Analytical models towards explaining the difficulty in efficiently matching site concrete supply resources with placing crew needs

Michael Anson, Kai Chi Thomas Ying, Ming Fung Francis Siu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: For parts of the time on a typical construction site concrete pour, the site placing crew is idle waiting for the arrival of the next truckmixer delivery, whereas for other periods, truckmixers are idle on site waiting to be unloaded. Ideally, the work of the crew should be continuous, with successive truckmixers arriving on site just as the preceding truckmixer has been emptied, to provide perfect matching between site and concrete plant resources. However, in reality, sample benchmark data, representing 118 concrete pours of 69 m3 average volume, illustrate that significant wastage occurs of both crew and truckmixer time. The purpose of this paper is to present and explain the characteristics of the wastage pattern observed and provide further understanding of the effects of the factors affecting the productivity of this everyday routine site concreting system. Design/methodology/approach: Analytical algebraic models have been developed applicable to both serial and circulating truckmixer dispatch policies. The models connect crew idle time, truckmixer waiting time, truckmixer round trip time, truckmixer unloading time and truckmixer numbers. The truckmixer dispatch interval is another parameter included in the serial dispatch model. The models illustrate that perfect resource matching cannot be expected in general, such is the sensitivity of the system to the values applying to those parameters. The models are directly derived from theoretical truckmixer and crew placing time-based flow charts, which graphically depict crew and truckmixer idle times as affected by truckmixer emptying times and other relevant parameters. Findings: The models successfully represent the magnitudes of the resource wastage seen in real life but fail to mirror the wastage distribution of crew and truckmixer time for the 118 pour benchmark. When augmented to include the simulation of stochastic activity durations, however, the models produce pour combinations of crew and truckmixer wastage that do mirror those of the benchmark. Originality/value: The basic contribution of the paper consists of the proposed analytical models themselves, and their augmented versions, which describe the site and truckmixer resource wastage characteristics actually observed in practice. A further contribution is the step this makes towards understanding why such an everyday construction process is so apparently wasteful of resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1672-1695
Number of pages24
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2019


  • Construction planning
  • Construction site
  • Productivity
  • Scheduling
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


Dive into the research topics of 'Analytical models towards explaining the difficulty in efficiently matching site concrete supply resources with placing crew needs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this