Read what others have said on previous The Concrete Producer Quick Poll topics.


Concrete associations are making a concerted effort to stop market share loss to wood. How important are their efforts to your business?
Very important: 40%
Somewhat important:20%
Neutral: 20%
Not very important: 0%
Not important at all: 20%

Telematics: What does it mean to you and your company?
We’ve invested in fleet telematics and seen an improvement in productivity: 17%
We are considering investing in fleet telematics: 49%
We do not plan on investing in fleet telematics: 17%
We do not know enough about fleet telematics to make a decision at this time: 17%

Should Peyton Manning be honored with a concrete statue? If so, where?
Yes: 76%
No: 24%
Where: Denver, U of Tennessee Campus, Indianapolis, Knoxville, TN, The White House.

Which trade/industry events do you plan on attending this year?
World of Concrete: 70%
The Precast Show: 10%
ACI Spring or Fall Conventions: 10%
NRMCA Annual Convention: 0%
NRMCA Concrete Sustainability Conference: 0%
NTEA Work Truck Show: 0%
Bauma: 0%
NRMCA ConcreteWorks: 10%


What will influence your operations next year?
New technology: 13%
Driver recruitment and retention efforts: 50%
Advancements in concrete mixes: 18%
Millennial workforce: 13%
All of the above: 6%
None of the above: 0%

Are you experiencing fly ash shortages in your area?
Yes: 90%
No: 10%

What are you doing to recruit ready-mix drivers? (check all that apply)
We are counting on employee referrals: 28%
We offer training to drivers who already have a CDL: 27%
We are using social media to recruit drivers: 20%
We haven’t really figured out a plan yet: 10%
We recruit at technical schools: 9%
Other: 6% (Job fares, signing incentives, signs in front of plants and offices, Local media only, Signs on interstate highway, Ads in newspaper, Electronic Sign display, Media campaign and other)

Most respondents of the TCP Survey answered that they plan to hire drivers for 2015. Have you noticed a shortage of qualified ready-mixed drivers?
Yes, it has slowed down the hiring process: 83%
No, we haven’t had a problem: 17%
We aren’t hiring drivers at this time: 0%

How often do you hold safety meetings at your company?
Monthly: 0%
Weekly: 50%
As the need arises: 50%
Other: 0%
Never: 0%

We recently covered a news story about a company that plans to turn dog poop into concrete slabs. Would you ever consider using dog poop in your concrete mix?
Yes: 33%
No: 67%

What issues do you experience with supplying value-added products?
Educating customers: 50%
None: 12.5%
Perfecting concrete mixes/products with new materials: 12.5%
Other: 25% (Cost, educating customers, Persuading engineers to specify)

Is your company spending more, less, or the same on capital equipment in 2015, compared to 2014?
Same: 50%
Less: 25%
More: 25%

What brand of trucks do you use for ready mix transit mixers? (check all that apply)
Mack: 21%
Kenworth: 16%
Oshkosh: 13%
Peterbuilt: 10%
Advance: 10%
International: 9%
McNeilus: 8%
Freightliner: 4%
Sterling: 3%
Schwing: 2%
Volvo: 2%
Ford: 2%

Which of the following “value-added” products do you provide to your customers (check all that apply)?
Roller-compacted concrete: 7%
Self-consolidating concrete: 12%
Controlled low-strength material: 9%
Integrally colored concrete: 16%
Lightweight concrete: 14%
High fly-ash mixes: 10%
Macrofiber mixes: 16%
Steel fiber mixes: 16%

With gas and diesel prices dropping to their lowest point in years, contractors are saving money on fuel. But are there any negatives to the low oil prices?
Mostly positive: 33%
Bad for us: 33%
100% positive: 17%
Some negatives: 17%

Should ASTM C-94 be revised?
Yes: 80%
No: 20%


Are you planning a holiday shutdown?
Yes: 100%
No: 0%

Did you shut down operations this time last year?
Yes: 100%
No: 0%

How long do you plan on shutting down? (3 months, 3 days, Between Christmas and New Years, 3 weeks)

