This ad will close in 15 sec

Contractor Finds Winning Strategy Using Volumetric Mixers

After a 40-year career with Lafarge in Eastern Canada, Bob Castle pondered what he would do in order to stay busy once he retired. Prior to retiring in 2002, he decided to purchase a small concrete company located in Brockville, Ontario. Thousand Islands Concrete (TIC) was not just any concrete company; TIC ran four Daffin volumetric concrete mixers to fulfill customer orders. Fortunate for Bob, he had experienced delivery personnel capable of maintaining the old, outdated mixers.

Early on, Bob knew he had to replace the Daffin mixers that were breaking down regularly. He realized he needed more upto-date, reliable equipment, especially if he wanted to go after higher volume projects. There were a number of reasons why Bob wanted to stay with volumetric mixing technology:

1. Smaller footprint for the yard. This would allow for versatility in his regional growth plans.

2. TIC customers ordered concrete for remote locations. The easiest way to deliver fresh concrete was to mix it right at the job site with volumetric mixers.

3. Volumetric mixers create very little waste. When the pour is finished, the operator just turns off the mixer. All materials are stored separately on the truck so they can be mixed at the next job site.

4. Volumetric mixers have a smaller carbon footprint. Overall, there is a significant reduction in truck trips since there are no extra trips to the job site for clean-up loads.

5. Customers recognize the value. TIC customers were well-aware that they only pay for what gets poured; if they order five cubic metres and they only need four cubic metres, they pay for four cubic metres.

During the first three years, Bob swapped out TIC’s entire fleet of mixers for Reimers. The efficiencies compared to the old equipment were amazing. “ProAll has a reputation for excellent mixer products and is a great company to do business with. I couldn’t believe how much the mixers had advanced compared to our old Daffins,” stated Bob. “I also wanted to do business with a Canadian company, so selecting Reimer Alliance was an easy choice.”

At this point, Bob’s son, Steve Castle, left his position at Lafarge to work in the expanding TIC business. He brought 15 years of experience working for Lafarge. “Initially, we both were a little nervous about working together, but it has worked out completely,” Steve said. “We both had careers in management at Lafarge; we were extremely familiar with the successful business framework that Lafarge deploys within their management team. We had the wisdom and the vision to be successful based on our large-company experience.” In the past year Russ Welch (brother-inlaw/ son-in-law) has joined the team as well. Russ has a financial background and primarily handles the office administration.

Large, untapped market

After Steve joined the company, he and Bob created a five-year plan to grow TIC revenues and to expand regionally. Through this planning process, they recognized that there was a large, untapped market in Ontario’s cottage country. TIC could radiate out from the main plant in Brockville, setting up depots where the mixers could recharge materials during the day and return to one central location each night for maintenance. TIC now has a second location in North Frontenac servicing cottage country.

The main thing that sets TIC apart from their competition is their equipment – they are the only operation deploying volumetric mixers in their marketplace – though other concrete suppliers in surrounding markets have also recently acquired volumetric trucks. TIC is also very fortunate to have experienced drivers (average of 14 years’ experience) who ultimately make the company successful.

According to Castle, there are features to their business model which needed to become key messages for their customers and prospects:

1. Only pay for what you use. 

2. No wait times for balance/clean-up loads.

3. You don’t have to be overly specific in how much concrete you need. Because of terrain, calculating the volume of concrete required can be very difficult.

4. Customers in remote areas, where there are no ready-mix companies, can get fresh concrete because it’s made right on the job site.

TIC developed a partner program which identified contractors to approach and solidified relationships with them. Initially, in order to break the barrier to contractors ordering concrete from volumetric mixers, TIC set up one forming contractor who did 50+ foundations each year.

Glen Murdock of Mallorytown Cement Finishing said that he was sold on Reimer Mixers because he could eliminate wait times for clean-up loads and only pay for the concrete he used – savings which would add up to wages for one crew member every week.

TIC collects testimonials and referrals from these partnerships that help to validate the business model, ultimately growing the business.

Bob is also a past president of the Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario and recognized the importance of TIC being an association member. TIC adheres to the certification processes that RMCAO instills which helps to prove to contractors that TIC’s fleet can produce quality concrete.

“Once we started working with the Reimers we realized we could bid on projects that we never could before,” stated Steve Castle. “We could bid on commercial projects – strip malls, big box stores, schools and bridges – places where highlyspecified concrete was required.”

Today, Steve sits on the Board of Directors for the RMCAO and holds certification from the American Concrete Institute (ACI) which also helps to boost credibility. A big part of TIC’s strategy is a progressive marketing campaign which includes an extensive website and photo gallery.

With more and more large commercial jobs being undertaken by TIC, more specifiers and engineers are becoming familiar with continuous mixing technology and with TIC’s resume of varied projects.

Steve Castle said: “The RMCAO calibration process requires that all machines are calibrated by outside testing companies. This speaks to our credibility, and having ACI certification on staff at TIC indicates that we’re serious about quality concrete production. TIC is also ECO Gold Certified as a member of the RMCAO”

This past year TIC has also been involved with supplying concrete to over five different solar farm projects. The company said the various general contractors have realized the advantages of the volumetric truck, and the flexibility of time and reduced waste has proven to be successful for them.

