At a glance, the concrete trucks that you see driving around your local roads might seem simplistic, merely delivering concrete to a construction site and pouring it, before returning to a plant to be refilled. But it’s not until you engage with a concrete company that you begin to understand the complexity of the processes and costs involved in operating a concrete ready mix logistics business.
Initially, we had a concrete company that just wanted to implement vehicle tracking into their fleet of concrete trucks. But then we started to ask them more about their business and operations, and we found out how sophisticated and difficult it is to coordinate the logistics of running a concrete business – taking orders, coordinating deliveries, unloading the trucks and the wait times, all based on the truck capacities.
We also discovered that concrete operations are often coordinated by a single person, using pen and paper, doing the maths to work out the next day’s deliveries. But, if this person gets sick, takes annual leave, or leaves the company entirely, all the skills and knowledge required to plan these deliveries is lost! Not to mention this method of planning being completely inefficient and possibly inaccurate.
The team at Fleetware did a bit of research into this and found a software solution, who we’ve now partnered with, called Loop4 Readymix (formerly ReadyMix 360). We got in touch with their team for some more information about their platform and we were super keen to start implementing this solution with our customers. This software is able to bring an entire concrete operation into a single platform and has a heap of cool features!
- Calculating how many trucks are required for a delivery based on their barrel capacities.
- Considering the distance from the plant to the site, as well as how long the trucks will need to be on site for.
- Incorporating the time it takes to load and unload a truck full of concrete.
- Lining up truck arrival times at sites based on how the concrete is being poured and transported – is it being loaded into wheelbarrows and wheeled around a house, or is it being pumped?
- Looking at the idling time of trucks when they return to the plant to be refilled – this being a huge factor when these trucks are burning four to eight litres of fuel an hour simply idling.
The first customer that we rolled this solution out with was able to reduce their idle time in their plant from 80 minutes down to 40 minutes, saving them approx. $100,000 in fuel alone! This was followed by a heap of productivity improvements. In the first three months, we were able to reduce their fleet of 12 trucks to 10, meaning that they were now doing the same number of jobs with two less vehicles. This enabled the customer to increase their order capacity and start taking on more work!
We really like this top-down view that Loop4 Readymix provides for concrete companies, and I think that these statistics speak for themselves!
To find out more about this solution, head to our Concrete Ready Mix Logistics page or get in touch with the team!