Are you planning to provide holiday gifts to your customers?
Yes: 55%
No: 45%

Are you planning to provide holiday gifts to your employees?
Yes: 82%
No: 18%

Did you give gifts in 2013?
Yes: 82%
No: 18%

Do you plan to order more Class 8, Severe-Duty chassis in 2015 than you did in 2014?
Yes: 67%
No: 33%

Do you plan to order more pick-ups and support vehicles in 2015 than you did in 2015?
Yes: 100%
No: 0%

Do you plan on ordering any alternative-fueled vehicles in 2015?
Yes: 100%
No: 0%

Are residential concrete prices increasing in your market area?
Yes: 43%
No: 57%
Not Sure: 0%

Are you posting increases for 2015 projects?
Yes: 43%
No: 43%
Not Sure: 14%

Are your operating margins improving for 2014?
Yes: 63%
No: 25%
Not Sure: 13%

Do you think the design community’s interest in resiliency will help the growth of the concrete industry?
Yes: 100%
No: 0%

With Microsoft considering reducing support of older software versions, do you see your company investing in new IT solutions in 2014-2015?
Yes: 100%
No: 0%

As global conglomerates reshuffle their portfolios, do you expect a return of the domestic-owned mid-sized producer in your area?
Yes: 50%
No: 50%

With the increase likelihood of jobsite video recording, Do you:
Train employees on the subject of jobsite video exposure: 10%
Discuss jobsite video recording exposure with the owner or contractors in pre-job or pre-bid documents: 0%
Request copies of all videos taken of your vehicles while delivering to jobsite: 0%
All of the above: 40%
None of the above: 50%

In February, the American Coal Ash Association reported the EPA has strongly signaled that those rules will avoid any “hazardous waste” designation. This ruling should eliminate any legal concerns for producers about using fly ash. If you are not using fly ash in your mixes, what best explains the reason:
There is not a fly ash source in our area: 23%
The cost of fly ash is too high to justify the investment in storage and testing: 33%
We don’t see the benefit in incorporating fly ash in our recipes: 11%
Our customers see no benefit in incorporating fly ash in our recipes: 0%
Other: 33% (Great variation in the consistency of the loi in the ash, inconsistency of supply, we use GGBF slag cement and mineral admixture instead of fly ash)

In February, the American Coal Ash Association reported the EPA has strongly signaled that those rules will avoid any “hazardous waste” designation. This ruling should eliminate any legal concerns for producers about using fly ash. Based on this information: How are you planning on incorporating fly ash as ingredient in your recipes?
Change, we will try to use more fly ash in our recipes: 55%
No change, we use fly ash in all our recipes: 36%
No change, we do not use fly ash: 9%

Why/how did you enter the concrete industry? (Check all that apply)
Interesting work: 26%
Family/friend referral: 19%
Needed a job: 17%
Studied construction in school:15%
My family's business: 9%
Good pay: 4%
Economic necessity: 0%
Other: 10% (By mistake, Batchman quit, Promotion from Branch Manager to Manger of Concrete Operations at home office, Transitioned from paint and Coating business, Like the industry)

Approximately what percentage of women work at your place of employment?
0-20: 87%
21-40: 13%
41-60: 0%
61-80: 0%
81-100: 0%


How do think the OHSA’s proposed rules will affect your safety procedures and compliance expenses?
I have not read the proposed rules and cannot comment: 50%
I don’t anticipate any significant changes to either our safety procedures or compliance expenses: 33%
I anticipate some minors changes to our safety procedures, with little increase in compliance expenses: 17%
I anticipate some major changes to our safety procedure, with little increase in compliance expenses: 0%
I have not read the proposed rules and cannot comment: 0%

With 2013 nearing its end, which phrase best describes your business this year?
Much better than expected: 19%
Our recovery has finally started: 10%
Business met our expectations: 29%
Still slower than we’d like: 27%
Glad the year is ending: 15%

