Every concrete pour is a race against the clock. There are myriad variables that can work against you, make your job harder, and compromise the quality of the finished pour.
Expect Delays – or Avoid Them
Pre-pandemic, time lost by commuters due to traffic delays reached an all-time high of 54 hours a year1. If that’s just what drivers lose in trips to and from work, imagine all the time lost by trucks on the road all day, every day delivering concrete. Construction, accidents, and heavy traffic have a tremendous impact on your schedule, unless you take control with a Holcombe volumetric mixer.2
Good weather for placing concrete is also prime road construction season. That’s a match that seems to be made in heaven until you realize you’re battling both time and temperature as pre-mixed concrete ages faster during the trip to your work site. The usual effort to salvage an aging load by adding water always compromises the mix and leads to poor quality concrete and a final product that’s not up to your expectations, nor those of your customers. Combined with heavy traffic in urban areas, a delay in concrete delivery brings many projects to a grinding halt. Meanwhile, you’re paying your team to be there, ready to work. Instead, they wait.3
Beyond traffic and temperature challenges, delays in loading barrel trucks often get things off on the wrong foot almost before the day gets started. Drum trucks have a reputation for always being late, and in many cases, that starts at the batch plant itself. Concrete demand has risen rapidly and jobs have proliferated, while availability of raw materials has sunk. Trucks can only be filled and travel to your job site at a certain pace, and if your truck is at the back of the line, it will be a while before it’s finally filled and on the road.4
Beyond these factors delaying your ability to place concrete and put your crew to work, there’s also the ripple effect you see once the concrete delay brings things to a halt. Depending on the type of project you will see any number of delays that, like dominos, push back all the work that comes after.
The immediate impact is a delay in finishing, curing, and form removal. A delayed foundation means delays in framing a home and everything that comes after that. A delayed driveway means delayed access to a home or business, along with delaying landscaping, sprinkler installation, etc.
A delay on a road or bridge project is more time your crew is waiting around in what can be a dangerous area because of traffic, not to mention delays in getting the roadway built and in use or repaired and back into service. If you’re working on a swimming pool that a family scheduled to be built in time for summer, you don’t want to deal with their frustration, along with the disappointment of kids eager to take their first plunge.
None of these are things you can control, schedule for, or plan around. The dynamics of batch plant lines, traffic, temperature, and more are just things you must deal with as they arise. Unless you control your own schedule, projects, labor, and fate with a volumetric concrete mixer truck.
Geography Doesn’t Have to be Your Enemy
Even when the batch plant is on schedule, roads are relatively clear, and temperatures are mild, distance and accessibility intrude on your timeline and complicate your work. When they do, quality, customer satisfaction, and profitability suffer.
When you’re working on a custom home that’s off the beaten path, a bridge or highway in a remote area, or other infrastructure like power line bases or oil field drilling pads in remote, hard-to-access locations and terrain served by gravel, dirt, or practically non-existent roads, volumetric concrete is your only solution to meet customer expectations and industry standards for quality.
Eight of our trucks played a key role, for example, in enabling Fisher Sand & Gravel and CAT Construction to provide fresh, high-quality concrete to construct a portion of the border wall in a remote part of Arizona. Our 12-yard aggregate bins meant a 120-percent increase in payload capacity, and provided unmatched control to our customers, which poured concrete 16 hours a day in challenging desert conditions.
When a job site is beyond a certain radius from a batch plant, or dirt or gravel roads or terrain just make for slow going to reach your destination, it can be impossible to deliver and place pre-mixed concrete within the typical window of time available before the batch goes bad. The typical approach in these scenarios is to rely on any number of chemical additives to slow the curing process. Those have consistently proven to be expensive and unreliable, as well as having the potential to compromise the quality of the product and the completed project.
Along that 45-mile stretch of Arizona’s southern border, Holcombe mixer trucks poured 20 to 25 loads of concrete and grout, compared to the typical four to five loads a day. This approach negated both distance to the job site and inevitable high temperatures.
Volumetric Mixer Trucks to the Rescue
Considering all the variables in play every time a truck hits the road, there’s no better way to maintain and improve efficiency and productivity than a volumetric mixer truck. Maximize your output, keep your projects on schedule, and free yourself from constant clock watching, counting the seconds and minutes, and feeling the looming dread of running out of time. Combined with that relief is the knowledge that you’re in control, you can keep your customers happy, and you can be sure you’re delivering superior quality and a finished project they will love.
The clock is ticking. It’s time to take control. schedule a meeting with us today to learn how a Holcombe volumetric mixer truck can help you win your daily race against time.
1. Willingham, AJ. “Commuters Waste an Average of 54 Hours a Year Stalled in Traffic, Study Says.” CNN, Cable News Network, 22 Aug. 2019
2. O’Laughlin, Frank. “Cleanup Underway after Truck Dumps Load of Concrete on Ramp to Interstate 93 in Charlestown.” Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News, 30 Apr. 2021
3. “Effect of Transit Time On Ready Mix Concrete.” The Constructor, 10 June 2014
4. “How Long Can a Ready-Mix Truck Wait?” Concrete Construction, 27 Oct. 2010