Applications: Moving Material

Staff Report

August 14, 2013

Flexibility in truck transportation allows Oldcastle Materials to deliver bigger loads and run fewer trucks for deliveries while complying with local, state and federal regulations.

Oldcastle Materials, Inc. is one of the leading suppliers of aggregates, asphalt, ready-mixed concrete and construction and paving services in the United States. Through innovative approaches to projects and a commitment to quality, Oldcastle Materials continues to grow.

“Our operations span the nation from Montana to Texas and from Washington to Florida,” said Manager Harry Gorrell, Oldcastle’s strategic sourcing manager. “We’re local to the customers and communities that depend on our materials, yet we deliver the best practice standards and efficiencies of a company with a national presence.”

Oldcastle Materials is the largest building materials company in North America. According to the company’s website, Oldcastle Materials ranks as the third-largest aggregates and ready-mixed concrete producer and the number one asphalt producer in the United States, supplying the nation’s demand for construction materials from 1,200 locations.

With more than 17,500 employees in 44 states, efficiency is a must at Oldcastle Materials. One way the company is able to maintain a high level of efficiency company-wide is through strict commitment to safety and operational best practices. One component of meeting that commitment is through the proper and effective utilization of equipment, which includes specifying the right equipment for the job and having the right tools in the toolbox.

According to Jan Wienczkowski, product manager with dump body manufacturer Ox Bodies, Fayette, Alabama, versatility is key in equipment selection.

“We see it more and more, companies want equipment that is adaptable to a wide range of applications,” Wienczkowski said. “They want to get the most out of their investment, and Oldcastle Materials has been able to do that through the use of Ox SuperDump bodies.”

Safety first

Oldcastle Materials claims one of the best safety records in the industry. Support and leadership from its management team, along with comprehensive training and a companywide commitment to eliminate injuries and accidents, have made safety and health a shared value throughout the entire organization.

Every Oldcastle Materials company operates according to the best practices that have been established over many years of business. Companies within the Oldcastle family share these practices in order to create synergy between companies and divisions in meeting production, efficiency and safety goals.

In addition, Oldcastle Materials has established best practice groups composed of representatives from each of the divisions. These groups meet to share ideas, experiences, initiatives, new industry practices and technological advances that have worked best for individual companies across Oldcastle Materials.

These commitments to safety and best practices manifest themselves in the field and on job sites. From knowing, following and adhering to state, local and federal regulations to maximizing productivity through equipment choices, Oldcastle Materials runs at a high level of efficiency.

The right equipment for the job

One example of how Oldcastle Materials brings together the right equipment and approach in order to meet its commitment to safety and best practice is in material handling and transportation. Nationwide, the transportation system has been under a great deal of scrutiny. Bridges in particular are a focus now for increased inspection and enforcement of regulations for several reasons, most memorably the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2007.

By incorporating a tool like SuperDump bodies with trailing axles into its fleet of vehicles, the company has one more piece of the equipment puzzle at its disposal for improving safety and increasing productivity, while meeting federal, state and local bridge and road regulations.

The concept behind the trailing axle is simple. Multiple axle configurations distribute the weight over a much wider ground area, meeting payload restrictions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. The air-suspension trailing axle is designed to assist carrying the extra weight of the payload and ensure a smooth ride with stability and handling. Four-, six-, or seven-axle configurations can increase payloads up to 25 tons and 80,000 GVWR. In some configurations, on-board weight scales are available for monitoring and optimizing the load.

According to Wienczkowski, the focus on this configuration of dump body has been on the rise over the last few years.

“While the trailing axle and SuperDump body are not new, many companies are finding that that configuration is particularly effective today considering fuel costs, cost of insurance, along with stricter federal, state and local bridge regulations,” Wienczkowski said. “The trailing axle configuration allows for bigger payloads with fewer trucks and less trips. That means less fuel, fewer license fees and lower insurance costs along with maximized profit potential.”

“We utilize the SuperDumps for hot mix asphalt and aggregate deliveries to both customers and to our own road construction jobs,” Gorrell said. “We are seeing payloads of over 24.5 tons per truck allowing us to utilize fewer trucks to deliver total volume needed in a safe and timely manner. It provides Oldcastle Materials with more options to transport the same amount of product. More options means greater flexibility and more opportunities for us to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.”

With those projects occurring throughout the country, Gorrell needs to stay on top of specific road and bridge regulations from state to state — not an easy task.

“We pride ourselves on our safety culture and are committed to following all laws and regulations,” Gorrell said. “With some exceptions, most states, have different sets of standards and regulations. These regulations can differ from federal regulations and bridge laws. These laws can supersede one another depending on the location and the type of roadway.

“Keeping track is challenging especially when we’re specifying trucks and making sure we’re operating a piece of equipment that is safe for our people and safe for the general public and in compliance with the applicable laws. And we take the extra steps to do that. Pieces of equipment like the SuperDump are tools in the toolbox that we’re able to use where we can to help optimize payloads in the safest manner possible. SuperDump trucks help Oldcastle Materials meet customer expectations with more flexibility.”

Article courtesy of Ox Bodies.

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