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WATSONVILLE – Graniterock Co. may be more than 111 years old, but it’s staying abreast of technology, releasing this month an updated version of a free iPhone application to help construction workers estimate the amount of materials they will need on their projects.
“Our industry, of course, is very staid, literally; we are a brick and mortar industry and maybe a little slow to adapt to new things,” said Keith Severson, company spokesman. But, he added, “We’re not old in spirit.”
The company, founded in 1900, has long provided online videos and calculators to help contractors with tasks.
“When we first went on the web, we knew we weren’t going to be selling concrete on the web,” Severson said. “It is a perishable product and there are so many variables. As the app rage started, we just thought this would be a really great thing to do and it would be a very useful tool.”
Seasoned contractors used to use an old slide gauge that measures how many cubic yards of concrete would be needed. “We just applied that to an app.”
Graniterock released an initial version of the application in the spring. Users can calculate unit conversions, aggregate materials, masonry, mulch and road materials. The version released this month, for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, has upgraded graphics created by Linda Archer of Jaguar Design Studio in Aptos and Brendon Rapp, designer. It will soon be available for the Android.
The app should help people better estimate and avoid waste, Severson said. “A lot of those long-term contractors are back working in the trenches,” Severson said. “I hear time and again, ‘I’ve shrunken my crew and I’ve put my (nail) bags on.”
To download the free app, visit http://itunes.apple.com/us
This article first appeared here.