This is what I love to do!

Posted: August 24, 2018
Last modified: August 24, 2018

When Phil Hernandez takes inventory, he’s not adding up pushpins and paper clips; he’s counting heavy equipment. And finding ways to keep up with all the powerful machinery that’s rebuilding Interstate 4 (I-4) is a big job full of multiple tasks.

As Equipment Manager, Hernandez is responsible for tracking the positions, usage and maintenance of 1,500 pieces of equipment, including 49 cranes and an assortment of earthmovers, bulldozers, front-end loaders, backhoes, pile drivers, graders, attenuator trucks, concrete milling machines and street sweepers.

The manager, who has 30 years’ experience in the construction field also coordinates, approves and reviews all crane location plans, including the complicated lifts that often occur in tight quarters and require extra planning to maintain safety and efficiency.

While conferring with younger or less experienced managers and workers, Hernandez also mentors those who need his help. He loves talking with his fellow employees while building the relationships needed to sustain good teamwork. With all of those duties, what constitutes a good day on the job for this equipment manager?

“Being out in the field where the work is being built, meeting with employees, addressing any of their concerns and furthering their development,” said Hernandez, who works for SGL – the joint construction project of Skanska, Granite and Lane.

With equipment inspections, training, employee onboarding and employee retention among the items also on his plate, Hernandez does not have a lot of spare time. But he enjoys spending it with family or getting some exercise.

No surprise that he also uses some of that time to think about ways “to further develop employees on the I-4 Ultimate Project.”

In a way, he’s following a time-honored tradition in the construction trade. “I have had great mentors over the years, and I was trained to always ‘Train my Replacement,’” Hernandez said. “This is what I love to do!”