4 Myths About Construction Debunked

Let us set the record straight for several manufacturing false impressions!
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Errata: The shot at 4:16 is of the Greek Acropolis (not a Roman structure).

Over the past 6 years of perusing electronic mails and remarks from folks who watch Practical Engineering, I know that parts of heavy manufacturing are consistently misunderstood. So, I pulled together a short list of the most common fallacies. Hope you do not mind just a little bit of ranting from me 😉

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Producer/Writer/Host: Grady Hillhouse
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Script Editor: Ralph Crewe


  1. Practical Engineering

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    • @Agata Soda Rusty rebar doesn’t shorten its life. Without oxygen the rust doesn’t proceed. If exposed to oxygen (and it always is) a little head start makes no difference. And efforts to coat it (e.g. epoxy or plastic) make the situation worse. And these days, real concrete construction depends on “prestress”…attempting to always have it in compression…its only state of strength.

    • Thomas Mackerley

      Yes, I did hear you wrote a book….
      But what would you son make that bridge out of? I’d love to see something last a million years, no matter the cost…
      Another great video though

    • You’re very generous about workers standing around. lol I got a buddy who works in the field and he has confirmed that half the people in his company stand around and do nothing most of the day, and almost all of the work is done by a handful of people. Yeah there are jobs where you just stand there observing and or taking a break, but it shouldn’t be 80% of the crew at a time, unless the boss doesn’t know how to schedule work properly.

    • ​@Eric Nielsen ditto

    • Pretty sure its the unions/Gov jobs that people always talk about standing around. I mean that’s at least what construction workers talk about.

  2. I don’t work in construction but it’s is dangerous at times and we have people who specialize in specific tasks. We at times have safety spotters and people who are waiting for others to complete their jobs so they can jump in and do their part.

  3. That’s how I bought my 2022. Waiting for my supervisor to tell us to do something. When it’s time to do the task it’s already lunch time.

  4. Don’t try to defend all the people standing around. Most of them are useless. All the union guys doing the least they can and still get a paycheck.

  5. On myth #1, you talk about private construction workers (who have to be properly managed to turn a profit) who seem to be standing around, but show public works crews on the screen, who do not operate under that imperative. I work with both types of crews and often times there is definitely an issue with too much standing around on the public works side. As with anything like this, there are exceptions, of course, and someone driving by is not always in the best position to properly judge the situation, but there are stereotypes that exist for a reason.

  6. Ol' Pricklebush

    “wet their toga” 😂

  7. Phil Liberatore

    “you don’t want an engineer anywhere near the cab of a crane or excavator”

    Ain’t it the truth?

  8. Thank you for busting these myths! I have experience working in the geotechnical field and construction observation. These explanations are spot on. I’ll add another if you do more of these myth busting videos. Time. People have no idea how long it takes for large projects to get going. By the time you see construction, it could be years in the making. Everything from environmental studies, to RTE and cultural studies, geotech reports, engineering and design, etc. It’s crazy!

  9. The Mercury quote is interesting as well because I don’t think the space program followed pure lowest cost procurement.

  10. Brent J. Andrews

    Would like to understand why construction costs never go down. The price of a 40 inch TV with no new features added goes down from year to year, but concrete work (which has been around since Roman times) gets more and more expensive. Thanks —

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