Successful, efficient and profitable concrete work is dependent upon on a wide array of variables. Proper tools, timing and teamwork all come to mind.
Whether you spend more time concrete cutting and drilling or driving to replace your diamond blades and bits depends on the quality of the concrete equipment, blades and bits with which you started.
In addition to proper concrete equipment, it takes teamwork to be efficient and profitable. Have you considered the concrete hauler as a part of that project team?
When it comes to keeping his job and concrete-hauling life as it is, Dave, a concrete-truck driver, depends heavily upon you, the concrete contractor. Beyond the obvious fact that without you there’s less work for him, most drivers probably depend on you in ways you might not realize.
Anyone who’s worked fast food or other job dealing with the public knows how easily the frustration of unmet expectations can fall on the person at hand, without the customer knowing what has been happening behind the drive-through window.
“When the contractor isn’t ready for my delivery, it’s not like I’m the owner,” Dave said. “I want to comp the delivery if they weren’t ready. But the boss comes down on my [derrière]. Enough times and my job’s at stake.”
He explained that when the concrete contractor isn’t ready – and the concrete becomes too dry to use – his customer doesn’t want to pay and he, ultimately, is the one who gets in trouble.
“My truck only holds so much water. It dries while I wait and I have to tell them it’s too late now.” Then, according to Dave, the customer replies with “well, now I’m not paying for this!”
“Yes, it rolls downhill onto me,” Dave said. “Both from the contractor who doesn’t want to pay and again from my boss when I roll back in.”
Here are some of Dave’s general requests to ensure everyone is happier in the end:
- “There’s the obvious: have the forms ready,” he said, pleadingly. “It still happens. Call soon as you know you’re behind or not gonna make it.”
- Walk the path between the street and your forms. Concrete equipment and other obstacles should be moved out of the way.
- Please give us a head’s up if there’s road construction near your site or other unexpected traffic delays. Every minute matters.
- Be realistic. Consider how many truckloads you’ll need for the day’s available labor and the forms you have ready; how much of the load area will be accessible at a time; and if you should limit it to the first few truckloads of cement at a time, not the total amount for the project.
“I went to a job a couple weeks ago…showed up and there had to be seven or eight trucks already sitting there,” Dave shared. “An hour I waited. [Stuff’s] wasted.”
It’s true the customer is as always as right as can be without putting the company out of business. When you’re the customer of a concrete delivery, being ready is right. Time is money and being ready for that delivery saves you both in the long run, in addition to keeping Dave – a daily grinder like most of us – out of trouble he didn’t deserve.
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