Jason Moser, AKA @Jalumo_1973 on Instagram, was officially the second member to join the Arc-Zone Pro Partnership. Jason specializes in heavy fabrication and repair of road construction equipment and has been in the industry for roughly 20 years. Some might say he is the epitome of the professional welder… He works for the man, is as humble as they come, and takes much pride in what he does and loves. One thing you wouldn’t know about Jason from his Instagram pics is that he has a heavy, southern accent… It’s always a treat to get him on the phone and hear him talk ;)
Q: How old were you when you first got into welding and what initially sparked your interest?
A: I started welding around 17 or 18. Like most teenage boys I had a classic ride and big dreams of a restoration. Fortunately, my brother-in-law owned his own body shop. In return for my work at the shop, he gave me the back stall and let me work on my own rig after business hours. That’s where I sparked my first arc.
Q: How did you get your training? Educational experience/work experience?
A: All of my training and education has been good old fashioned OJT! With limited welding experience when I started my current job, I had to work hard and pay my dues. I started 16 years ago as a general laborer on a bridge maintenance crew where I kept bugging the crew leader enough that I got promoted to a welder’s helper. When I got my proper bridge welding certification, I was quickly promoted to a Bridge Repairer. I spent the next 5 years under the hood, burnin’ rods and doing some pretty interesting bridge work, and learning from the more experienced guys. When the time was right, I was promoted to my current job, district welder. Over the years, I have been extremely fortunate to work with some really talented welders, fabricators and machinists. A few of these guys really took me under their wing, and shared priceless knowledge. I am extremely grateful to these old timers.
Q: Where do you work now?
A: Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department and I have my own personal shop at home.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the job?
A: My favorite aspect of my job is definitely the variety. Yes, it is all heavy equipment, but it is something different all of the time. On any given day, I could do mig, tig, stick, or braze–inside the shop or out in the field. It really keeps you guessing and I love that!!
Q: What’s the biggest welding challenge you’ve ever faced?
A: The biggest challenge I face is trying to juggle the new equipment fabrication and the repair and maintenance of the older equipment. With over 1,200 pieces of equipment in my district, something is always in need of repair. We are also adding to that number constantly so there is a lot of new equipment set-up and fabrication. It is a never ending cycle!
Q: What’s the most fun you’ve ever had working on a welding project?
A: The most fun I have is the new equipment fabrication. I ‘ve gotten to build and prototype several different pieces of equipment like snow plow set-ups, lane closure mobile signs, specialty buckets and grapples. However, my absolute favorite is building the new rigs for all of the different crews we have. Whether it be a simple dump truck, a bridge repair boom truck, crew work trucks or anything in between, you really get to put your own flare on some of these rigs. That in itself is rewarding.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to while welding?
A: METAL!!!!!! I love classic metal and some of the new stuff, too. If you ain’t listen’ to metal while workin’ metal, you’re in the wrong line of work!!
Q: And for the most important question…. Tell us what your favorite drink is?
A: Most definitely, ice cold beer (even a hot beer if I’m desperate). I also enjoy crown and coke or just crown.
Q: Do you have any hobbies on the side?
A: I love working on Willys jeeps in my free time. The family and I enjoy backroading and seeing the Arkansas country out of a 1946 jeep. When I’m not with family or under the hood, you can find me behind a drum set almost every weekend.
Q: Where do you see yourself and/or your business in the next ten years?
A: In the next 10 years I will be close to retirement at my regular gig. By then, I hope to have my own personal fabrication and welding shop really going.
Q: Who do you look up to in the industry?
A: There are so many talented guys and gals out there it’s impossible to choose. I really look up to the beginners and newcomers putting their work out on IG. Takes guts to put something out there and ask for critique or advice, so I always try to help if I can.
Q: Last but not least, what advice would you give to folks just starting out?
A: My advice to the newcomers would be to try not to get so caught up in technique or style in the beginning. There is no substitute for time under the hood, lookin’ out that little window at the blue light! If you put the work in you WILL get there.
The entire Arc-Zone Team is incredibly excited for our upcoming projects with our Pro Partners, so stay tuned!
Be sure to follow the Arc-Zone.com Pro Partnership™ movement on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter at #arczonepropartnership.
If there’s a question we missed that you want to ask Jason, just comment in the section below!