For Jason Parmer of Parmer Metered Concrete, Hershey, PA, this time of year is extremely busy. That is because his family’s company’s fleet of five Zim-Mixer® volumetric mobile mixers or what’s known as metered concrete trucks in the central Pennsylvania market, are coming and going from the materials plant to the jobsites, like honeybees buzzing to and from their hive. What makes this routine noteworthy and different from the typical ready-mix concrete plant’s daily activities is that Parmer’s crew is going to and from the plant to replenish concrete ingredient materials and water, while standard ready-mix trucks return for a refill of time sensitive pre-mixed concrete that needs to be put into place within a window of time. If there is considerable delay, the concrete is no longer usable.
“We offer what the customer needs, when and where they need it,” said Jason Parmer as he was preparing to dispatch two trucks for a concrete pour at a nearby steel mill. “With the metered concrete system, we are able to mix the material right on site, which gives the customer flexibility in working the concrete while at the same time, they only pay for what they’ve received. There’s no waste.”
More importantly, Parmer Metered Concrete is able to take on the smaller jobs that larger concrete companies find not as profitable. That is because with Parmer’s equipment, when there are several small pours planned for one day, he is able to send one truck on more than one pour before the driver needs to return to the plant to refill with more sand, aggregate, cement and water. This ability fills a niche that gives customers a high quality product at a reasonable price, without any waste. At the same time, it makes the entire trip profitable since the truck comes back having sold the entire load of concrete that the materials make.
Sales and Service
“The only difference between our concrete and the concrete that comes from a ready-mix plant is how it is made. Our mixing process is a continuous mixing process that is done onsite by the mixing/discharge auger on the truck. We carry the sand, stone, water, admixtures and cement. When the contractor is done with his pour, we stop making concrete. A meter on the truck measures how much material they receive and we bill them accordingly. With the Zim-Mixer Digital Metering System, the unit prints a ticket showing the actual amount of concrete and materials used. It also is stored in the system for downloading into a flash card or computer via USB cable. It’s that simple.”
“From there our drivers come back to the shop and refill the material to get ready for the next job,” he added. “Customers only pay for what they use. On a regular basis, we are able to deliver 2500-5000 PSI concrete. We also offer pump mixes, grout mixes and flowable fill material for sinkholes. Because the material hoppers on the Zim-Mixer unload separately, we can unload one hopper and refill it with other material to change the kind of mix we need to deliver for the next customer. We can quickly go from a concrete job to a grout job with a quick stop at the plant to change the material. With Zimmerman’s independent chain feed system it is easy to switch aggregates, in about 15 minutes. With the Zim-Mixer, that gives us a clear advantage over other mixers.”
“We currently have four, 10-yard Zim-Mixers and one 6-yard Zim-Mixer. The smaller one is very handy for tight jobs. That’s especially helpful for work in the cities and at smaller jobsites. We only buy Zim-Mixers because they work the best and Zimmerman Industries’ service after the sale is outstanding.”
Parmer said they also sell colored concrete. Their market is central Pennsylvania within about a 50 mile radius. Occasionally, they go outside that area at a customer’s request because of the quality of Parmer’s products.
Jason said that he and his brothers Joey and Jon, all began working with the family business at an early age. When they were old enough, they helped their father Donald in the original family enterprise, a swimming pool contracting business. As the swimming pool business began to grow, Donald would find that getting timely deliveries of concrete for the building of the pools were not reliable. That was compounded by the inexact quantities that he needed for each job. Different terrain required irregular amounts.
That was when Parmer began considering a Zim-Mixer, a unit that was developed locally by Zimmerman Industries, Inc. of Ephrata, PA. Parmer knew of other brands of volumetric mixers, but he preferred the Zimmerman unit because of its design and dedicated staff of employees to assist us as we grew our concrete division. “Jerry Stoner of Zimmerman Industries has been an invaluable asset to us as we grew our business. He has experience in the concrete industry in addition to manufacturing the mixer.
Whenever we are presented with a specialty mix design or out of the ordinary job Jerry is always my first call for technical support because chances are he has done it or knows of someone who has.” That was the beginning of Parmer Metered Concrete. This year, the Parmer family has started a swimming pool water delivery business, Parmer Bulk Water.
“Each of us brothers oversee one of the three divisions in addition to working together on any given day,” said Jason. “I over see the metered concrete, Jon the swimming pool division and Joey the bulk water division. Each division has helped the other to grow. Our mother Debbie works here in the office doing billing and customer service work.”
“We started out with two trucks, one new one and one used one,” Jason said. “With the contacts that my dad had from previous construction projects, we were able to develop a concrete business from scratch, as a new company.”
Since then, they have grown steadily every year. Recently, they took delivery of a 2014 CAT CT660 that is seen in the steel mill pour that we visited later in the day.
“We chose the CAT truck over all other brands due to its tight turning radius, excellent visibility and superior drivability in part due to CAT’s own CX31 automatic transmission. In a short amount of time the CAT truck became the driver’s favorite in our fleet. The after purchase support from our local dealer Cleveland Bros has been outstanding as well.”
For more information on Parmer Metered Concrete, visit their website at parmermeteredconcrete.com or call 717-533-3344. For additional information on Zim-Mixers, visit zimmermanindustries.com or phone 717-733-6166.