Ready-mix concrete industry: overcome these 10 fleet management challenges

Concrete Industry Fleet Management

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amazon podcast

Delivering concrete is the final, crucial step of a batch plant’s production process. No matter how well a batch of concrete is prepared at the plant, there’s no guarantee it will have the same quality or profitability value upon delivery. This is largely due to fleet management challenges directly impacting delivery times, fuel costs, batch quality, and operational efficiencies.

Despite fleet management being one aspect of a concrete plant’s total operation, its vital role cannot be overlooked. Product quality, customer satisfaction, and profit margins can hinge on a concrete company’s delivery processes. Considering that 28% of concrete sold in the US in 2022 was at a loss, staying on top of fleet management is essential.

“How well a concrete plant manages their delivery trucks and delivery processes significantly affects how much profit they earn from each concrete batch. Leveraging technology, keeping communication channels open, and constantly looking for ways to add efficiencies help overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges of managing a concrete truck fleet. –Jose Raposo, VP of Products, CDWare Technologies

What fleet management challenges are inherent to the concrete industry? And, how are companies overcoming them to secure greater profits and strong customer relationships? That’s what we’re covering in today’s blog.

The key points we’ll discuss include:

  • The importance of fleet management in the concrete industry
  • 10 fleet management problems faced by concrete companies
  • The best way to overcome fleet management issues
  • 6 Ways technology is changing fleet management for concrete business owners


The importance of fleet management in the concrete industry.

Getting concrete to a customer, in the right condition and at the time they expect, is foundational to operating a successful concrete business. Customers don’t want to pay for something they can’t use and concrete plants can’t afford to waste and replace their products.

Concrete delivery challenges are so ingrained within the concrete industry, it’s known as the Concrete Delivery Problem (CDP). Studies have been done to help counteract this problem, attempting to address issues that involve scheduling and routing concrete deliveries, balancing constraints like delivery windows and truck capacities, and more.

When managing a fleet of concrete trucks, the processes you use matters as it optimizes the scheduling and routing of concrete deliveries, meets strict time windows, and reduces costs. It minimizes waste, improves customer satisfaction, and maximizes the number of completed deliveries.

To put its importance into perspective, consider these recent statistics:

  • Reducing a truck’s time at plant by one minute saves $832 a year, per truck.
  • In 2020, delivering concrete cost $1.28/minute.

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10 fleet management problems faced by concrete companies.

Challenges faced by fleet managers in every industry are centered around managing real-time events (such as changing road conditions and traffic volume), maintenance costs, fuel costs, and adhering to transportation laws. In the concrete industry, these challenges still exist, however, there are other considerations beyond common fleet management issues too.

A summary of these concerns is listed in the following table:

Challenge Description Why It’s a Challenge
Scheduling Complexity Coordinating precise delivery times with production schedules and customer needs. Concrete delivery schedules must align perfectly to prevent setting and ensure on-time delivery.
Routing Optimization Finding the most efficient routes to minimize travel time and fuel costs. Inefficient routing can lead to increased fuel costs and delays, affecting the quality of concrete.
Vehicle Maintenance Ensuring fleet vehicles are well-maintained to prevent breakdowns and delays. Poor maintenance can cause unexpected breakdowns, leading to delivery delays and additional costs.
Driver Availability Managing the more than 60,000 truck driver shortage in the US. Driver shortages or scheduling conflicts can result in missed deliveries and customer dissatisfaction.
Traffic and Delays Navigating unpredictable traffic conditions and road closures. Traffic delays can affect delivery times, compromising the quality and workability of the concrete.
Batch Quality Control Maintaining the quality of concrete during transit. Concrete can set or degrade if not delivered within a specific timeframe and under controlled conditions.
Order Variability Handling fluctuating customer demands and last-minute order changes. Last-minute changes can disrupt schedules and lead to inefficient use of resources.
Temperature Sensitivity Managing concrete temperature to prevent setting during transit. Concrete must be kept at specific temperatures to maintain its quality and usability upon delivery.
Regulatory Compliance Adhering to industry-specific regulations and safety standards. Non-compliance can result in fines, legal issues, and damage to the company’s reputation.
Cost Management Controlling operational costs, including fuel, labor, and vehicle expenses. High operational costs can reduce profit margins and make it difficult to stay competitive in the market.

The best way to overcome fleet management issues? Leverage technology.

To get ahead of fleet management challenges in the concrete business, companies need to make the most out of technology. Today’s innovative and intelligent solutions are saving concrete companies thousands of dollars in fleet costs, improving customer relationships, and enhancing product quality at delivery.

Examples of technologies that are paving a smoother path for ready-mix concrete fleet managers are:

  • GPS vehicle tracking
  • Electronic logging device integrations
  • Concrete quality monitoring
  • Fuel consumption
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Real-time data trackers


6 Ways technology is lowering the challenges of fleet management for concrete business owners.

Optimize delivery routing and scheduling

Advanced GPS and route optimization software allow concrete companies to plan the most efficient routes, reducing travel time and fuel consumption. Real-time traffic updates help dispatchers reroute trucks to avoid delays, ensuring timely deliveries and improving overall scheduling accuracy.

Enhancing concrete quality

Technology enables precise monitoring of concrete temperature and mix consistency during transit. Sensors and IoT devices installed on trucks ensure that concrete arrives at the site in optimal condition, maintaining its quality and preventing premature setting.

Advanced software shares the sensor’s data instantly, allowing the driver and dispatcher to track concrete quality in real-time and enabling them to make adjustments when needed.

Reducing product waste

By using data analytics and monitoring systems, companies can better match production with demand, minimizing excess production and waste. Real-time tracking helps adjust delivery quantities on the fly, reducing leftover concrete and improving resource utilization.

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End reliance on paper records

Digital records and cloud-based management systems replace traditional paper-based methods, streamlining operations and reducing errors. This transition to digital documentation allows for easier data retrieval, better organization, and enhanced data security.

Make compliance with transportation regulations easier

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) and compliance management software automate the tracking of regulatory requirements. These tools ensure that all legal standards are met, reduce the risk of fines, and simplify the auditing process for concrete companies.

Boost profitability from every purchase

Technology helps in tracking and analyzing fuel consumption, vehicle maintenance, and operational costs. By identifying inefficiencies and areas for cost savings, companies can make informed decisions that enhance profitability, maximize resource use, and improve overall financial performance.

Resolve fleet management challenges for good.

Take control over your fleet. At CDWare Technologies, we have fleet management software tailored to the needs of the concrete industry. We understand the unique challenges concrete companies face and have developed solutions that provide real-time tracking, optimize delivery schedules, and enhance communication between dispatchers and drivers.

Our technology gives you the tools to ensure timely deliveries, maintain concrete quality, and reduce operational costs, during the entire delivery process.

Ready to learn more? Contact us and book a demo today.

CDWare Technologies

CDWare Technologies

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