What do most guys struggle with getting certified?

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by polestretch, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. polestretch

    polestretch Senior Member

    Just wondering for you guys who help out with CFI certification, is there any area that a lot of guys struggle with when getting certified? This is also open to those who have been to certification.
  2. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Seams is the killer, then power stretching. All the mistakes are made at the certification that you see on jobs. Depending on what category you are going if we can help or not. Lower categories we can help, show but you have to do it so it passes.
    Remember you have to have at least 2 years experience to even take the test. I have had guys and gals that have never run a seam iron before in those 2 years. The boss or leader didn't trust them so he did all the seams. In fact in Denver once I had a guy that had never used a seam iron and he had 50 years in the trade. He could sew though let me tell you. Must have been a 100 needle stuck in foam in his tool box lid. At the end of the day he could run a iron. He thanked me immensely.

  3. TwoStar

    TwoStar Maybe Three

    Can you be more specific? What are the problems?
  4. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Seams-gapping, overlap, ledging, sheared yarns,possibly cut wrong for the type of material. Doing a Lowes training once with Roland for Orcon he had a guy try to make a seam with the iron still in the tray.
    Powerstretching-don't know how to put it together, don't know how to use it, Pattern not straight-we allow 1/8" off in 8 feet. Thats basically one row of yarn. Ever see someone try to put a stretcher together standing on end. One time I laid a extension cord in with the stretcher. It was funny watching them try to figure out where to plug it in. Then trimming also comes into that catagory. Don't use a trimmer or how to use one, they just long knifed it off leaving a line on the base. I know I 've heard a thousand times if you hold the knife right it won't do that. BS!!!
    Had a father son team that trimmed in everything with a large pair of shears. Shears were super sharp and they buzzed right along with them, but not what we are looking for.
    Attitude and appearence also factor in.
    Just some of the things we look for.
    After doing 138 trainings and certifications I've seen and heard a lot. But the one thing that bothers me the most is you don't know how many people don't know how to READ.

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  5. twomly

    twomly Pro Member

    Hi Daris

    Thats just wierd i've never come across a fitter here in the UK that can't use a power strecher or even a seaming iron. My Father & Grandfather wouldn't let me touch carpet until i was able to seam, they made a deck up in the garage and i spent many evenings and weekends perfecting my seaming under they're watchfull eye. It didn't stop there i had to learn how to stitch too, Grand Father had a friend in demolition he managed to get hold of the bottom 2 steps of what must have been a grand staircase, these 2 steps were both bullnoses that returned round behind themselves. Yes i had to now learn how to stitch a bullnose and not cap and band this was not allowed they called it the lazy mans fitting. Which i thank them for dearly as i am able to stitch a bullnose quicker than any fitter can cap and band. Plus i always say a stitched bullnose fits and looks better than cap and band.

  6. Taurus Flooring

    Taurus Flooring Over 30yrs Experience

    The flooring trade is one of the few where you don't even need to know how to write your name in order to work in it. Therefore, many have joined the ranks looking for reasonable employment, unfortunately, they were also the ones willing to pay kickbacks and take lower rates to get the work. If the industry were to demand on at least a High School diploma, you'd see some big changes. You'd at the very least have installers who can speak the language of North America and maybe, just maybe, we'd see fewer hacks!
  7. twomly

    twomly Pro Member

    How right you are its the same here in the UK we seem to be getting Polish,Bosnian,Croatian and all nationalities that can barely speak english let alone write it down. And they're out there fitting carpet tiles for 0.75p a sqm under cutting us PROS who have been on our course's got our credentials and paid our do's to get these its wrong. Even to the point here in the UK before you can go on any construction site you have to sit a CSCS test after you've passed this you get your certificate and a little plastic card with your registration code this lets the main contractor know you have an understanding of site safety. Now my problem with this test is you can sit it in your spoken language how is that health and safety as all signs on site here are written in english.

  8. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Wow, like they can't read? Or they just can't comprehend what they're reading well? There's a big difference there. And 1/8'' in 8 feet...do they even make carpet that straight??:p Just kidding.
  9. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Kyle the reading part is so true. Some are dyslexic, some don't comprehend and others just flat out can't read. I'm sure that there hasn't been a certification I've been on that there wasn't someone with a reading problem of some sort. When this happens we try to discretely separate the person from the group as not to embarrass him and will read the test to them or give word meanings whatever it takes to pass the written part short of giving the answers. Usually when you read a person the test they give you the answer before you can read the multiple choices to them. They can't read doesn't mean they are stupid. U susally these people have handskills that are second to none. They seem to make up for their problems in another way.

  10. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    I don't think any of my apprentices I've trained over the years were illiterate but I work with quite a few who don't have grade school math skills. Needless to say they can't pass the journeyman test and typically drop out of the apprenticeship program. I've encouraged them to attend adult education classes at night and the school can also give them as much remedial help as they need but they have to ask and be willing to put the time in.

    Our apprenticeship, and I believe most others are affiliated with the State Department of Education-----at least to the degree that they are regulated and have to meet certain accreditation standards that any school would. I'm not sure if there are any tax dollars that go to help fund the program.
  11. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I know about the grade school math thing very well. My 17 year old grand daughter asked me 2 very simple math questions within 5 minutes of one another. "how many times does 2 go into 18?" I didn't believe it. Her answer was we use calculators all the time when I questioned her down. I worked for a school teacher shortly after that and was talking to her about it her answer was "well they use calculators so they don't have to know simple math." I don't think that says much for our school systems at all.
    I think that is where most of the fault lies. Sorry if I stepped on someone's toes.