Company Info

Latest News

Tags
Industry News

Deutz approves engines for use of alternative fuels

Deutz approves engines for use of alternative fuels

DEUTZ has approved the latest generation of its entire TCD engine range for operation with alternative fuels. This will make a further significant reduction to the carbon footprint of combustion engines and even raises the prospect of running such engines on a carbon-neutral basis. For DEUTZ, this represents the next logical step in its efforts to develop sustainable and efficient drive systems. In combination with the electrification of its engine portfolio under the E-DEUTZ strategy, DEUTZ aims for the market leadership in the field of innovative drivetrains.

Read More

Tags
Earthmoving

Caterpillar Introduces Three Next Generation Excavators

Three Next Generation 20-ton size class excavators from Caterpillar—the 320 GC, 320 and 323—increase operating efficiency, lower fuel and maintenance costs, and improve operator comfort compared to previous models. The new excavators offer unique combinations of purpose-built features designed to match customers' productivity and cost targets. 

Read More

Tags
Attachments
Light Equipment

Pallet fork frame features integrated walk-through design

Bobcat Company introduces a new pallet fork frame, making it the ideal solution for handling materials of all shapes and sizes. The new Bobcat pallet fork frame features an integrated walk-through design for easier operator entry and exit to and from the loader cab. In addition, the new design provides compact equipment operators best in-class visibility for picking and placing materials.

Read More

Tags
Underground & Utility

Latest in ground penetrating radar on display at World of Concrete

GSSI, the world's leading manufacturer of ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment, will be highlighting its latest GPR technology at the 2018 World of Concrete conference, to be held January 23-26, 2018, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Booth #C3719. On display will be a new affordable UtilityScan GPR System, StructureScan Mini XT all-in-one concrete inspection GPR system, and the new Palm XT miniaturized GPR antenna for the StructureScan Mini XT. 

Read More

Tags
Concrete Construction
Industry News

HMA Equipment new GOMACO distributor for Ontario

HMA Equipment new GOMACO distributor for Ontario

GOMACO Corporation announces the recent appointment of HMA Equipment Company of Canada as the authorized GOMACO distributor for the province of Ontario in Canada. They will provide sales and service for GOMACO's full line of concrete construction products. The appointment was made by Kent Godbersen, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, GOMACO Corporation. Travis Brockman (shown) is GOMACO's District Manager for the province.

Read More

Tags
Construction Technologies

BIM and big data combining to help develop digital construction sector

The construction equipment industry is operating below its digital potential. Within the next years, companies need to adapt their organizations, further digitise their machines and operations and promote open innovation along the way. This will be central for the construction industry to remain competitive and will impact its dynamics and the OEM landscape drastically. The issue of construction machinery digitisation was discussed at the Technical Forum, held during the CECE Summit on October 12 in Brussels.

Read More

Tags
Concrete Construction

GOMACO University releases 2018 schedule

GOMACO University has released their 2018 schedule and is now accepting registrations for the new season of specialized courses covering GOMACO's full line of concrete paving equipment. Each week, from January through April, features courses taught by GOMACO instructors with a combined experience of over 100 years with GOMACO equipment. The instructors are also helped out in the hands-on shop sessions by GOMACO service representatives who travel the world during the paving season and are ready to share their knowledge with the students. Potential University attendees can read more about GOMACO University and also register for courses online at www.gomaco.com/university

Read More

Tags
Trucking

Volvo Trucks supports solutions for ELD mandate compliance

Volvo truck owners in the U.S. and Canada now have supported solutions for complying with the impending electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, which goes into effect December 18, 2017. Depending on engine, emissions level, and associated onboard hardware, Volvo owners can utilize Volvo's integrated connected vehicle hardware to access services through Telogis Inc., a Verizon Company, or they can use a plug-in Geotab telematics device to connect with their compliance services.

Read More

Volvo Penta unveils new Stage V 5- and 13-litre engines

Optimized for tomorrow, the new EU Stage V engines feature the latest technology and are an ideal fit  where excellent fuel efficiency, low emissions, high productivity and reliability are required. The 13-litre engine with exhaust aftertreatment system (EATS) is a great choice for large machinery while the 5-liter solution is ideal for smaller equipment.

Read More

Tags
Underground & Utility

Pit-launched mini directional drill

TT Technologies' redesigned Grundopit pit-launched mini directional drill is well suited for difficult fiber-to-the-home and utility service line installations in tight working conditions. The unit is compact, 54 inches long, 43 inches wide and 57 inches tall. The Grundopit delivers 13,489 lbs. of thrust and pull back and 553 ft. lbs. of torque with bore length up to 150 feet. The Grundopit is an ideal entry-level system for utilities, cable industries or as a supplement to larger units.

Read More

Tags
Lifting & Material Handling
Underground & Utility

Terex Utilities inks deal to send 5,000 units to China

Terex Utilities inks deal to send 5,000 units to China

Terex Utilities and its dealer Xuzhou Handler Special Vehicles Co., Ltd. have signed a letter of intent for Xuzhou to purchase 5,000 units of insulated aerial devices from Terex over a five-year period, with a total value of more than USD$250 million. These products will support the continuing improvement and ongoing adoption of live line work practices in the Chinese public utility sector.

Read More