26 • may 2014 www.concreteproducts.com
BY DON MARSH
Augmenting a policy to keep vehicles in drive or forward gear at Aggregate Industries US
is the installation of automated, drive-through mixer truck wash down equipment—a
best management practice with safety, quality control and water conservation benefits.
Aggregate Industries US began piloting water spray systems at four Minnesota plants in 2008.
It enlisted a commercial vehicle wash equipment specialist, Key Solutions of Dassel, Minn., to
tailor mixer-suited nozzle bars and racks, and oversee system engineering and installation.
With capital expenditures limited throughout the market downturn, the produc-
er confned the automated truck wash down to Minnesota. Managers noted time sav-
ings for outbound drivers and at the close of business, when mixer trucks subjected
to pressure water spray cycles required less cleaning than those drivers had washed
with yard hoses. Aggregate Industries quality control staff also took note of slump and
strength uniformity of orders delivered in trucks passing through automated wash down
racks. Technicians attributed mix quality and consistency to the controlled amount of
slump-adjusting water—typically 3.2 to 3.4 gal. per cycle—added to drums during the
spray pass through. Pilot systems were set for 30-second wash down cycles using 12
gallons of water.
A Cost Saving Initiative review throughout Aggregate Industries' operations found
the automated truck wash down method in Minnesota ready for wider distribution. From
2008–2012, notes Aggregate Industries/Meyer Material Area Manager Brent Blanken-
horn, "There was a top-down effort to identify ways of getting mixer trucks in and out
Aggregate Industries comes clean
Pump station with reservoir and 30-hp motor.
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