Al Palmer

Technical Sales Director

What does a typical day look like for you at Polyco?

My primary goal is to get state DOTs familiar with our Rapid Digestion Process — introducing rubber into asphalt. I spend a lot of time explaining how I believe our product could benefit their roadways in terms of longevity, safety enhancements and working with DOTs on developing specifications. 

Once we have a specification, I work with contractors on getting trial projects down or making sure they know how to use the product and answer any questions. During these trials, it’s important to grab samples of materials and do additional testing so we know that the samples are meeting the specifications.

What did you do before joining Polyco?

I’ve always been an asphalt guy. After graduating from North Dakota State University in 1981, I worked on drilling rigs, extracting petroleum from the ground, for an oil field services company. From there, I worked for a county highway department in Minnesota, where I designed roads and used asphalt. That’s when I learned how to make asphalt hot mix — working with and combining aggregates and asphalt — and check specifications, making sure things were done properly. Then, I worked for a hot mix contractor and a private testing laboratory for a while, where I ran two mix design laboratories and did field quality control testing for contractors. Then, I joined the Asphalt Institute as a Regional Engineer. After that, I worked for several companies, including the largest asphalt supplier in the U.S., before joining Polyco.

What are you most excited about at Polyco?

Working with innovative products that are engineered well and people who are motivated to try. Our industry knows that there are benefits to using ground tire rubber, so the fact that we have engineered out a lot of the problems that previous iterations have had makes for an awesome conversation.

Why is sustainability at Polyco important?

I think sustainability is the message that is taking over our industry right now. It’s more important to the younger generation and Polyco fits right into that. I think Polyco is in a very good position to take advantage of that as long as we can continue to innovate and bring sustainable products to market.

What does the future look like for Polyco? 

Our Rapid Digestion Process is going to usher in new opportunities. For agencies, they’re going to like the benefits of RDP products, like Sigmabond. For contractors, they’re going to like the fact that our products are very easy to use. On the asphalt supplier blenders side, again, it’s an easy product to use, easy to meet specifications. 

What do you love to do outside of work?

I really enjoy playing golf, but I’m not very good at it. And, spending time with my family; my wife of 40 years, Sue, our adult children and grandkids.

“I think sustainability is the message that is taking over our industry right now. Polyco is in a very good position to take advantage of that as long as we can continue to innovate and bring sustainable products to market.”

Insights

Our experts share their thoughts on asphalt sustainability, innovation, safety and creating a culture of care.

Getting Hands-On with Asphalt at ATS

Our marketing team recently spent two exciting days digging deep into the science and testing behind asphalt mixtures at Asphalt Testing Solutions and Engineering (ATS) in Jacksonville, Florida. As a relative newcomer to the asphalt industry, I jumped at the opportunity to attend this immersive training course taught by the renowned Tanya Nash, P.E. The …

Featured Article: Rubberized Binders for Dense Graded Hot Mix Asphalt

As the Director of Technical Sales at Polyco, I’m excited to share highlights from a recent collaboration with Skip Brown, a seasoned figure in pavement consulting and Dr. Peter Sebaaly, Director of the Western Regional Superpave Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. With a career spanning over four decades in the pavement industry, I’ve …

SigmaBond Pushes the Limits of Sustainability

In our ongoing commitment to sustainable solutions for the paving industry, we’re diving deep into the groundbreaking possibilities of SigmaBond — our high-performing asphalt material made from waste tire rubber. Building upon our last blog post, “Harmonizing the Hallmarks of Sustainable Pavements,” where we looked at perpetual pavements and balanced mix design, this installment will …

Harmonizing the Hallmarks of Sustainable Pavements

In many sectors, including the asphalt pavement industry, sustainable materials are coming into play and are at the top of everyone’s agenda. Recycled asphalt pavement and shingles (RAP/RAS), waste tire rubber (WTR), plastics, glass – many scrap products find viable end uses in pavements. But focusing on materials alone is not enough to achieve truly …

Meet the Team – Bob Rivers

Polyco is delighted to announce that Bob Rivers is coming on board as the new Director of Technical Sales for the West of the Rockies region. With over 40 years working in asphalt paving and roofing, Bob brings a wealth of industry experience to his new role. We sat down with Bob to learn more …