Delivering ready-mixed concrete is a complex, time-sensitive process. Customers expect concrete when they order it, so precise planning and seamless execution is critical. There is no room for error.
To meet the needs of a complicated, customer-driven business, concrete supplier Blue Dot Readi-Mix invests in reliable, high-quality mixer trucks and technology that identifies issues before they arise.
Locally owned and operated in Mint Hill, North Carolina, Blue Dot Readi-Mix started with 10 mixers in 2004 and has grown to more than 125 PACCAR trucks, working their way toward a predominantly Kenworth fleet. In 2020, Blue Dot switched to PACCAR MX-13 engines and, with its replacement plans, all the company’s trucks will have either MX-13 or MX-11 power.
Blue Dot chooses Con-Tech Manufacturing, a private concrete mixer body manufacturing company headquartered in Dodge Center, Minnesota, for all its mixer bodies. Con-Tech provides a wide variety of set forward and set back Kenworth chassis and mixers as a package to ensure the best spec in a one-stop shop. The company’s manufacturing and assembly approach, coupled with chassis selection, allows Blue Dot to choose from many options to customize mixers.
“Kenworth has been our number-one-selling truck since we started 17 years ago,” said Dan Welsh, Con-Tech Manufacturing, Inc. president. “Like Kenworth, we take pride in working closely with our customers to customize and build the highest quality mixer that is reliable and durable to best fit the specific need. If there is something we can do better, we want to know – and Blue Dot knows if there is an issue, we will be right there to help.”
Blue Dot leverages telematics with TruckTech+® through PACCAR Solutions to save time and money in the effective daily operation and fleet management of more than 125 ready-mix trucks.
Access to real-time data, alerts and fault codes is key to overseeing preventative maintenance schedules, truck downtime and dealership scheduling as well as minimizing unscheduled drivability issues.
“In the concrete industry, we have two factors working against us in delivery reliability – chemistry and time. If a truck goes down, the drum stops moving, causing the concrete to set up. When this happens, we incur the largest cost repair we have on a mixer body – replacing the drum.” said Jason Spangler, Blue Dot Readi-Mix fleet manager. “With TruckTech+®, we are notified in real time if there is an issue. Speeding up response time and minimizing truck downtime is critical.”
To assure proper servicing, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) recommends one technician to keep 13-14 trucks on the road. By running TruckTech+® and leveraging the technology that PACCAR offers, Blue Dot is servicing approximately 25 trucks per mechanic, Spangler said.
Blue Dot also leverages the Over-The-Air system to remotely update trucks with the latest engine software.
“We changed the way we did software updates because of Over-The-Air. We simply use phones to bypass the bother of connecting to WiFi or using a laptop, and with the press of a button, the latest engine software is updated safely and quickly over the air,” said Spangler. “Truck down issues happen, but TruckTech+® allows us to anticipate what the repair is going to be so we can get concrete to customers on time.”