SAVINGS OPPORTUNITIES FOR
READY MIX PRODUCERS
According to the National Ready Mixed Con-
crete Association (NRMCA) about 5% of all
concrete is returned to the plants. Some is re-
turned because it does not meet specifi cations
and some is returned because sometimes
there are leftover partial loads after delivery.
This 5% is about 20,000,000 cubic yards. At
an average value of about $60 per yard, the
potential loss to the industry from these re-
turned loads is about $1.2 billion per year in
material cost alone.
While the industry has accepted this as a
cost of doing business up to now, times have
changed radically. The economic crisis has re-
sulted in less concrete poured, lost revenue
and lost jobs. Competition has increased, and
those companies smart enough to salvage
the returned concrete will be more likely to
weather the economic storm and remain vi-
able in the future.
Let's analyze the options available to the ready
mix producer when a load is rejected because
it does not meet the specifi cations at the job
1) Lose the load - the worst option.
This includes the cost of the materials, labor
expenses, and all costs associated with oper-
ating trucks such as fuel, repairs, tires, radios,
insurance, etc. This may be the only option if
the mix is truly not correctible. However, many
loads are lost because there is not time to re-
turn to the plant for correction. Fritz-Pak of-
fers many fi eld correction options, being the
industry leader in this area.
2) Return the load to the plant for
If the time limits for delivery can be met, then
the additional costs are the roundtrip cost to
the plant. The minimum cost for this is esti-
mated at $60. This cost is signifi cantly higher
than the cost of adding admixtures at the job
3) Redirect concrete loads to other jobs.
If this is even possible it normally happens
with a more expensive load having to go to a
non-spec job that normally is being charged
a lower price for the concrete. So on top of
the transportation and labor cost of redirect-
ing, the concrete thus sold usually brings in
The NRMCA provides the following info:
The average one way trip is 14.1 miles.
Fuel consumption is estimated at 3.2 miles
per gallon and travel time is 45-60 min-
utes. So the fuel consumed is 8.81 gallons
and the driver's additional time is 1.5-2.0
hours. Assuming $2.80 per gallon of fuel
and average hourly wage of $17.50 per
hour, the minimum cost to return a truck
to the plant for corrections is $60.00.
It does not include tires, repairs, driver
benefi ts, radios, water, additional time
for batch personnel and increased risk of
traffi c accidents.
Source: 2008 Fleet Benchmarking and Cost Survey
Report, Concrete Infocus, Jan/Feb 2009
Fritz-Pak Corporation · Savings & Applications Guide © 2009 Page 2