Industry keeps rising to the occasion

Public health matters, travel restrictions and a bow to limited gathering realities preempted our plan to distribute this issue at the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association ConcreteWorks Conference and Expo, originally scheduled for next month in Colorado, along with the National Mixer Truck Driver Championship. Concrete Products shares the disappointment producers, drivers and others feel with the absence of a productive powwow at the Gaylord Rockies Resort, but looks forward to marking National Mixer Driver Appreciation Week, October 5-9, and the virtual ConcreteWorks, October 7-8.

Read More

Essential, responsible employers lessen need for OSHA virus exposure standard

Our Chairman’s Report series continues this month with visits to Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute’s Marshall Brown (ACM Chemistries; pages 50-52) and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s J. Seroky (High Concrete Group; pages 54-57). When asked how their organizations addressed national and state government pandemic response mandates from mid-March on, their refrains are consistent with what we heard last month from 2020 National Concrete Masonry Association Chairman Tom Finch (RCP Block & Brick): Producers successfully expedited new measures to identify and isolate potential virus spread among team members and customers. Thanks to online conferencing tools, ICPI, NCMA and PCI members have been able to spontaneously share best practices and metrics for ensuring healthy workplaces in unchartered waters.

Read More

Cement, concrete hold steady as minor GHG emissions data points

Technology Trends’ Craig Yeack breaks down cement savings and carbon dioxide emissions reduction math in a report on ready mixed production and the CarbonCure Technologies process. Outside of fly ash, admixtures and blended binders, CarbonCure’s dosing and injection technology is among the most widely adopted tools for lowering embodied carbon in finished concrete.

Read More

ACI, ASTM reinforce Building Safety Month

Poster

Two months of safety advisory overload have helped curtail negligible to fatal respiratory infection. A shorter window of critical safety advice prevails in May with backing from the American Concrete Institute and other advocates for building integrity and occupant or public wellbeing. Of all organizations serving architecture/engineering/construction, ACI is uniquely qualified to champion “Safer Buildings, Safer Communities, Safer World,” the theme of the International Code Council’s-designated Building Safety Month.

Read More

Better quarters ahead

Our remotely operating magazine staff has had few complications conducting business since the middle of March. We press onward to provide quality content, unable to fully ascertain the challenges readers confront with process changes, worker safety provisions, production scheduling, and material or product delivery amid pandemic response.

Read More

Argos driver hands NLRB a vehicle to affirm sound cell phone policy

A top ready mixed producer’s alleged unfair practices case has spawned a decision demonstrating the National Labor Relations Board’s return to decades-old, court-tested standards and National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) interpretations. It triggered a welcome rebuke of agency actions under the Obama administration, many of them skewed to Big Labor or injecting ambiguity in routine union grievance and employer response reviews.

Read More

Waters rule counters Washington swamp

Release of the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Army Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) spotlighted Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting requirements that constrain land use, limit property rights, and drive up business or consumer costs. Indeed, preliminary estimates suggest NWPR adoption yielding upward of $500 million in permit streamlining and related savings annually.

Read More

Ten years of big developments

The past decade brought advances in fleet management technology, plant equipment and materials, along with merger and acquisition activity and new market demands certain to shape ready mixed and manufactured concrete in the 2020s. In ready mixed, producers incurred higher costs of EPA 2010-compliant diesel trucks, but realized new quality control, customer relationship and cost management opportunities from GPS, telematics, Internet of Things tools and data analytics.

Read More

Safety levels, workforce pool sure to take hit from marijuana legalization

The National Mixer Driver Championship is one of the most successful efforts to date from National Ready Mixed Concrete Association members and staff. We look forward to covering the event (pages 14-15) and joining in a salute to drivers and the competence, professionalism and sound judgment they exude. Ready mixed producers and their mainline trucking peers could use more commercial driver’s license holders or candidates exhibiting such qualities, yet are likely to see fewer in the fallout of a highly questionable trend among state legislatures: Legalizing recreational cannabis or marijuana use.

Read More