Custom Concrete, a family-owned and operated organization that is headquartered out of Indianapolis, strives to be the industry leader in providing concrete solutions. They specialize in residential, commercial, multi-family, and room-addition foundations. Due to the current industry demands, Custom Concrete had its busiest year in 2021 in over a decade. With scarce materials and high demand for ready-mix trucks, the company looked to volumetric technology for a solution.
Custom Concrete is not alone. Across the country, the number of residential, commercial, and industrial building projects continues to rise with no indication of a slowdown in sight. Many concrete contractors are looking to the latest smart volumetric technology to expand their current businesses for current and future needs.
Supplying the Demand
SiteSource, a subsidiary of Custom Concrete, became the solution to a growing issue. Jeff Davidson, operations manager at SiteSource, said, “We were having difficulties getting concrete when we needed it due to high demand, which made completing current jobs and planning for future work a challenge.”
Adding volumetric mixers to the fleet has allowed Custom Concrete to get concrete anytime and increase overall productivity, therefore increasing their capacity to fulfill more projects. “Our volumetric mixers allow us to pour short loads – a four-yard stem wall or two yard footing repair – and send the ready-mix trucks to other jobsites so we can maximize our fleet,” said Davidson.
Let’s talk a little bit about how you start looking into volumetrics. How did you guys discover that?
Custom Concrete saw a need in our business. What we found was we needed to boost our ready-mix allocations. The industry’s busy, construction is booming in central Indiana, and we needed to find a way to fill the gaps. What we looked at was how can we take those short loads that four-yard stem wall, that five-yard driveway, and take those two short load ready-mix trucks that we typically send to the job site, turn them into nine-yard trucks to a wall pour, and send one volumetric truck to do that stem wall and driveway in one turn.
Were you a part of the process in deciding about volumetrics and the brand you selected?
When we decided to go with volumetric mixer trucks, we took a deep dive into the construction and the technology that went along with the volumetric mixers. We looked at a couple of different brands and Cemen Tech stood out to us because of the equipment construction, the Cemen Tech support, and the innovative technology. We saw what we could get with ACCU-POUR™, how we could run the business, and the data that it would give back to us to make good business decisions in the future. We knew that was going to be a big part of moving forward.
Do you use ACCU-POUR™ regularly?
We use ACCU-POUR™ daily for our dispatching, inventory, billing, and invoicing. Everything we do from a volumetric standpoint goes through ACCU-POUR™.
What benefits have you seen so far?
It’s been a really enjoyable experience with our first few trucks. Drivers have been able to pick up on the operations of the trucks pretty easily. We enjoy the ACCU-POUR™ dispatch system to help us manage our business.
What sort of applications are you using the volumetric mixers on?
The volumetric mixers support Custom Concrete and our subsidiary entities needs. We do some footings, driveways, stem walls, and service repair work. It really fills the gaps and needs on our short loads to make sure that we keep the business moving forward.
What about the operators running those? Were they concrete guys? How was the training?
Our first two operators came from within our organization. One was slinging stone for Custom Concrete, and he was looking for a new opportunity. And so, he found himself in the seat of one of our first volumetric mixers, excited to learn about concrete and what goes along with it. He didn’t miss a step. The process with the volumetric mixers and the support from Cemen Tech allowed him to take off and spring forward into this new endeavor. Our other driver had some experience with concrete, doing flat work, and different experiences in the industry. He was hired by SiteSource to come in and run the truck again with the support and training from Cemen Tech was able to jump right in and move forward.
Do you feel like they don’t have to have concrete experience to run this technology?
Yeah, I don’t think that concrete experience is required to run a volumetric mixer. With the technology that’s available on the mixer truck and the resources we have within our organization, we’ve allowed our operator’s room to grow and advance their knowledge about concrete solutions.
Tell me a little bit about how you guys started integrating volumetrics into what you do. Why did you decide to do that?
Part of our business is being a concrete contractor. We were having difficulties getting concrete when we needed it. To be able to serve our builders and meet goals, we needed to close the gap between not having concrete to complete our jobs. Volumetrics allows us to help close the gap on the small loads and utilize ready-mix for full loads. So that was the basis of the decision.
What types of concrete do you guys do?
We’ve done a little bit of flowable fill. Mostly so far, we’ve done more residential standard concrete mixes from 2,500 PSI to 4,000 PSI.
How easy is it for your operator to start using it?
They were able to attend a two-day training course at the Cemen Tech office or facility. After that, we spent one week with a Cemen Tech trainer that stayed with us for about a week. But in that period, the guys did pick up everything. Once that week was over, they were able to step out and deliver concrete without hardly any assistance.