Concrete Products is the leading source for Concrete Plants, Concrete Mixers, Precast, and Ready Mix news.

Producers participating in the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s 2016 Mixer Driver Recruitment and Retention Survey list as their top hiring challenge the availability of commercially-licensed drivers with concrete delivery experience; just over half report turning down business due to a lack of qualified staff to operate their fleets.

The second version of the NRMCA Industry-Wide (IW) Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and Benchmark (Industry Average) Report discloses production impacts of 72 concrete mixes with 2,500–8,000 psi design strength, covering the bulk of product used in residential, commercial and public construction. The updated IW EPD is prepared from 88 producers operating 2,500 ready mixed plants, and includes a wide range of mix designs for each strength class, from 100 percent portland cement mixes to those with 50-plus percent fly ash or slag cement factor.

Atlanta-based Quikrete Holdings Inc. was on track to acquire all outstanding shares of Contech Engineered Solutions, LLC common stock in a merger agreement the companies’ boards approved in October.

A binding merger agreement announced late last month unites the top two U.S. fly ash marketers and precast concrete stone veneer producers. Sydney-based Boral Ltd. will acquire Headwaters Inc. in a cash deal with enterprise value of approximately $2.6 billion; stockholders will receive $24.25 per share, a 21 percent premium to Headwater’s closing price leading into the merger proposal.

More contractors and dealers attended the 10th Annual Hardscape North America (HNA) trade show than ever before. Attendance for the 2016 HNA, an Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute event, and co-located GIE+EXPO jumped 11 percent over the prior year, with 10,500-plus landscape and hardscape professionals convening in late October at the Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville.