Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: “The Difference Between a Click and a Bang…

 

… is Logistics!” — Anonymous, found on an Army coffee mug; see also Major General (Retired) Vincent Boles

“Leaders win through logistics. Vision, sure. Strategy, yes. But when you go to war, you need to have both toilet paper and bullets at the right place at the right time. In other words, you must win through superior logistics.” Tom Peters, Rule #3: “Leadership Is Confusing As Hell,” Fast Company, March 2001

“I don’t know what the hell this ‘logistics’ is that Marshall is always talking about, but I want some of it.” — Fleet Admiral E.J. King: To a staff officer. (1942) [Oft cited, but apocryphal?]

“The war has been variously termed a war of production and a war of machines. Whatever else it is, so far as the United States is concerned, it is a war of logistics.” — Fleet ADM Ernest J. King, in a 1946 report to the Secretary of the Navy

“Logistics is the bridge between the economy of the Nation and the tactical operations of its combat forces. Obviously then, the logistics system must be in harmony, both with the economic system of the Nation and with the tactical concepts and environment of the combat forces.” — Rear Admiral Henry E. Eccles, US Navy (1959) [quoted in Joint Publication 4-0]

We are a little over a week away from the traditional timing of the State of the Union address, and a few weeks into the 116th Congress. Whether we see the president standing before Congress in the House of Representatives’ chamber, or holding a “People’s State of the Union,” logistics matter both to the event and the plans and promises made.

In the same way, every legislative initiative floated by the new House majority must be weighed by the required resources to realize political hopes and dreams. No matter the personality, no matter our feelings, promises and ambitions — without specific enabling plans and resources — mean nothing.

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  1. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVeyJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    An impressively smart collection of quotes.

    I love reading about this subject, especially with a knowledgeable guide like CAB. Everybody’s seen occasional press reports about America’s seemingly built-in talent for organizing efficient transportation and inventory: Amazon, FedEx, all the way up in scale to freight rail and big trucking’s role just in time delivery to assembly plants. Why shouldn’t the armed forces share that expertise? For most of eighty years, they have, with allowances for the obvious fact that the military and civilian missions are so different as to limit the applicability of lessons learned. Stuff that UPS knows about the insurance risks of making left hand turns doesn’t apply to the logistics of gasoline delivery in a war zone. 

    One thing I’d read way out here in civilian-land is that logistics units were particularly attractive to Black soldiers, because (what I read, not a theory of mine) its skills were transferable both from and to civilian jobs. Organizing a sub-unit of a business like JB Hunt or Yellow trucking with their webs of bases, employees, contractors, and equipment gets military preference in hiring. By contrast, a specialty in artillery or radiological warfare might not fit in to a local hiring picture so well. 

    • #1
    • January 21, 2019, at 1:26 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    This reminds me of two things:

    1. General Brehon Somervell – Built the Pentagon, and probably the most interesting and influential person from the 4-shop.
    2. My wife works for the State Department in the Management Section at the embassy here in Warsaw. So, she plays a large role in all the presidential trips and other officials coming to Poland. Yes, logistics matter and an incredible amount of work goes into it. I can’t imagine how stressed out everyone is at this point not knowing exactly what will happen.
    • #2
    • January 21, 2019, at 1:33 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  3. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Those are all great quotes. And I bet we all know the six “P’s” and what Prior Planning Prevents.

    Still, genius is, as they say, “99% perspiration (which I’d put on the logistics side) and 1% inspiration.”

    And I hope we can allow for that one percent of marvelous, crazy, inspired human genius which encompasses the ability to overcome the odds when all seems lost or when the best laid plans of mice and men have all “gang agley.” Because sometimes that happens and we just have to think on our feet. And often when we do, we see the best of ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

    • #3
    • January 21, 2019, at 3:13 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. Steve C. Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    Stuff that UPS knows about the insurance risks of making left hand turns doesn’t apply to the logistics of gasoline delivery in a war zone. 

    It’s not the risks of making left turns, it’s the time delay.

