At Folsom Ready Mix, we educate all of our drivers in the ASTM Standard Specification for Ready Mix Concrete. Customer service is our top priority and we believe that starts with knowledgeable employees. Our customer feedback is extremely important to us and have since had customers in the field bring up concerns with drivers and the inconsistency around our slump. As a result, we have made a big push to dedicate time and resources to completing slump training with all drivers recently. Continued education is the key to our success and improvement. The ASTM Standard Specification for Ready Mix Concrete that we educate our drivers with is extremely thorough and meticulous.
This specification covers ready-mixed concrete manufactured and delivered to a customer in freshly mixed and unhardened state. It outlines the tolerances in slump or slump flow as well as air entrained concrete, measuring materials, mixing, delivery and sampling for uniformity of concrete. The training begins by explaining, teaching and reviewing these specifications so that the drivers are trained on what the standards are.
We then continue driver education through hands-on exercises. The hands-on exercises begin with a load of concrete that is batched at a 2” slump. After the initial mixing is performed, the driver is to estimate the slump using the tools available to him/her. This includes: a visual inspection, sounds, a slump meter and mix design on the ticket. After the driver uses the available tools to estimate the slump, a quality control technician then performs a concrete slump test to determine the true slump of the concrete. The technician then explains the standard practices of the slump test per ACI 143 as the test is being conducted. This is a great opportunity for the driver to compare his or her initial estimate of the concrete slump to the tested slump.
Next, the technician asks the driver how much water will be needed to increase the slump to a 4” slump. The standard for increasing slump is 1 gallon of water per cubic yard for an increase of 1” slump. After the driver gives their recommendation, the technician then adds the water recommended by the training driver and mixes the load for a minimum of 30 revolutions. Also during this time, the technician is explaining to the trainee the impact of variations in drum revolutions per minute. Once the concrete is mixed appropriately, the trainee is instructed to look at the load to see the differences in the concrete’s texture and flowability. Again, the trainee is asked to estimate the concrete slump and it is verified through another slump cone test.
Finally, the technician doses the concrete with a high range water reducing agent to increase the slump of the concrete to a 7”-8” slump. This is a great opportunity for the technician to explain to the driver the properties of the water reducing admixture and how to utilize the agent appropriately for the best results.
The more educated our drivers are on the standard specifications for ready mix concrete the more consistent our product will be in the field. This will all lead to happier customers. It’s our goal to continually improve the knowledge of our employees through training and education. We want to offer our customers the best possible products and services. We also want our employees to feel empowered and confident on the job. This driver slump training accomplishes both.
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