New technology is transforming ready mix fleet management

ready mix
By Dean Marris, Co-founder of Coretex

Every minute counts in ready mix. 

Fleet operators must deliver perishable concrete exactly when and where it is needed. Cumbersome paper-based ticketing systems and manual processes where dispatchers communicate with drivers to predict vehicle location, stage in the delivery cycle and estimated return time are, fortunately, methods of the past.

Real-time visibility 

The construction industry has reached a critical milestone in its technology transformation. Aggregate suppliers and ready mix fleet companies are achieving new efficiencies by deploying connected fleet management systems. With recent innovations, a complete 360-degree view into the performance and behavior of an entire construction supply operation is now at your fingertips.

Telematics solutions with real-time tracking and automated job statusing features allow key personnel in your supply chain to see at any given point in time just how many concrete mixer trucks are ticketed, en route to job, waiting on site, pouring and travelling back to their plants. 

Coretex’s real-time tracking and auto-statusing features will be displayed at the company’s booth at ConExpo in March. 

This automatic operation data and granular workflow view is generated by leveraging a complete set of high definition sensors specifically designed for ready mix and aggregate environments that enable auto-statusing. 

For instance, drum sensors monitor rotation count, direction and speed to provide a high definition picture of the state of a concrete load and allow the driver to make necessary adjustments en route. 

Monitoring water additions during transit give ready mix producers much tighter control in maintaining pre-defined slump requirements.  Water-add sensors automatically record and report the amount of water added to the mix for audit and quality control purposes. Load switch sensors sitting within the suspension line indicate when the vehicle has been loaded and automatically update the job status. 

Ascension Quality Materials has been providing ready mix concrete materials to communities in Louisiana for 20 years. The company deployed a Coretex construction fleet management solution three years ago – paving the way for new efficiencies in its operation. 

“The ability for precise auto-statusing and end-to-end supply chain assurance are favourite features of our dispatch staff,” said Wayne Silva, chief financial officer of Ascension Quality Materials. “Our labour cost per yard has extremely dropped due to the fact that we can efficiently schedule our trucks because we can see exactly where they are at all times.”

Data-driven decisions for ready mix

The NRMCA estimates that up to five per cent of ready mix concrete is returned every year for two main reasons. 

First, contractors commonly over order to ensure they have enough concrete to complete a project.  Second, ready mix is rejected at the job site because it fails to meet a specified slump, been over mixed or it is well past its time limit.  

Telematics help eliminate these issues, as real-time status details enable suppliers to accurately order last-minute, partial or multiple loads to successfully finish a project. 

Fleet management systems record slump quality throughout the process.

Comprehensive data also improves customer satisfaction as this technology empowers the end-user as well as fleet operators. 

The contractor receiving the concrete has visibility into real-time load delivery times and a new level of confidence in the quality of materials supplied. 

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We provide our customers with a comprehensive “birth certificate” of concrete, including the valuable sensor data about the mix, slump and time to pour. 

This documentation allows suppliers to verify and prove to contractors that their concrete was delivered on time and according to specification.

The digital transformation of the ready mix concrete industry is increasing operational efficiencies and optimizing fleet deliveries. By collecting data from disparate sources, fleet management systems not only track automated job statuses, but provide capabilities such as replay trips, define and manage geofences, control assets, monitor driver behaviour and maintain service records. 

Now is the time to consider adopting new technologies that will proactively save time and money for your operations, while keeping your drivers safer than ever before.

Coretex is a supply chain compliance and fleet management solution provider. Coretex’s cloud-based visualization platform helps construction customers worldwide turn rich data into actionable business insights.