    • #4
    • January 21, 2019, at 5:53 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. Steve C. Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    Everybody’s seen occasional press reports about America’s seemingly built-in talent for organizing efficient transportation and inventory

    Scale, or as I’m fond of saying the time and distance problem. Our roots as a continental nation was an imperative driving our evolution in logistics. The lessons learned in coordinating systems of nationwide production and distribution starting in the 19th century was the foundation our success in WW2. Plus the advantage of not having your domestic logistics network subject to aerial bombing.

    The irony, our mastery of efficient logistics contributed to the hollowing out of American industrial production. It’s not just that you can make widgets cheaper in Asia, it’s that with modern communications and forecasting software you can plan and schedule delivery with much less friction than you could just 20 years ago.

    Personally, I have some concerns about the fragility of contemporary military logistics. Just in time works great when you are building Fords. But military logistics needs to be robust. 

    • #5
    • January 21, 2019, at 6:31 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. The Reticulator Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Personally, I have some concerns about the fragility of contemporary military logistics. Just in time works great when you are building Fords. But military logistics needs to be robust. 

    It’s important to have good interior lines.

    • #6
    • January 21, 2019, at 6:50 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. The Great Adventure! Inactive
    The Great Adventure!Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    An impressively smart collection of quotes.

    I love reading about this subject, especially with a knowledgeable guide like CAB. Everybody’s seen occasional press reports about America’s seemingly built-in talent for organizing efficient transportation and inventory: Amazon, FedEx, all the way up in scale to freight rail and big trucking’s role just in time delivery to assembly plants. Why shouldn’t the armed forces share that expertise? For most of eighty years, they have, with allowances for the obvious fact that the military and civilian missions are so different as to limit the applicability of lessons learned. Stuff that UPS knows about the insurance risks of making left hand turns doesn’t apply to the logistics of gasoline delivery in a war zone.

    One thing I’d read way out here in civilian-land is that logistics units were particularly attractive to Black soldiers, because (what I read, not a theory of mine) its skills were transferable both from and to civilian jobs. Organizing a sub-unit of a business like JB Hunt or Yellow trucking with their webs of bases, employees, contractors, and equipment gets military preference in hiring. By contrast, a specialty in artillery or radiological warfare might not fit in to a local hiring picture so well.

    If you were to talk to a military logistics expert they’d likely tell you that the military invented logistics. And it’s true – as long as there have been armies there has been the need to feed them, to keep them provided with ammunition.

    In the late 20th century, however, the military fell somewhat behind in keeping up with the technology around logistics. My job is implementing transportation management systems (TMS), and transportation is actually only a small part of the supply chain (in my opinion the most indispensable part, but that’s another discussion). Supply chain also includes such items as Demand Forecasting, Fulfillment Planning, Warehouse Management, Terminal Management, and a whole host of other segments. As a for instance, several years ago a number of my colleagues were implementing a TMS for the Naval Transport dept. One of them told me “The military invented logistics, right? I figured out how they do it today. If they think they might need a roll of toilet paper at their base in the Philippines they pack up every case and truckload they’ve got in the entire network and ship it to that base. Then the next week they need a roll in Germany…”

    • #7
    • January 21, 2019, at 9:07 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Steve C. Member

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    An impressively smart collection of quotes.

    I love reading about this subject, especially with a knowledgeable guide like CAB. Everybody’s seen occasional press reports about America’s seemingly built-in talent for organizing efficient transportation and inventory: Amazon, FedEx, all the way up in scale to freight rail and big trucking’s role just in time delivery to assembly plants. Why shouldn’t the armed forces share that expertise? For most of eighty years, they have, with allowances for the obvious fact that the military and civilian missions are so different as to limit the applicability of lessons learned. Stuff that UPS knows about the insurance risks of making left hand turns doesn’t apply to the logistics of gasoline delivery in a war zone.

    One thing I’d read way out here in civilian-land is that logistics units were particularly attractive to Black soldiers, because (what I read, not a theory of mine) its skills were transferable both from and to civilian jobs. Organizing a sub-unit of a business like JB Hunt or Yellow trucking with their webs of bases, employees, contractors, and equipment gets military preference in hiring. By contrast, a specialty in artillery or radiological warfare might not fit in to a local hiring picture so well.

