For most ready-mixed operators, the thought of supporting a project of 4 yds. or less seems like economic suicide. The heavy investment in batch plants,
For most ready-mixed operators, the thought of supporting a project of 4 yds. or less seems like economic suicide. The heavy investment in batch plants, fleets and staffing requires a volume that does not fit with small-load jobs. For 13 years in markets throughout the United States and Canada, Cart-Away Concrete System’s trailer-based delivery has become the lifeblood for small concrete jobs. This 1-yd. transport system has proven that one or more cubic yards of material, delivered one yard at a time creates economic security and solid business for smaller jobs.
The company’s systems are an outgrowth of this success and have made concrete in a trailer-mounted mixer a necessity in many communities and job types not served by Big Box home improvement centers. These systems have proven valuable additions to rental, landscape supply and building material operations across he country since the early Î80s, says Tom Vail, franchise specialist with McMinnville, Ore.-based Cart-Away, which manufactures its own mixers, trailers and small batching systems.
Even when many businesses are attempting to operate under the sustainability banner, Cart-Away is making an impact on each community as small delivery trailers at franchise locations reduce the impact on city streets by replacing large delivery trucks that can create groove or potholes. Road-friendly delivery is a major element in the sustainability initiative.
To prove how big this smaller-scale job market has become, the trailer-based delivery system has just entered into the realm of franchising, the mainstay of American business models. Under the Cart-Away Supply banner, this newly formed division recently has completed its FTC compliance requirements, with a concept built upon the proven formula of serving the small in a big way. According to the company, which claims a 90 percent market share in this niche business, many of its regular customers who purchase this equipment are now looking to convert to the franchise model.
While the business revolves around concrete, it provides opportunity to service the equipment rental and landscape needs of contractors and do-it-yourself customers. Each franchise, which also will feature a rental component, will stock merchandise and tools to support many of the hardscape projects that are individually small in scale, but can add up in a given community. The anchor product will be a 1.75-yd. mixer exclusive to the franchise. We did a study of our existing customers and asked how much concrete each one was buying from us per job, explains Bruce Christensen, general manager of the Cast-Away’s manufacturing division. It turns out that most jobs require more than one 1-yd. delivery, so we upped the size of the drum to allow for fewer trips.
Cart-Away ready-mixed serves projects up to five yards, while the company’s bulk landscape materials division will supply projects up to 20 yards. We sell the stuff people walk on every day, like soils, rocks, stone and barks, as well as concrete for sidewalks and patios, explains Scott Crist, another Cart-Away franchise specialist. Then, we help customers by offering the rental tools and expert advice to make installation easier.
In addition to selling the equipment necessary to produce and deliver ready mixed, part of the franchise opportunity includes setting up 15-ft.-wide _ 15-ft.-deep bins to sell all the raw materials necessary to make concrete, as well as other bulk landscape materials, and offering various size dump trailers so customers can load up and drive away with the products. Powdered cement is stored in a 20-ft.-tall x 10-ft.-diameter silo that is connected to each BatchKing material loader. The silo holds enough cement to produce about 100 yds. of concrete before refilling. Cement, water, sand and gravel all come from this integrated batch plant and load each trailer drum for mixing.
The company-manufactured BatchKing computerized batching system enables admixtures to be placed into the mix design and allows for easier finishing and for the final product be certified by psi, a first for Cart-Away.
The concept is positioned to benefit from trends in home improvement, renting equipment and sustainability. In 2007, Global Economic Research discovered that spending on household improvements (such as remodeling and renovations) has risen as much as 18.5 percent, or $27 billion, in the past year. When discussing the small equipment market, Rental Equipment Register found that compact equipment is one of the construction equipment industries hottest. Û www.cart-away.com; www.cartawaysupply.com