Dale Yoder, owner of Big Valley Concrete in central Pennsylvania, first gained experience and familiarity with metered (volumetric) ready-mixed trucks rather than with "barrel" ready-mixed trucks.
Volumetric trucks are, in reality, small plants on wheels, and the ability of a driver to provide customer service on pours enables the full realization of its capabilities. The volumetric trucks themselves also allow the company to extend its market area. Trucks can travel up to an hour and a half away. Also, the units enable additional travel and time savings with their ability to "daisy chain" a number of small jobs on one run. If, for instance, a pump goes down on a continuous pour, instead of having four loads of concrete go to waste, the customer simply pays for the concrete used and sends the trucks back. Or if a downpour delays a project, a volumetric truck can sit for 1 or 2 hours and pour when conditions allow.
Operating during off hours is another advantage of using volumetric trucks. "Homeowners call us directly for sidewalks, driveways, basement floors," says Yoder. With a volumetric truck, only one driver is needed to work on off hours to deliver an order. With a barrel truck, it would also take a batch person and a loader operator. Volumetric trucks provide the advantage of altering the mix to dry or wet. Farmers like the volumetric trucks because it is difficult to gauge how much concrete is necessary for concrete pours around silos.