Producers, contractors, and other concrete professionals had plenty to do at the 2011 edition of World of Concrete, the only annual international construction trade show devoted solely to concrete and masonry.
In addition to more than 1200 exhibitors taking up 500,000 square feet of space inside and outside the Las Vegas Convention Center, the 48,554 attendees had a wide array of other activities from which to choose. These included educational seminars, editorial-sponsored luncheons, special events, and much more. Many traveled the globe to attend.
“WOC is very proud to deliver a quality audience to our exhibitors and a show full of leading industry suppliers, related services, and educational opportunities to our attendees,” says Jackie James, director of World of Concrete. “Even though the numbers are slightly down from 2010, we have found that a majority of exhibitors are actually getting quality leads and making more sales at the show.”
More than one-half of the educational seminars were new topics for the show, including sessions on concrete production, concrete fundamentals, concrete repair, decorative concrete, residential, green building, safety and risk management, technical updates, and many more.
2012 World of Concrete takes place Jan. 24-27 in Las Vegas; seminars begin Jan. 23. Visit www.worldofconcrete.com for updates throughout the year.
More than 160 drivers stepped up to the challenge and competed in the first Serious Truck Challenge at World of Concrete. Western Star partnered with Allison Transmission to set up the course, which challenged drivers on five skills: parallel parking, driver-side backup, blind-side backup, S-curve, and hill backup.
Each challenge was worth 10 points and required drivers to position and maneuver the vehicle to avoid cone markers and park the truck on exact spots to earn a perfect score. The hill backup highlighted the Allison 4700 two-speed reverse transmission, which allows drivers to creep at a low speed while maintaining low engine speeds and barrel movement.
The trucks featured at the event—both with Detroit Diesel DD13 engines—were the Western Star 4800SF dump truck with an Allison 3000 RDS and the Western Star 4900SF 123-inch mixer with an Allison 4700 RDS second-speed reverse. Visit www.westernstar.com.
Volumetric Producers Unite
Volumetric concrete producers have their own unique set of challenges. This year producers had their own event—the Volumetric Operators Luncheon—where they could talk to each other, share tips and advice, and learn about issues they face everyday on the job. Cemen Tech sponsored the event.
“During the past three decades, the use of volumetric measuring and continuous mixing equipment has advanced concrete technology and construction practices and allowed bringing concrete to remote sites,” said Boris Stein, vice president, Twining Inc.
Advantages include producing concrete at or near the point of placement, reducing time between mixing and placement, producing concrete in exact required volumes, instantly starting and stopping production, mixing concrete in a wide range of consistencies (including low-slump), and improving mobility of production.
Richard Szecsy, chairman of ASTM C-09 and president of the Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association, explained how to use ASTM standards to boost quality in selling volumetric concrete.
Finally, Don MacMaster, dean of workforce development at the World Center for Concrete Technology at Alpena (Mich.) Community College, introduced two online courses available to anyone interested in volumetric concrete production.
Volumetric Mixer Operations and Maintenance and Calibrating Volumetric Mixers are both available at www.wcct.net. Visit the WOC page at www.theconcreteproducer.com to watch Don MacMaster discuss the volumetric concrete online courses.
Taking the Challenge
About 250 attendees participated in four different activities at the John Deere Operator Challenge over four days at the show. More than one-half of these competed on more than one machine.
The Challenge consisted of four machines. the 644K 4WD loader, the 85D excavator, the 410J backhoe, and the 318D skid steer. For each challenge, the operator was timed. If there was a penalty for an error or not accomplishing a task, points were added to the overall time. The operator with the lowest score for the day won the challenge and some great prizes.
Matt Thompson of ADC Concrete, Greenville, Ohio, was a daily winner in three of the four Operator Challenge events. Maybe he will work on his skid steer skills and come back next year for a clean sweep. On the loader challenge, Mitchell Porisky of Carwald Redi-Mix, Slave Lake, Alberta, finished the course in one minute, 21 seconds, which is the best time in the history of the event.
Tuesday: Matt Thompson, ADC Concrete, Greenville, Ohio
Wednesday: Eric Sanborn, Elmers Crane & Dozer, Williamsburg, Mich.
Thursday: Mitchell Porisky, Carwald Redi-Mix, Slave Lake, Alberta
Friday: Nathan Holley, Six D Excavation, Lehi, Utah
Tuesday: Loyd Burke, Ironhide LLC, Great Falls, Mont.
Wednesday: Ken Patterson, Rawlings Specialty Contracting, Albuquerque, N.M.
Thursday: Mike Kleeman, Simon & Harris Construction, Derby, Ind.
Friday: Matt Thompson, ADC Concrete, Greenville, Ohio
Tuesday: Roger Akune, JB Construction, New Dayton, Alberta
Wednesday: Shawn O'Keefe, O'Keefe Ltd., Windsor, Ontario
Thursday: Matt Thompson, ADC Concrete, Greenville, Ohio
Tuesday: Phil Wettstein, Lone Wolf Concrete, Goodfield, IL
Wednesday: James Caudillo, A-1 Concrete, Partridge, Kan.
Thursday: Chad Tebbutt, Warrior Concrete Ltd., Calgary, Alberta
Friday: Paul Drellack, Drellack Construction, Hastings, Minn.
After five long years, World of Concrete attendees who have been going on the annual Hoover Dam Bypass Tours finally had a chance to see the finished project: the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
The first stop on the tour was the pedestrian walkway on the 1060-foot-long span, which is the longest twin-rib concrete arch span in North America. Kiosks on the walkway from the parking lot to the bridge explained the construction timeline. The bridge and roads included in the bypass project now take through traffic off of Hoover Dam, which had been an area of congestion for several years.
At the Visitors Center, concrete historian Luke Snell gave a presentation on the fascinating concrete aspects of the dam's construction, which was completed in 1935, almost exactly 75 years to the day the bridge was dedicated. A tour of the dam's power plant and museum completed the exciting day.
Visit Concrete Construction TV at www.concreteconstruction.net for a video of the Bypass Tour.