Concrete Products is the leading source for Concrete Plants, Concrete Mixers, Precast, and Ready Mix news.

Wausau Tile and Iowa Mold Tooling: A delivery solution

Precast site furnishings common in settings from municipal streetscapes to McDonald’s and Target locations positioned Wisconsin’s Wausau Tile among the first producers to establish a national concrete brand. One of the key means of supporting and building that brand is a delivery service catering to non-contractor customers who are not equipped for heavy lifting or repairing concrete damaged in transit.

Wausau Transit has equipped five of its 12 tractor-trailers with Iowa Mold Tooling articulating cranes.

Precast site furnishings common in settings from municipal streetscapes to McDonald’s and Target locations positioned Wisconsin’s Wausau Tile among the first producers to establish a national concrete brand. One of the key means of supporting and building that brand is a delivery service catering to non-contractor customers who are not equipped for heavy lifting or repairing concrete damaged in transit.

Since 2010, Wausau Transit has outfitted five of its 12 delivery trucks with Iowa Mold Tooling Co. articulating cranes. “We have two series of IMT knuckleboom models in our fleet: One 14/98 and four 12/86 cranes,” says Division Manager Todd Treu, who also serves as Wausau Tile traffic manager. “They allow us to self-unload at customer locations and deliver our product without damage.”

Absent an internal fleet and truck-mounted cranes, the producer’s only delivery alternative is to ship through a common carrier. “That creates an opportunity for a lot more damage, because the products have to be unloaded and reloaded at multiple points as they move across the country,” notes Treu. “It’s a lot cleaner if we can put product on our own truck, take it right to the customer, and set it to the ground using our cranes.”

With a 20-ft. horizontal reach and lift capacities from 84,625 ft.-lbs. to more than 97,000 ft.-lbs. between the two series, the IMT articulating cranes are capable of seamlessly maneuvering products from two company divisions, Wausau Made and Tectura Design, onto a customer’s site. The cranes offer superior lift-to-weight ratio and hexagonal booms for extended reach and maximum control, the latter critical to transferring larger site furnishings.

MCDONALD’S ORDER

When Edward Creske founded Wausau Tile in 1953, he established a relationship with the burgeoning McDonald’s fast food chain and cemented the precast producer’s presence in the lives of consumers coast to coast. Since then, the architectural concrete, terrazzo and metal products specialist has created the two divisions. Tectura Designs focuses on customized architectural products like pavers and custom precast concrete, while Wausau Made concentrates on site furnishings such as concrete and metal waste containers, planters, benches, and outdoor tables familiar to McDonald’s customers. More recently, Wausau Made has crafted the red precast spheres now a signature element at Target store entrances.

“Our primary brands service both established and new commercial accounts with architectural precast concrete, paving products, terrazzo products and site furnishings,” observes Treu, adding that Wausau Tile offers products for “every place you go. It’s really amazing how much we have out there on the street.”

To address the challenge of delivering heavy precast elements intact, Wausau Transit was created in 1984 as a house carrier geared to transporting and unloading products customers were not able to handle themselves. “We often sell waste containers to truck stops and gas stations,” notes Treu. “Imagine if we pulled up with a semi and half a dozen 800-pound containers. The workers at the stations would look at us and say, ‘Ok, what am I supposed to do with that? I can’t lift it.’”

That’s when Wausau Transit’s specific delivery capabilities, underpinned by skilled drivers wise to operating articulating cranes, carry the day. — IMT, Garner, Iowa, 800/247-5958, 641/923-3711; www.imt.com