How do you participate in green building?
Self-consolidating (SCC): 35%
Roller-compacted (RCC): 3%
Decorative: 35%
Pervious: 10%
Lightweight: 0%
Other: 17% (Internal Curing, Ekkomaxx Carbon Neutral Non Portland Cement Concrete, Low Shrink, Fiber-reinforced, None)

How do you participate in green building?
Providing environmentally friendly products: 25%
Running cleaner operations (plants and/or vehicles): 17%
Building sustainable or resilient structures: 11%
Helping customers meet green building standards: 14%
All of the above – It’s just the way we do business: 19%
None of the above – Green building is a dying trend: 14%

What community relations activities do you do?
Cookouts: 13%
Open houses: 13%
Paint trucks for a cause: 7%
Sponsor local teams/businesses: 44%
Environmental activities: 10%
Other: 13% (None, "Involvement with economic development boards," "We support local charities and groups & participate in A LOT of Touch-A-Trucks!")

Do you rent any vehicles or plant equipment instead of buying?
Yes: 25%
No: 75%
If so, what kind? (Pickup trucks, Delivery Trucks, Deere Front loader, Mixer trucks, Vehicles for material supply and delivery of cement products, Yellow iron, Rolling stock, We rent ready mix trucks, Fork Truck, Block making machine)

Now that we’re almost halfway through 2013, has any sector been pleasantly surprising in terms of jobs being bid?
Residential: 43%
Commercial: 23%
Institutional: 9%
Infrastructure: 7%
Other: 18% (Agriculture, None, No; worse than expected)

What kind of new equipment do you plan to buy in 2013?
Ready-mix trucks: 35%
Software: 19%
Plant equipment: 9%
Forms: 7%
Mobile devices: 7%
General construction vehicles: 2%
Other trucks: 2%
Other: 19% (Batch Controls, Trailer Pump, New Batch Plant Precast, Home & Garden Equipment, None)

What’s been the most important development in concrete admixtures over the past decade?
Polycarboxylate water reducers: 33%
Hardening accelerators: 17%
Self-consolidating concrete: 13%
Viscosity modifiers: 10%
Other water reducers: 7%
Colloidal silica: 3%
Macro synthetic fibers:3%
Retarders: 3%
Self-leveling concrete: 3%
Super absorbent polymer: 3%

How much concrete is being used in your region's infrastructure?
Less than five years ago: 50%
More than five years ago: 31%
About the same: 19%

Where are you located?
Midwest: 38%
Northeast: 25%
Southeast: 13%
Northwest: 13%
Mid-Atlantic: 6%
Southwest: 6%
West Coast: 0%

What structural products are concrete's biggest competitors in your infrastructure market?
Answers: Asphalt Paving, Asphalt, Metal Railing, Block, Steel.

Has your infrastructure work increased since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009?
Yes, we've had at least one stimulus-funded project: 21.43%
No, we didn't pick up any extra work: 53.57%
Maybe, it's hard to tell: 25%

Do you plan to hire in 2013?
Yes: 62.11%
No: 23.37%
It's too early to tell: 10.53%


With the year winding down, how would you describe 2012?
Our business continued to improve: 34.21%
It wasn’t the greatest, but we’ve seen worse: 31.58%
Glad it's over; bring on 2013: 28.07%
We turned the corner: 6.14%

How will the Nov. 6 election results affect your business?
Hurt it: 81.68%
Make no difference: 10.47%
Help it: 6.28%
Other: 1.57%

How often do you hold safety meetings at your company?
Monthly: 39.51%
Weekly: 33.33%
As the need arises: 12.35%
Other: 8.64%
Never: 6.17%

Have you discussed the Affordable Care Act (new Health Care law) with your employees or informed them how it will affect them?
No: 51%
Yes: 26%
We plan to do so: 23%

