Ready-mix truck time optimization

A recent Concrete Producer article detailed how fictional ready-mix producer WW was able to reduce average time between driver clock-in and loading of the first truck by three minutes. This translated to $353,792 annual savings for the producer. Though WW represented a fictional ready-mix producer, these numbers reflected real-world data from actual producers.

An article that soon followed detailed how reducing truck waiting time on the jobsite could save the ready-mix producer $1,331,461 annually, if drivers shaved just 1.5 minutes per load.

Both articles explain how WW utilized technology like mobile devices and an integrated CRM (customer relations management) to save precious, profitable time. The former examined optimizing time at the plant; the latter optimized jobsite wait time.

If WW had incorporated hardware and software, like an in-transit concrete management system, they could have saved even more time on average at both ends of delivery—the plant and jobsite.

The reason: consistent, continual, automated slump management, as the ready mix concrete mixes in the truck between plant and jobsite. The result is quicker dispatching from the plant and less time spent on the jobsite; since the concrete will arrive within target slump and can pour immediately.

How an in-transit concrete management system optimizes truck time

Leaving the plant, the driver no longer has to speculate slump based on best judgment. The in-transit concrete management system uses the hydraulic pressure required to rotate the drum along with other inputs to calculate the actual slump (for example, from standard ASTM test methods). If that delivery is specified at a 6-inch slump, the driver can leave the plant fully confident that the slump is on target, as the system clearly shows on the exterior of the truck and on his internal dashboard display.

Learn about VERIFI® in-transit concrete management

In transit, or "the middle mile," the concrete management system will automatically add water (and/or admixture if applicable to the given mix design) to ensure the concrete arrives on target, within specification, as ordered. One way the in-transit concrete management system accomplishes this is through customizable presets that cue the system and automatically add water/admixture. Better yet, the concrete management system records all water and admixture additions to ensure loads don’t exceed the preset maximum water-cement ratio.

The in-transit concrete management system confirms slump to be within target upon arrival

Automated water additions become especially important, once the truck arrives at the jobsite. The driver doesn't have to estimate slump; it's clearly displayed in bright numbers on the truck and within the cab. This assures the concrete contractor that his load meets spec upon receipt. The truck can, therefore, commence pouring immediately. Furthermore, slumps arriving within target help ready-mix producers avoid the ASTM C94 requirement of a slump retest, when not arriving within target. Time is also saved with less last-minute water additions on site.

To track truck time reduction week over week, month over month and year over year, the in-transit concrete management system's monitoring capabilities record all of this data. Once collected over time, ready-mix producers can analyze exact numbers (not estimates) to determine how closely they're meeting or exceeding goals. They can watch how dollars and cents on the minute translate to millions of dollars in savings annually.

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