Concrete Products

AUG 2018

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Page 43 of 71

42 • August 2018 Eyeing a broad swath of metro area beyond Boston city limits, Massachusetts Ready Mix (MRM) has emerged in a healthy market more fragmented than the one leading into the recession. The producer launched in early 2018 from Littleton, a town along the Inter- state 495 outer loop, with a fleet of eight new Oshkosh front discharge mixers—blue drums bearing on yellow chassis—and a new, enclosed batch plant at a site steeped in New England concrete production. "Our message and logo are clear: 'Commit- ted to Safety and Quality.' We deliver when we say we will and back our motto with Mas- sachusetts Department of Transportation, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and OSHA certifications and training," says MRM General Manager Wayne Tarr, whose tenure in Boston area ready mixed production spans 40-plus years and tours of duty with family owned or multinational operators. "Our business is split about 40/40/20 between resi- dential, commercial, and utility and DOT work. We see a lot of flowable and thermal fill mix orders for utility jobs, and high performance concrete for transportation work." MRM is staking claim in a market of shifting ready mixed production leadership, where no operator commands a suburban share exceeding 25 percent. More oval than round, MRM's delivery radius stretches about 40 miles west of Boston and 50 to 60 miles north-south, into New Hampshire. The target is large by standards of a producer on the edge of a key population center, but reflects Greater Boston's lack of a straight road grid more typical of a major city; challenging traf- fic patterns that hamper optimal mixer fleet scheduling; and, restrictive land use terms that tend to confine plants to legacy plots versus better situated greenfields. MRM's site is strategically located for major thoroughfares leading into Boston, Cambridge and cities along the corridor of Massachusetts Route 128, long known for technology and pharmaceutical companies. The property was home to San-Vel Con- crete Corp., a precast/prestressed and ready mixed producer ultimately acquired by Lone Star Industries. The producer's status as a pillar of New England concrete faded when it became party to 1980s lawsuits over the failure of prestressed railroad ties, placed along Northeast Corridor lines and exhibiting deterioration attributed to delayed ettringite formation. Although fabrication took place closer to the rail lines, tie testing was per- formed at the home office of San-Vel. The producer's single-tee-styled wall members remain as the enclosure for one of the MRM headquarters buildings. "This site has seen concrete production since 1940. I have worked here for three companies," observes Tarr. Littleton prop- erty dispatches have given him a front row seat to cement company integration and related market consolidation measures, and post-recession fragmentation. His path to MRM began in the early 1970s at Wakefield Ready Mixed Concrete, a fami- ly-owned operator with a strong suburban presence. He proceeded to posts with city and/or suburban operators Rosenfeld Con- crete and J.H. McNamara. The latter was acquired in the early 1990s by Bardon Trimount, Aggregate Industries' United Kingdom-based predecessor. He returned to Wakefield RMC ahead of Bardon's buyout of principals, the Schelzi family, and remained with company's transition to the Aggregate Industries Northeast Region flagship. Tarr left the producer in 2011 for Benevento Cos., which owns a large quarry northwest of Boston, and tasked him with expanding a ready mixed concrete business alongside existing asphalt production. Continued on page 45 COVER STORY BY DON MARSH BAY STATE BRAND Massachusetts Ready Mix instills Quality and Safety across an expansive, Boston-bordering market area Wayne Tarr

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