Innovative concrete producers profit in the short-load market by using truck-mounted volumetric mixers. These mixers provide the flexibility to produce fresh concrete at any specified slump or water-cement ratio at a jobsite, in small quantities and without waste. Since all mixing and batching are self-contained on the back of a truck, delivery time and distance constraints are eliminated. Some companies even look beyond the short-load order market and use volumetric mixers to compete directly against traditional mixer-delivery operations.
Mike Bain, president of Nova Concrete, Dallas, uses 11 volumetric trucks to serve his market, sometimes 24 hours per day. Nova delivers concrete to customers efficiently, with no waste, by charging customers by the quarter-yard after a two-yard minimum. The customer is assessed a delivery charge based upon mileage from the dispatching site. Short-load customers still save compared with a nine-yard minimum.
Cindy Garrett, president of Mobile Concrete Corp., Richmond, Va., serves the metropolitan Richmond market with four trucks. Many area ready-mixed concrete producers offer Mobile's phone number to short-load customers. Municipal utilities use Mobile's standard state-approved mix designs for curb repairs, utility pipeline encasement and sidewalk work.
Mobile Concrete delivers a minimum of one cubic yard, with incremental quarter-yard charges up to five yards.
In Seymour, Ind., Gary McAdams, owner of Polley Building Supply, uses his fleet of three volumetric trucks in direct competition with two local ready-mix plants. He uses the trucks to serve homeowners and builders. McAdams suggests that builders in his rural market select his company because the concrete is mixed fresh at the jobsite, rather than at the plant in town. Polley charges for its performance mix by quarter-yard increments after a two-yard minimum order. Its concrete mix prices are comparable to those of the other two traditional concrete plants in town.
The article also describes how volumetric mixers work and provides tips for producing high-quality volumetrically mixed concrete.
KEYWORDS: mobile mixer, volumetric mixer