A lot of things can change between the time when bidding is completed for our paving jobs and the actual work begins. That happened recently for a large job on Highway 72 in Benton County, Mississippi.
For each paving job, we not only plan for the needed materials, equipment and people, but we plan which of our asphalt plants will produce the mix and what it will take to transport that mix to the job-site. As usual, the mix for the Highway 72 job was planned to be produced by the plant closest to the jobsite – Plant 10 in Byhalia, Mississippi. However, as the job started, our teams saw an opportunity to lower costs.
Noticing the independent haulers we were using to transport the asphalt were coming from Water Valley and Grenada, our team questioned how much could be saved if the first load was picked up from the plant closest to their home base – Plant 11 in Oxford – before getting mix from Plant 10 for the rest of the day.
By making this change, the company avoided paying travel time on empty trucks. Even though the haul rate was slightly higher for Plant 11 than for Plant 10, the net savings was more than $70 per load. It may sound like a relatively small amount, but this resulted in a savings of approximately $1,400 per day and more than $7,000 per week.
We talk constantly about how we can improve. Those conversations result in major changes at times, but more often, it’s ideas like this that make the greatest impact. Our appreciation goes out to our team for looking at the big picture and creating a win for the entire company.