The Hollingsworth Companies is building ever larger industrial buildings. Huntsville, Alabama has a 403,000 SF building under construction and in SouthPoint Virginia located in Prince George County. We are building our first 650,250 SF 40’ clear tilt-up concrete industrial facility. That is roughly 15 acres of floor space under roof. That equals a lot of concrete. For each acre of concrete floor, it takes about 80 very full truckloads of concrete. That is why it is important to try to find a concrete plant that is close to a construction site the difference between 5 and 10 miles makes a significant difference in price as well as reliability and consistency of deliveries to the job site.
Our schedule called for placing an acre of floor slab in a day…every day for 15 days straight. Each day the pour would start at 2:00AM and the crews were paced to place between 80 -100 cubic yards of concrete an hour for 10 hours straight. That is ten trucks an hour for ten hours straight, or an average of one every six minutes! It quickly becomes obvious that normal traffic even on a short trip of 5-10 miles is not likely to deliver that kind of consistency for 10 hours straight even for a single day, much less 15 days in a row. Even if you could make the trip in 15 minutes, you would need to have two on route to the job and two more returning to the batch plant for each truck unloading. With four trucks unloading simultaneously, that gets to 20 trucks running the circuit for 10 hours.
Driving a concrete mixer truck is not at all like driving other trucks. They are very large, very heavy, and the driver must also know how to care for the concrete onboard and how to properly unload it for the placement crew. It is a highly skilled position that is hard to find. This can be a bigger limiting factor than the ability of the concrete plant to produce concrete.
So, how do you make this problem go away? The answer is an on-site concrete batch plant. With the concrete batch plant 1200 feet away instead 5 miles, the six-minute average unload time can be achieved with a total of 8 trucks making the 2400-foot round trip! The entire slab is now in place and ready for the 400 truckloads of concrete to be placed in the wall panels.