  12. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    I had an installer/helper for 9 years who couldn't learn to read a tape. Once the carpet was laid out, he could do anything. He was fantastic at upholstery work. But no way he could have passed any test.
  13. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    I know I've been sent out on many VERY simple projects with apprentices that would and SHOULD be running these jobs on their own. I feel like a baby sitter. I'm there to snap the chalk lines, measure, argue with the other trades and yell a the superintendent. You know, the hard stuff.
  14. Sean Moore

    Sean Moore Pro Member

    bahahahaha! I actually loled.

    You have to flex the slotted blade. it's the same thing most of us do when we trim to glazing or wood base on glue down. I only do this on stretch in in very specific instances, mostly in linen closets.

    Would that be French, English or Spanish? All three are widely used in the three countries that comprise North America.

    Not often. I always figured that's why you were supposed to get 1%-1.5% stretch. The fudge factor is in there to fix the pattern at the wall.

    I worked with a guy once who just could not get the fractions. "38 inches and a big one and a small one." "Ken... just count the sixteenths."
  15. FloorDoc

    FloorDoc Resting In Peace Charter Member

    I have found that most guys are more willing to demonstrate their skills rather then learn a new and possibly better way of doing things. That being said I have learned so much by installers showing me a few tricks that were absoutely brilliant. In the CII category is just a matter, (besides having the skills set), of being familiar with all the backings. Not just being able to identify, but have had worked with. Commercial installation should not be a classroom lesson but what you can learn on a larger commercial job with an experianced crew is priceless.
  16. UncleCliffie

    UncleCliffie Charter Member

    I had an installer that had been at it for nearly 20 years. I( had him doing a job in a house once and the owner called me to see if we could do the stairs as well. I asked the installer to measure them for me since he was working there anyway. He came in the next moring and I asked him how much material would the steps take. He told me he did not have time to measure them. I went 0over to measurre them up, and the customeer told me the installer had crawled all over the steps and just threw up his hands and left. There was 2 sets of pies, and he did not know how to figure them. I was always telling him there was X amount for the steps plus X for the pies. He would make it work, but did not have a clue how I arrived at the size. 20 years, and could not figure a set of steps.
    Go figure!
    Dick Johnson
  17. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    The biggest problem that I have noticed is really not their workmanship. It is #1 worrying to much about the test and being watched, just relax, be yourself and do what you do everyday and almost everyone can handle it.
    #2 When you get the studt guide they do not at lest look it over.
    #3 Coming in thinking they know everything, None of use know evrything and I as a certifiyer am always looking to learn. I have leaned and seen so my neat things thru the years.
    Wrap up, just do what you do everyday and be yourself.

    Roland Thompson
  18. Sean Moore

    Sean Moore Pro Member

    How much would RII and CII cost, all in one sitting? How many days?

    How many installers is "worth it" for a CFI testing member to hold an event?

    I don't care about master because I'm never going to hold a needle again. Those willing can take the jobs that require it.

    Oh, and why do you have to identify backings? Isn't that what the label is for?
  19. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    Ok I will try and answer some of this for you. The pricing is as follow's
    For 290.00 you can go after R1 AND C1 you have to get the 1's first before going after the II.
    Now you can go after the 4 level's in the first go round and only pay at that time for the one's you recieve.
    It cost 290.00 for R-2 and 290.00 for C-2.
    Very few installers recieve all 4 levels in the one day of testing, it is normally the C-2 that they do not make it thru. There is alot more then just hands on to get the C-2 you need to walk us thru moisture testing and more.
    Now do not get me wrong I am not saying anyone of you all could not make all 4, just that it makes you work a little.
    why no backing's? Well in a perfect world we as installers would know ahead of time the backing we are working with, but to many times we show up to pick up and surprise a new backing, we need to understand if the way the company is telling us or having us install it is right.
    We also know not everyone has worked with all the backings and if an installer flyes through everything else we are going to be working with them to understand the backing to get thru.
    How many installers do you need to do a certification? Well normally if you need to bring in certifiers, and have everything shipped in it would take around 12 to 15 installers.
    Now in my area we have all the thing's needed to do the certification. Also we have a senior and regoinal certifiers so we can hold down the cost that they need to spend to put one on, we now can do one in this area with 5 or more. CFI is working trying to make more areas with this posiblity.

    Man this is alot for me to type.
  20. rugrat

    rugrat Pro Member

    I had to take the "Install Certification" 3 months before I retired.:confused: The union rule was that you would be replaced on a job if a guy on the list had certification and you didn't.:eek:

    I went to take the test and recognized one of the instructors was a guy I worked with in a shop I left. The other guy was a difficult person, to be polite.:rolleyes: The carpet was a rock. You started by watching a video, handed a plan, then did a cement direct, a tack and pad, with mitre, and border, and three waterfall steps with 2 spindles on each.

    There were 10 of us at the time. 4 men didn't follow the dementions on the plan. 2 riped their seam open with the power stretcher. 2 needed allot of help to complete the steps. :ohno:

    I was told 1/2 the guys that took the test could have failed if instructors weren't told to help them pass. :blink:

    I asked for a bucket of hot water, the instructor smiled, and that carpet stretched nice.:yesss:

    #1 reason for failure was men got nervous being judged and couldn't think. #2 lack of experience with the steps.:eek:

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