much the same way. Mainstream started out with humble beginnings and hasn’t changed. He said that he can’t thank his crews enough for the amazing work that they do, and without them it wouldn’t be possible to build the walls that make their customers so happy. The quality of his work shows in the reviews that his company receives. Customers speak of Edward and his father, Eddie Sr.’s, amazing efficiency, professionalism, personability, and quality work.
Edward, along with several others at Mainstream Landscape, received their Master Wall Builder status in 2018. This was only a couple years after Mike and Tanner Weston from Oregon Block introduced them to the Allan Block Contractor Certification program where they got certified by attending classes aimed at teaching how to properly install retaining walls and were rewarded for their retaining wall work. Edward said that these classes were a great opportunity to learn more about retaining walls and makes sure that all of his employees attend the classes when they are available. But Mike and Tanner did a lot more than just introduce them to the program. As experts in the hardscapes industry, they were able to teach Edward and his crews what it takes to install a retaining wall that stands strong and will last a lifetime. They stood out as resources that are always available to answer any questions that Edward has.
Mainstream Landscape services the entire Portland area and if you’re ever driving around the area there’s a good chance you’ll see an amazing looking wall that Edward and his four crews installed. One of Edward’s most impressive walls is a 5,000 ft2 (465 m2) wall that reaches heights of 12 ft (3.66 m). This was a big milestone for Mainstream because it was their first big project in the commercial market. Thanks to the wall’s high visibility and expert installation, Mainstream started to get more involved in commercial work. Another area that Edward has been seeing success in is the use of the AB Aztec Collection. The contemporary look that Aztec provides has stood out to customers looking for a clean, modern looking retaining wall.
While we can showcase Edward’s amazing work, it would be impossible to do his personality and positivity justice. I encourage you to check out Mainstream Landscape’s Instagram and Facebook pages to get a better look inside the company and to see what a day in the life of a landscaper means to Edward. Companies like Mainstream are a huge part of what makes Allan Block the company that it is today. The dedication to outstanding work and the focus on exceeding customer’s expectations is what sets Edward and his company apart, and we would be happy if all companies could share this drive. Thank you for the outstanding work that you and your crews do, Edward, and we can’t wait to work with you more in the future.
Allan Block Corporation 7424 W. 78th Street, Bloomington, MN 55439 Help & Support Center: (800) 899-5309
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