- Ordering Concrete Home
- Choosing a Ready-Mix Supplier
- Placing Your Concrete Order
- Delivery of Ready-Mix Concrete
- Buyer's Guide to Ready-Mixed Concrete
- Ordering the Right Concrete Mix
- Concrete Mix Design
- Decorative Mix Design
- Hot Weather Concreting
- Cold Weather Concreting
- Related Information
- Materials: What goes into the mix
- Concrete admixtures: Tips for using in the concrete mix
- Figure out how much concrete you need: Use this concrete calculator
- Pricing concrete: Basic cost considerations
Choosing a ready mix supplier
Your goal in choosing a ready Mix supplier is to get a product that performs, when you want it, and at a fair price. Here is how to do that.
First, Look in the yellow pages under concrete-ready mix. Jot down the phone numbers of 3 or 4 Ready Mix companies. Note the plant locations if that information is given, or call the plants and get their location.
Second, narrow your list down to the two or three suppliers closest to your home (job location). The American Concrete Institute notes that concrete must be discharged form the truck within 1.5 hours of being batched, or 300 revolutions of the truck (whichever comes first)-so the farther away the plant is form your job, the higher the chance for a problem. Also, the farther the delivery distance, the more transportation of the material will cost. Lastly, the farther away the concrete comes from, the more chance of it being late to the job. So getting a supplier who is close to you helps on all three of your goals in choosing a Ready Mix supplier: a product that performs, when you want it, and at a fair price.
Third, get referrals from 2-3 neighbors, or from the local hardware store. Get the referrals from people who have recently done jobs close to the same size as your job. You want to get an indicator of how the Ready Mix company will service someone like you: not how they service the biggest contractor in town.
If you don't have someone to get a referral from, simply call the Ready Mix suppliers and ask them for referrals on two or three jobs your size that they poured in the last week. Call those references and ask:
- Did the concrete arrive on schedule?
- Was it the correct mix?
- How would you rate the service?
- Have there been any problems with the concrete?
- Would you recommend this Ready Mix Company?
Fourth, when you are satisfied you have one or two qualified ready Mix Companies, call those firms for a price based on the concrete you want. Also ask them how many days lead time they need for an order and if you will be able to get the concrete at the time of day you want.
Scheduling a site visit from your ready mix supplier
Reputable ready mix suppliers are usually pleased to have a representative come to your home to check your job several days before the concrete pour. Plan for and schedule this visit ahead of time-do not expect the representative to be able to come out the same day you call.
Discuss with the representative at this time:
- The amount of concrete you calculated, get their opinion.
- Discuss any admixtures.
- Clarify if the site is accessible to Ready mix trucks.
- If you need more than one truck, discuss the spacing of the order.
Confirm with them what you are trying to achieve and the best mix in order to reach that result. The items listed in the admixtures are meant to give you the information to ask the right questions, not make you an expert requiring no assistance from the professionals in the business.
As straightforward as this information is, most dispatchers will say customers calling to order concrete don't know for sure how much concrete they need, don't know if they need any additives, had never considered if the concrete might need to be pumped, and need the concrete tomorrow!
Use a Local Supplier to Save Hauling Costs
As you might expect, you'll generally pay higher transportation costs the farther the ready mix plant is from your work site. But that's not the only reason to go local, whenever possible. The farther the truck has to travel, the greater the chance of it arriving late to the job.
If you're on a remote jobsite or prefer to use a supplier across town, avoid scheduling deliveries during rush hour and recommend alternate routes in case of road construction or traffic congestion.
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