Dickinson Ready Mix charged by booming ND oil field business

Source: CP staff

Unlike other companies upgrading their facilities in anticipation of an improving economy and the resulting surge of new and returning business, North Dakota’s Dickinson Ready Mix was in the fortunate position of never having gone through a significant downturn as many other construction-related operations did.

In fact, the start date on replacing its existing 33-year-old concrete batch plant had to be moved forward because of the potential construction of a coal-to-hydrogen power plant 10 miles from Dickinson. At the same time, the oil boom that was taking place in the northwest corner of the state was beginning to move south, culminating in an explosion of oil activity in the area. As a result, construction of Dickinson’s new plant began in June 2009, with the move into the new building occurring on Labor Day 2010.


As part of the new plant, Dickinson considered several building options for the plant enclosure and adjoining new offices. Factors that were important to the company leadership during the design phase included wanting to showcase the product they sell. As a result, the company not only opted to use concrete as its major building material but also wanted the concrete exposed. Dickinson also wanted an energy-efficient building with a durable, low-maintenance exterior. In addition, cost-effectiveness was critical, and to keep the construction as sustainable as possible, the company wanted to utilize local contractors and sub-contractors.

After evaluating the different construction types and company requirements for the new plant, Dickinson selected site-cast tilt-up, making it the first project of any kind in North Dakota to utilize the Lite-Deck Tilt-Up system. The new office and batch plant structure is a 15,780-sq.-ft. building that includes a 3,200-sq.-ft. office, an 8,000-sq.-ft. shop, a 3,600-sq.-ft. batch plant, and a 980-sq.-ft. lab/admixture room. The complex features tilt-up concrete walls with a post-tensioned concrete roof. All totaled, the complex required 82 individual wall and roof panels (totaling 27,153 sq. ft.), including 75 wall panels ranging between 16 ft. and 50 ft. 9 in. tall, and 12 roof panels up to 60 ft. long.

Dickinson General Manager Scott Olin estimates that presently about 75 percent of the company’s business comes 75 percent from commercial work and 25 percent from residential, with 70–75 percent of total construction being oil and energy related. He adds that over the last two years, the company has added about 10 mixer trucks (to a total of 26) and a RexCon Mobile 12SE unit, with 150-yd./hour capacity and delivery by the main plant’s mixers trucks.

More information on Dickinson Ready Mix’s operation can be found in Concrete Products‘ Digital Edition.