In two focus groups held tat the 1992 World of Concrete in Atlanta, flatwork concrete contractors cited several problem areas that exist between them and ready mix producers: poor communication, inadequate training, recurring problems, lack of objectivity and need for better marketing were all mentioned.
Despite the fact that most contractors take their jobs seriously, their trade sometimes experiences a poor image. The contractors admit that worker inexperience or poor work habits occasionally affect a job. However, when assessing causes of common problems, contractors often blame the ready mix producer. Some of the problems cited were: drivers not knowing what additives were in the mixes they delivered, unexplainable popouts and cracks, inappropriately used retarders, and soft spots in set concrete.
The contractors believe the key to increasing contract sales is to improve the overall quality of concrete and concrete workmanship. This goal will be facilitated by better communication between producers and contractors. Producers should inform contractors about additives, their properties and other mix characteristics. Crack control, better training, and troubleshooting were also mentioned as possible improvements.