Credit: Truckast

What began as a way to improve communication between concrete producers and their customers is already setting records in its first year on the market. In February 2014, the Truckast mobile truck tracking application was used on the largest continuous concrete pour in history.

In 18 hours, more than 200 trucks delivered 21,200 cubic yards for the foundation of the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles. More than 100 people used Truckast on smart phones and tablets to monitor the job’s progress and make logistical decisions. Although the pour was not typical, it illustrated the program’s ability to help streamline project timelines and improve accountability of producers and their customers.

Truckast provides real-time updates on each concrete delivery, eliminating the need for time-consuming phone calls between customers, dispatchers, and drivers. A contractor can see truck status and pour duration, upload jobsite photos, and exchange notes with the dispatcher regarding status changes. Customers can also schedule upcoming jobs and store common orders for quick reordering.

“It’s surprising how effective this tool is in reducing disputes,” says Brad Adamske, chief operating officer for Truckast, based in Aliso Viejo, Calif. “When there is a communication gap between the plant and jobsite, it can erode the level of trust. Now if an issue is raised, everyone can see the same data and discuss what happened.”

Over time, producers can evaluate their performance on all jobs and identify ways to improve productivity and efficiency. Likewise, contractors can change patterns (such as requesting concrete deliveries too closely together and causing trucks to wait at the jobsite) that may be impacting crew utilization and job management. “Once the data is available in real time, everyone can make better decisions and see real improvements,” says Adamske.

Future upgrades of Truckast will include enhanced ordering features, improved location data, and project and data visualization capabilities.