    If you were to talk to a military logistics expert they’d likely tell you that the military invented logistics. And it’s true – as long as there have been armies there has been the need to feed them, to keep them provided with ammunition.

    In the late 20th century, however, the military fell somewhat behind in keeping up with the technology around logistics. My job is implementing transportation management systems (TMS), and transportation is actually only a small part of the supply chain (in my opinion the most indispensable part, but that’s another discussion). Supply chain also includes such items as Demand Forcasting, Fulfillment Planning, Warehouse Managment, Terminal Managment, and a whole host of other segments. As a for instance, several years ago a number of my colleagues were implementing a TMS for the Naval Transport dept. One of them told me “The military invented logistics, right? I figured out how they do it today. If they think they might need a roll of toilet paper at their base in the Philippines they pack up every case and truckload they’ve got in the entire network and ship it to that base. Then the next week they need a roll in Germany…”

     

    Push versus pull. It’s a problem that’s bedeviled military supply planners since time began. That’s why you hear stories about winter clothing arriving after the Battle of the Bulge. Or the sudden dramatic ETO shortage of artillery ammo in the spring of 1945. Decisions made today ripple forward to six days/weeks/months from now. You can not escape the tyranny of time and distance.

     

    • #8
    • January 21, 2019, at 9:39 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. Vectorman Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Push versus pull. It’s a problem that’s bedeviled military supply planners since time began. That’s why you hear stories about winter clothing arriving after the Battle of the Bulge. Or the sudden dramatic ETO shortage of artillery ammo in the spring of 1945. Decisions made today ripple forward to six days/weeks/months from now. You can not escape the tyranny of time and distance.

    After the breakout of Normandy, and the rapid advance across France with the 3rd (Patton) Army, the general thinking was “home by Christmas.” After the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans held the Rhine river until the 1st Army took the Remagen Bridge on March 7, 1945. It’s not surprising that such fierce resistance depleted artillery ammo, because “the war was essentially over.”


    Join other Ricochet members by submitting a Quote of the Day post, the easiest way to start a fun conversation. We have many open dates on the February Schedule. We’ve even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #9
    • January 21, 2019, at 10:12 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Mark Camp Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    “…America’s seemingly built-in talent for organizing efficient transportation and inventory…”

    In reality, America lacks what is a seemingly built-in talent for organizing efficient transportation and inventory.

    To be more precise, what built-in talent for that which they do possess is not remarkably different from that possessed by any other people.

    If you stopped one hundred people who were pulling carts full of rice down dirt trails in Vietnam today, and tested their talent for organizing efficient transportation and inventory, I doubt you would find the average was any lower than that of the average American.

    A smidge higher, would be my bet.

    The high efficiency of the American production system, including the transportation and inventory management components of that system, is due to the built-in talent of a single systems engineer who simply was allowed more freedom to do his work than his colleagues in all but a dozen other countries out of the hundreds in the world today.

    He doesn’t know how much we admire his world-famous handiwork. This efficiency expert doesn’t know that he produced these results. He didn’t even intend to do it.

    He has no needs or desires, because he is…the same system whose efficiency he engineered.*  He isn’t a he, nor a she, but an it.

    An it cannot have any intentions, desires, pains, fears or hopes. It doesn’t know how greatly we admire its handiwork.

    The brilliant systems engineer is actually not very famous. Others, people who are actually people, have tried to take credit for his results, and have succeeded.

    To what can we attribute this efficiency guru’s results–our enormous wealth?

    Easy question, just find someone who figured it out, like Friedrich Hayek.

    He has one word for you…knowledge**. The system that was able to engineer itself unintentionally, without any government economists or Washington bureaucrats or silly politicians to guide it, (even though they all successfully take credit for it) acquired the required knowledge from its components, and it distributed the knowledge to its components, in the form of prices.

    *No, stupid. He is not…The Stig! That wouldn’t even make sense in this context.