Is your company spending more, less, or the same on capital equipment in 2012, compared to 2011?
Less: 47%
More: 36%
Same: 17%

With 2012 half over, have you manufactured as much concrete as you had expected?
More: 43%
Less: 36%
As much as we expected: 21%

Summer is here. Do you have any special events planned for your workforce?
Have a cookout/picnic at the plant.: 26.92%
Nothing special planned.: 26.92%
Other: 19.23%
Have a fun day at a local park.: 15.38%
Go to a local event/sporting event.: 11.54%

Participating on industry committees is one way to discuss concrete-related issues and to develop solutions to problems. Do you attend any industry meetings?
I am a member of at least one industry committee.: 68%
I sometimes attend committee meetings but am not a member.: 0%
Not currently, although I have in the past.: 12%
No and I never have.: 20%

Are you confident that a new U.S. infrastructure spending bill will increase your business?
Yes: 26%
No: 58%
I'm not sure 16%

Do you restrict your drivers' cellphone and/or texting while on the job?
Cellphone use 1%
Texting 3%
Both 89%
Neither 7%

What is the future of roller-compacted concrete?
It's an innovative way to capture business from asphalt: 66%
It looks interesting, but I need to be convinced there is a future for it: 17%
It's a bit too out-of-the box. Let asphalt keep the market: 17%


We are about to ring out 2011 and welcome 2012. How will you remember this year?
It was a difficult year, but we got through it: 58%
I'm glad it's over: 32%
We turned the corner: 10%

What role will technology play in advancing the concrete industry in the next few years?
Important. The industry depends on it: 53%
Vital. Without it, we are doomed to fail: 25%
Somewhat. Technology helps, but the material sells itself: 19%
None. Concrete is a basic material that has been used before electricity and telephones were invented: 3%

Do you plan to increase your efforts to produce more concrete pavement in the coming year?
No: 55%
Yes: 45%

Which segment of your business is doing best this year?
Infrastructure/Public Works: 57%
Commercial: 30%
Residential: 13%

Have you adopted Performance-based Specifications (P2P) in your strategic marketing plan?
Greatly: 18%
Little: 32%
Not at all: 50%

With the year half over, have you manufactured as much concrete in 2011 as expected?
No: 69%
Yes: 16%
We're close to our target: 15%

In light of increasing fuel prices, are you adding fuel escalation charge clauses to your bid documents?
No: 51%
Yes: 49%

How do you view the current state of the Sustainability movement in the construction/concrete industry?
Losing momentum: 57%
Gaining momentum: 24%
Has hit a plateau: 19%

Which is the most promising market for ready-mix concrete?
Roads and streets: 45%
Parking lots: 37%
Above grade residential housing: 13%
Other: 5%

Does your company use GPS to assist in its deliveries?
Yes: 71%
No: 29%

What are your capital spending plans for 2011 compared to the previous year?
We will spend more than in 2010: 56%
We will spend the same amount as in 2010: 33%
We will spend less than in 2010: 11%

Do you expect to hire in 2011?
Yes: 50%
No: 50%


As 2010 comes to a close, how will you remember the year?
52.5% It was a difficult year, but we made it through
42.5% Glad it's over
5% We turned the corner

How will the results of the Nov. 2 mid-term election affect your business in 2011?
48% Positively
33% No Change
19% Negatively

Has your company manufactured pervious concrete?
Yes: 75%
No: 25%

How has the sustainability movement affected your business and operations in the last year?
Tremendously: 22%
Somewhat: 11%
Not at all: 67%

How has the sustainability movement affected you as a producer?
It has affected our product offerings: 0%
It has affected our own operations, such as recycling: 50%
No or little effect: 50%

When do you expect to rehire?
2010: 24%
2011: 32%
2012: 12%
After 2012: 32%

Does your company produce pervious concrete?
Yes: 69%
No: 23%
We plan to make pervious in the future: 8%

Which segment of your business is doing best this year?
Commercial: 40%
Residential: 40%
Public Works: 20%