For the first time, producers and truck manufacturers now have a set of common standards for truck design and signage, thanks to a small group of volunteers. Led by Roger Lackore, director of product safety for Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp., the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Ready-Mix Concrete Truck Safety Committee has established two new standards to make operators’ jobs safer.

Lackore understands the importance of safety after 30 years in the heavy-duty truck industry. When he became a director of product safety, he discovered that although many vehicle lines had safety standards, none existed for concrete mixers. So he began looking for the right group to develop one. When he didn’t find a standard-developer group that was the right fit, Lackore proposed starting a new one within SAE.

The committee was structured to create a truly consensus-based standard. Lackore served as committee chairman and the 30 members represented several interest groups: concrete producers, manufacturers, and other industry experts such as consultants, attorneys, and testing lab technicians.

Although developing a standard to satisfy the many industry stakeholders seemed straightforward, reaching a consensus was initially challenging. “Most of us were new to the standards development process,” says Lackore. “It took us awhile to start seeing eye-to-eye.”

Committee members Tim Kauzlick, director of health and safety at Cemex, and Mike Zagula, vice president of operations for Metro Ready Mix Concrete in Charlottesville, Va., discussed the safety standard with other producers. This feedback helped the committee agree on specific changes to Lackore’s proposed safety standard, originally based on guidelines for garbage trucks.

Lackore also credits members of NRMCA’s Operations, Environmental, and Safety Committee for ensuring the group’s success, especially Gary Mullings, SAE committee member and NRMCA senior vice president of operations and compliance. “This standard is an example of how ready-mixed concrete producers and manufacturers can work together to raise the level of safety for our industry,” says Mullings.

The first document, issued in August 2013, is SAE J2967 Ready Mixed Concrete Truck Recommended Practice, which would ensure safe design and operation of ready mixed concrete trucks.

In August 2014, SAE J3024 Product Safety Signs for Ready Mixed Concrete Trucks was issued to establish common signs to be used by all manufacturers of ready-mixed concrete trucks. Common signs will benefit operators by establishing recognizable reminders of hazards that will be the same no matter who manufactures the product.

Download the SAE ready-mixed truck safety standards.