How to Take Advantage of the Concrete Delivery Ticket

Understanding the delivery ticket can help contractors solve problems before they ever arise.

Kenneth C. Hover, P.E., Ph.D

The concrete delivery ticket is often overlooked on the jobsite, even though it is full of useful information.

Delivery tickets are written so that they constitute a purchase order with legal and financial implications on them. They not only govern pricing and billing, but if something were to go wrong, the ticket is essential in any legal proceedings that may follow.

“Concrete delivery tickets are very important, but they don’t get the respect they deserve,” explains Dr. Kenneth C. Hover of Cornell University during a recent webinar hosted by the American Concrete Institute (ACI).

The trouble, Hover says, is learning how to read the ticket and understand its many parts. But, once you’ve cracked the code, you’ll find your producer’s tickets come with several advantages, which include the ability to: 

  • Quickly identify the mix
  • Check for admixtures
  • Find out how much water can be added
  • Get a handle on batch-time, slump-loss and setting time
  • Check yield
  • Get help adjusting the total volume of your order
  • Identify and understand extra charges 

Make sure you got what you ordered.

This one may seem obvious, but the delivery ticket can help you make sure you got what you ordered.

“Once the mix gets to the jobsite, what mixture is really coming down the chute?” Hover asks, pointing to the mix code as the answer.  

Listed on the top half of the ticket, the mix code identifies the particular mix you requested. The exact ingredients of the mix are listed on the bottom half of the ticket. If your mix called for specific materials such as ash, slag or silica fume, this is where you would notice they were missing.

Hover suggests double checking that the mix design on the ticket matches the specifications and the approved mixture on the submittal.

“If they don’t, there may be a problem,” he adds.

Double checking the customer (buyer) name and jobsite location on the ticket is also important. If you notice that any of these details don’t match up, you may be saving yourself the headache of potentially placing the wrong mix before the pour is even started.

The top half of the ticket also shows the customer account number for billing and the truck number with the driver’s name.

Keep track of concrete volume and yield.

Predicting the exact volume of concrete to order is often a challenge. Using the delivery ticket wisely, however, allows the contractor to potentially make their final order before the last truck arrives. This can be done by comparing what has been placed throughout the pour against the volume still needed.

Understand terms and conditions.

The fine print terms and conditions can be found on every delivery ticket, as well as any extra charges for less-than-full loads, wait-time or cold-weather fees.

Also of note, the fine print often includes a confirmation that the representative who signed for the delivery "inspected, approved and received” the concrete.

“And as we all know, the guy who signs the ticket is not necessarily empowered to inspect and approve and test the concrete,” Hover adds.

The ticket also includes the date, batch time and the time the truck left the plant and arrived at the jobsite and end of the pour. This information is important because the ASTM C94 90-minute rule requires that concrete may be discharged from the truck only up to 90 minutes after the batch time.

This information can additionally be used to determine any overtime truck charges or to help explain or predict rate of slump loss or setting times.

Seeing and understanding this information ahead of time can help avoid confusion or disputes when the invoice is received. 

Predict setting time for your finishers.

Batch time rather than arrival time can also help explain or predict rate of slump loss or setting times.

Complaints about truck-to-truck variability are common, but Hover says rate of slump loss or setting time is tied to the rate of hydration of the cement, temperature of the concrete, and the time when cement and water first came into contact.

“The field crew knows finishing not batch time,” Hover explains, but “by using the batch time, you can make a pretty good guess as to when you need to start finishing.”