In the current era of wheeling and dealing, when contractors can buy slightly used construction equipment for cents on the dollar, you get a bargain in this editorial as well—seven editorials for the price of one.
- First, you'll likely notice the addition of our Decorative Buyer's Guide in this issue. This easy-to-use directory covers all the products and services relative to the decorative concrete contractor.
- As the Information Age advances, so goes CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION. Check out our LinkedIn group and follow us on Twitter @ConcreteConst and @WomeninConcrete. All can be accessed by visiting www.concreteconstruction.net. Additionally, we receive dozens of press releases per week regarding industry news, events, projects, standards, and more. Be sure to check the news section on the magazine site as well the social network sites regularly as we post new content daily.
- Also on our Web site is an area dedicated to the CC Field Test: Curling & Shrinkage. Click on the Field Test icon to find feature articles, mix designs, laser scans of the floor, slideshows, videos, and more.
- Recently, we launched a Finishing Tools Field Test. This test examines the affect standard finishing hand tools have on the surface regions of fresh concrete. Both air entrained and nonentrained concrete was placed for the test. A gracious “thanks” goes out to the Garceaus at Butterfield Color for allowing us to place concrete for the test at their Aurora, Ill., facility. Also to Bernie Erlin, owner of the Erlin Co., Latrobe, Pa., for petrographic examinations on the core samples taken from the test areas. Detailed results will be published later this year.
- A number of editorial features in the upcoming months require user-generated content. Currently, we are accepting nominations for our Decorative Concrete Projects of the Year and the GreenSite Projects of the Year. Both are excellent opportunities for you to show off your latest work.
- Last month, we published an Infrastructure supplement examining the relationship between contractors, DOTs, concrete, and the infrastructure, including how concrete contractors can submit and win government-related bids. Feedback from readers has been tremendous. If you would like more information or a copy of the supplement, please drop me an e-mail.
- Finally, we often are asked about the morale of contractors and manufacturers in our industry. At the recent American Society of Concrete Contractor's CEO Forum, moods varied from optimistic to tempered as contractors proceed cautiously into the second half of the year. One concern among contractors is the health of the commercial market. Some expect the market to drop to 2004–2005 levels of construction, still not too bad, according to some contractors. Manufacturers on the other hand are faced with a buyer's market as inventories grow, and profits recede. At a recent Bobcat media event, company officials expressed optimism because of their diverse line of equipment. On the flip side, I have spoken with tool manufacturers targeting specific niches of the industry, many of whom are anxious about the unpredictable nature of today's industry. Time will tell.