We Value People: Max Vachon
As a millennial in construction, Max Vachon loves all that the industry has to offer. However, a career in construction didn’t seem like a realistic option until college.
“During college, I would always spend my summers helping out in local construction back at home,” Max said. “After graduation, I started working for a concrete and earthwork subcontractor where my interest in the construction industry really began to take off.”
Equipped with a degree in computer informatics from Arizona State University, Max soon found employment at Blount Contracting, the Southwest Division of WW Clyde, where he’s been for four and a half years.
“I love the technological advancements that have come to the construction industry,” Max said. “There’s so much software at our disposal in this day and age. WW Clyde is near the top of the list when it comes to subcontractors who are utilizing software solutions for projects.”
Max started out as a takeoff technician at Blount before transitioning to a project engineer and then to his current role of project manager. As a project manager, Max helps the company work through the complex details of its shoring projects.
“A lot of consideration has to be taken into account at our shoring sites,” Max said. “If it’s an active roadway that we’re working next to, you need to know how much weight is going to be moving along the surface of the road at any given time. We work with the general contractor and the construction crews to ensure the general public is not impacted, and future construction operations are taken into account so that our system functions seamlessly and safely through the lifespan of the project.”
The shoring process itself is quite technical in nature and requires expert attention to detail, something that has become second nature to Max.
“To start a shoring project, we take a look at exactly what’s trying to be accomplished,” Max said. “Our estimating team then works to develop plans to make sure we have accounted for the on-site conditions and methodology for shoring systems that may be employed.
“The second item that’s evaluated is the soil. If you’re putting up a shoring wall, what type of earth are you working with? Sandy material won’t stick together. Clay is also a big consideration. You need to make sure you have the right approach from a design standpoint for each of these factors. From there, the engineers are able to put together a design.”
Max appreciates working for a company with so much experience on the technical side of construction.
“At WW Clyde’s Southwest Division, we have plenty of historical expertise working in shoring,” Max said. “Some job sites are more difficult to shore than others and require special tools, such as a temporary casing or compact drill rigs. It’s a fairly technical process, but our experience doing it has given us an edge.
“For most construction companies, it’s too much of an investment to learn how to be successful at shoring, and we’re able to do 3-4 shoring projects per year in part because of that.”
Max has learned his fair share of lessons from being part of Blount’s successes.
“Don’t be deterred from failures,” Max said. “Take what you learn in your setbacks and use that to help you improve. Stick with it for the short- and long-term aspects of your career. I’ve found that over time, things do get easier.”
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