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To the benefit of the concrete industry, it's not unusual for large new dairy farms to need more than 20,000 cubic yards of concrete for floor slabs, roads, and silage areas.

Since most dairy farms require large grazing areas, many of Homedale, Idaho-based Vance Dairy Construction's construction projects have been located in very rural settings. The nearest city large enough to have a ready-mixed concrete plant is often more than 35 miles away. Kelly Vance, operations manager, has been challenged to find ways not only to satisfy his customer but also to be a profitable contractor, and the key has been adequate concrete production capacity.

With demands for large volumes of concrete and a need for fast-track construction plans, Vance's crew has adopted the best concrete construction techniques. About five years ago, the company bought a concrete paving machine to speed up the construction of long floor slabs.

But last year Vance went down a different path when he faced the challenges posed by a large new dairy construction project near Boarman, Ore., scheduled for completion by the end of the year. Faced with the need for a large volume of concrete in a short time, he saw an opportunity to market his experiences as a contractor and started VanCo Readymix. Instead of using the conventional model of transit-mix plant and conventional mixer trucks, Vance has based his operation on mobile volumetric mixers, his primary production and hauling machines.

Vance has been able to point to several competitive advantages his volumetric mixer approach has over traditional mixer-plant operations.

First is the opportunity to delay concrete placement without causing loss of strength or product. There is also a scheduling advantage.

The article includes information about the Volumetric Mixer Manufacturers Bureau (VMMB)'s first edition of The Volumetric Mixer Standards of the Volumetric Mixer Manufacturers Bureau.