Now we’re talking! From asphalt to milling and recycling to soil stabilization, ibuildroads.com offers the construction industry an opportunity to ask and answer questions anywhere, anytime.
“Ibuildroads.com is a free user forum for unbiased and educational industry information,” says Andy Pujats, president. “As a plant salesman for years, I was a traveling consultant and a go-between connecting contractors and suppliers to solve daily problems.”
Building off such experiences of problem solving, Pujats created ibuildroads.com opening the discussion to members of the construction industry from coast to coast as well as internationally.
Users range from foremen, superintendents, engineers, estimators, Department of Transportation personnel, manufacturers and suppliers.
“This is a way to connect a number of industry professionals around the country and world — we have users from Asia to Europe,” Pujats says. “It’s about using our experiences to help our industry solve its problems and promote its successes.”
Users can browse eight categories including Asphalt, Concrete, Milling & Recycling, Erosion Control, Subgrade Mechanical Stabilization, Subgrade Soil Stabilization, Engineering Services and Underground Utilities. Each category has its hot topics with all covering the road construction industry.
“In the asphalt category there is a large discussion on hot in-place recycled asphalt,” Pujats says. “Other discussions include accounting software, paver automation, decorative asphalt, screening shingles. It’s really a variety of topics.”
The forum can be accessed online or through the ibuildroads.com app available for iPhone and Android. “Users can download the app for free,” Pujats says. “The app allows people traveling with smart phones or tablets to post photos and questions regarding, equipment, materials or other issues. They can use that photo to ask a question or demonstrate their solution on ibuildroads.com directly from their smart phone.”
While ibuildroads.com has found success in answering questions on the jobsite, it has also proven beneficial as a training tool.
“Contractors, superintendents and foremen say it’s a great learning tool for their new hires,” Pujats says. “The new hires can go to the site and look at already posted questions and answers. They also have the ability to post anonymously if they are too intimidated to ask their foreman what they think is a dumb question.” It has also proven a successful tool for the veterans in the industry.
Although opinions may differ on answers to some of the questions posted to the forum, users have recognized it as an opportunity to share their knowledge while being respectful. “I think people are using it with respect and understanding that this is a tool,” Pujats says. “We have reputation points on the site that allow users to vote on people’s answers and questions to gain credibility within the community.”