Installer & Inspector Training at TFP

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by Tandy Reeves, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I have been thinking (I know that is dangerous) that perhaps we could jointly put together an internet training program that would be common for both installers and inspectors.

    For example one course of study would be to take the installation instructions of different manufacturers and post them here, discuss them, and then take a test designed by three instructors of your picking. The test would be shown here and then on the honor system both installers and inspectors would take the test and email the answers to a designated instructor of your choice for grading, and then your grade would be emailed to you only.

    This could also be done with CRI, ASTM Standards that pertain to our trade, and other topics of your choosing.

    What do you think?
  2. Mike Sahli

    Mike Sahli Pro Member

    I'm all for it, education is everything in our industry, but don't forget about the people that sell the jobs we install. If they can't sell it right and control the job site to match what the manufacturer wants, then i am at a real disadvantage, install and pray or go home .Tough choice
  3. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Great thought to invite anyone involved in the flooring industry to participate.

    BTW is used ASTM as a suggeston. Their material is copyrighted and we could not use the standards without their written permission. As a result, we would probably have to leave that area alone. It is a shame, but the standards are a cash cow for them. You would think rules given that the industry has to live by would not copyrighted.
  4. Mike Sahli

    Mike Sahli Pro Member

    I would like to add one other element to this discussion,I have talked with shops about using certified installers in the past and even played match maker in some cases, They like the idea of better installers, but there idea of better sometimes is the installer that completes the job no matter what in any site condition. There up against what i see is the biggest stumbling block in our industry, GENERAL CONTRACTORS !!!!! Until we can hold them liable and responsible for site conditions that don't meet min. standards, then we will ( the shop and the installer ) have to continue this pattern of install and pray or go home.
  5. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Tandy, my understanding is ASTM develops and copyrights the written protocol/standards for testing of materials, not industry standards for installation or what products can (and should) even be made. Huge difference. If you are setting up an independent testing lab, buying and having the standards for the tests you are running are a cost of doing that business.
  6. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    You are absolutely correct, in the eyes of most shops and retailers, the GOOD installer is the one who takes a job out and they hear no more about it. He just does it, regardless of the site conditions, regardless of the the extra work involved he does it and does NOT ask for any compensation. The GOOD installer is the one who shuts his mouth, hunkers down and takes the bad heaped upon the bad, hoping for that good day that is always promised, but never comes.

    On the topic of GC's they have many years experience at holding their subs to the contract, How you ask? Simple, MONEY. Did you ever read a standard contract that they would like a flooring sub to sign. Peter has, they will take your house, your wife and firstborn if you do not get the job done on time and on budget.
    So when a shop signs that contract they MUST complete the job on time. So it is pushed down to the installer to DO IT regardless of site conditions.

    The answer is that shops and flooring contractors need to write the contract protecting themselves. Unfortunately if you give a contract like that to a GC he will squeal like a castrated pig, then refuse to sign. Often moving on to a less experienced flooring sub or one who is willing to take a chance at skating through and getting paid.
  7. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Peter you may be right. Would you mind contacting ASTM and get permission in writing to allow us to use the different standards in this learning experience? The flooring industry has made these protocal/standars the industry standards.
  8. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    I believe to reprint, you need to buy their CAD (?) system. You can buy individual test protocols but I don't think that allows reprinted privileges.

    To illustrate what I was trying to say, let's take tuft bind for carpet. ASTM D1335. ASTM describes the equipment and procedure that must be utilized but does not state what is an acceptable measurement or test result. That is left up to each manufacturer.

    Same is true for ASTM F1869 and 2170, our favorite moisture tests. No standard for acceptable results is established, just what must be done to obtain test results.
  9. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    Uh oh Mike is starting to sound like me. :D

    Good idea Tandy, I promise to play nice too and not push your's or other's buttons. :yesss:

    At least not to hard. :)
  10. cproader

    cproader All over T's last nerve Senior Member

    :eek:...PETER !!...what have ya done to stullis...:hmmm:
  11. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    I put something in his coffee (insert evil smiley)... Told him it was fancy Espresso roast in a French Press (insert evil smiley)... little did he know (insert evil smiley) ...he didn't even see me spitting mine out the side of my mouth (insert evil smiley)...

    Life is good, another victim of joy juice :D:D:D
  12. Taurus Flooring

    Taurus Flooring Over 30yrs Experience

    I think you have a brilliant idea Tandy. Living north of the border, it makes it difficult for a lot of us Canucks to get any professional training. I've spoken with many a retailer about this subject and was told, they would love to pay their installers more, but with all the callbacks they get, they feel they need some insurance. Getting certified won't guarantee 0% callbacks, but at least it will start a trend of installers wanting to improve their skills if they feel there is a reward at the end of the rainbow.
  13. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Sadly, in the last 5 days, I have spoken with several store managers and sales staff that are not the least bit interested in having educated installers. One RC Willy manager even said "You can try to educate me all you want,I have been around this trade for a long time." He's about 33 yrs old LOL

  14. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    OK lets get started. Who do you want as the three instructors (leave me out lets get others involved). Example: Berry, Rusty, CP, Floorguy, Curt, Peter, D&D, Taurus, RG, Stullis, Chris, man there is a ton of good ones to choose from and I am not even close to naming all of them. Next choose which instructor or instructors will grade the tests.

    Next which mfg. installation instructions do we want to start with. As a courtsey I think we should advise that mfg. what we are going to do with their instructions.
    1. Print them on this website
    2. Discuss those instructions section by section both pro and con.
    3. Have a written test covering all of the instructions.
    4. Tell them they are most welcome to participate with us.

    Any other thoughts? This venture belongs to all of us.
  15. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    I think it should be someone who installs everything and that leaves me out. I'm just an old crapet and vinyl installer.
  16. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Who is this berry guy?

    I think that we should know what is expected of us as 'instructors'. Should we develop and list a 'lesson plan'?

    Don't forget the more eloquent ones like the King and FP1, David Hunt, Roland......

    My vote for vinyl is The King
    for carpet Roland (David seems too specialized for a general course)
    For 3rd party test corrections I think Peter.

  17. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Suggestion: Decide first which manufacturer's product(s) you want to use for the training and then we need to contact the manufacturer's representative to ask permission to reproduce their instructions and other information here at TFP. Even though many instructions are available with the material or on their websites, it is still copyrighted and we need permission to reproduce it.

    Once we secure permission, then we find out who of our members would be qualified to be instructors, list them and let the members choose. That instructor should also be the one (or 2) grading the tests.

    The tests themselves should be composed in a professional manner and downloadable as a PDF file for anyone who wishes to take the test. The nature of this website is that it isn't restricted to specific time periods. You may find members wanting to take the tests 6 months or a couple years after their first introduction. It would be nice if we can accommodate that - and adjustments in the instructions and tests can be made as they are required to stay current with the product, as long as they are only minor changes (greater changes may warrant new "classes" and tests).

    Whenever possible, we should seek the support and advice of the product manufacturers, including their on or off-site assistance. It would foster greater cooperation and acceptance.

    Let's not jump into this without being fully prepared. This discussion is about the possibilities, I thought. Maybe another discussion about the specific aspects of the training should be started - one to select the course offering and its instructors, then another to begin the "class." I expect we'll have a slow and bumpy start, but it could develop into an on-going feature of this site that grows in popularity and support.

    Just my personal opinions.

  18. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Now we are starting to cook with great ideas. Jim you are so right. Lets build a very good solid foundation and I had not thought about it, but we may find it necessary to have different instructors for the different classes. KEEP IT UP

    BTW that Berry is the one and only Barry that the original poster did not check for correct spelling.:ohno::brick:
  19. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Maybe different instructors for different products. I.E.msahli for konneto, The King for Forbo, Rob Akin for Nora (all under the 'vinyl' subject) Daris or Roland for carpet, David Hunt for wovens (all under the 'carpet' subject), etc.

  20. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    Maybe Stullis and I can run the complaint dept.:D

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