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The Concrete Times April 2015

The CONCRETE Times • APR 2015 monthly columnist - jay shilstone mix design. Combined aggregate gradings could be reproduced that would be best suited to appropriate particle shape and texture. Implement education and certification requirements for concrete producers so they can rise up from the “trucker” mentality. There is still a place for the Mom and Pop producer, but usually not on a 10,000 psi high-rise. (Do I need to slip in that we need to switch to the metric system like the rest of the world?) At a recent presentation I sat in on, Pierre Villere, noted ready mix management consultant, stated that during the recent economic downturn the concrete companies that were the most stable were the Mom and Pops in Smalltown, USA. Recognize the importance of outsourcing functions that Mom and Pops can’t reproduce. Switch from a “low bid” mentality to a “lowest responsible bid” mentality where a concrete producer must demonstrate an ability to produce the required class of concrete in order to be able to bid on a job. Apply similar changes to Contractors. There is no place on a commercial project for a Contractor who assigns a laborer to watch concrete going into a pump 16 and spray water from a hose into the pump hopper when the concrete looks “dry”. I know there are other factors beyond what I have cited here, but I could write a novel about the subject. I have already gone way over my normal limit on article size, but this is a topic that I think is important for our industry. Also, it presents goals that I think are achievable. It will all start with a designer who specifies a project appropriately rather than just doing a cut-and-paste from previous projects. I’m sure that some people who read this blog are unhappy about some of my statements. I know there are great designers out there, and great contractors and great concrete producers (both large and small). However, I also know that many times contract documents are written for the “lowest common denominator” and to protect Owners and the public from the bad apples out there. It is time we start writing proper specifications and prevent the bad apples from bidding and start treating the concrete industry like the professional industry it can be. Until next time, Jay Shilstone


The Concrete Times April 2015
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