The editor of another Hanley Wood magazine, one of our residential construction titles, once asked me how we could ever find enough new and interesting material on concrete to fill 12 issues a year. I patiently explained to him that not only could we fill 12 issues, but that with all of the things we felt our readers wanted to know about, we just never seemed to have enough editorial pages.

Luckily, we occasionally get some extra pages by stepping out of the normal cycle of monthly magazines and presenting a special issue focusing on a single topic—or several closely related topics—as is the case with the issue you hold in your hand. For the concrete contractor, the critical stage in a construction project, the part that keeps him awake at night trying to cover every possible contingency, is between when the concrete hits the forms or the ground and when it is gets hard. There are so many things that need to go right: get the concrete consolidated, finish the slab to get a flat, durable surface, then cure it to make sure it stays durable even if the weather turns against you.

We searched for a term that would encompass this phase of the job and came up with “concrete in place.” That seems to encompass the work done on the plastic concrete, from the moment it comes down the chute or out of the pump hose to when you walk away confident that you've built something to be proud of.

This special issue is being sponsored by Wacker Construction Equipment, manufacturer of many different kinds of concrete construction equipment, including vibrators, trowels, and (through their recently acquired subsidiary Ground Heaters Inc.) hydronic heating systems. But this magazine is not an advertisement for Wacker. While their technical representatives contributed to some of the articles in this issue, they had no control over the content. This is truly a special issue of CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION with the same level of unbiased technical expertise that you have come to expect.

While the opening article on consolidation is from a relative newcomer to the concrete industry, I think you will find it an outstanding primer on the topic. That is followed by tips on finishing slabs from three of the true giants of the business—Jerry Holland, Wayne Walker, and Bob Simonelli—who combined know more about slabs than any three people alive. If you follow their guidance, your work is guaranteed to improve on your next job. And last, but certainly not least, are some tips on cold weather concrete work from Ken Hover who has taught a similar class at World of Concrete for many years and who is recognized as the most energetic and intelligent teacher in the industry.

We hope you enjoy this special issue. If there are special topics you'd like us to cover next year, let me know.

Editor in Chief