    **What in the world would “plastics” have to do with this? You watch too many Dustin Hoffman movies. Get a life.

    • #10
    • January 21, 2019, at 10:51 AM PST
    • 1 like
  11. Steve C. Member

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    Push versus pull. It’s a problem that’s bedeviled military supply planners since time began. That’s why you hear stories about winter clothing arriving after the Battle of the Bulge. Or the sudden dramatic ETO shortage of artillery ammo in the spring of 1945. Decisions made today ripple forward to six days/weeks/months from now. You can not escape the tyranny of time and distance.

    After the breakout of Normandy, and the rapid advance across France with the 3rd (Patton) Army, the general thinking was “home by Christmas.” After the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans held the Rhine river until the 1st Army took the Remagen Bridge on March 7, 1945. It’s not surprising that such fierce resistance depleted artillery ammo, because “the war was essentially over.”


    Join other Ricochet members by submitting a Quote of the Day post, the easiest way to start a fun conversation. We have many open dates on the February Schedule. We’ve even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    It was a mismatch between production and projected consumption. The shortages began appearing as early as September 1944.

    • #11
    • January 21, 2019, at 2:59 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. aardo vozz Member

    Given the OP, I would like to recommend a book, titled “A War to be Won” about the logistics of WWII.( Sorry, don’t remember the authors offhand, but they gave a great talk about their book on c-span years ago. I bought the book, which I thought was better than the talk.)

    • #12
    • January 21, 2019, at 4:08 PM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    Everybody’s seen occasional press reports about America’s seemingly built-in talent for organizing efficient transportation and inventory

    Scale, or as I’m fond of saying the time and distance problem. Our roots as a continental nation was an imperative driving our evolution in logistics. The lessons learned in coordinating systems of nationwide production and distribution starting in the 19th century was the foundation our success in WW2. Plus the advantage of not having your domestic logistics network subject to aerial bombing.

    The irony, our mastery of efficient logistics contributed to the hollowing out of American industrial production. It’s not just that you can make widgets cheaper in Asia, it’s that with modern communications and forecasting software you can plan and schedule delivery with much less friction than you could just 20 years ago.

    Personally, I have some concerns about the fragility of contemporary military logistics. Just in time works great when you are building Fords. But military logistics needs to be robust.

    Yes, while we do not need “iron mountains,” a nice iron pile protects against disruption of “just in time” or “velocity logistics.”

    • #13
    • January 21, 2019, at 6:34 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. blank generation member Inactive

    Is this off topic?

    A couple of years ago a friend of mine was bemoaning the lack of response in New Orleans after Katrina. “Why didn’t they just drop lots of water and supplies to the people hurting? The military is just really good at that.”

    I was surprised by this and said it’s not that simple. Where were the landing or drop off zones? How to communicate to everyone where to go? Why assume that you can fly in a bunch of helicopter because how do you get the helicopters there? I thought I was right anyway.

    • #14
    • January 21, 2019, at 6:54 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    blank generation member (View Comment):

    Is this off topic?

    A couple of years ago a friend of mine was bemoaning the lack of response in New Orleans after Katrina. “Why didn’t they just drop lots of water and supplies to the people hurting? The military is just really good at that.”

    I was surprised by this and said it’s not that simple. Where were the landing or drop off zones? How to communicate to everyone where to go? Why assume that you can fly in a bunch of helicopter because how do you get the helicopters there? I thought I was right anyway.

    Entirely on point. AND, how do you fuel and maintain the helicopters, house and feed crews, including ground crews, properly rig sling loads? All of this can be done, but it takes planning and a footprint. Plus, you don’t want to just drop a pallet worth of stuff without someone controlling distribution on the ground, to ensure it actually gets distributed, not commandeered? All doable, with enough effort, AND that effort might be better directed to greater effect.

    • #15
    • January 21, 2019, at 7:01 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Steve C. Member

    aardo vozz (View Comment):

    Given the OP, I would like to recommend a book, titled “A War to be Won” about the logistics of WWII.( Sorry, don’t remember the authors offhand, but they gave a great talk about their book on c-span years ago. I bought the book, which I thought was better than the talk.)

    Yes, I read it and recommend it. I think I bought it because I saw the same talk on c span. Great minds.

    • #16
    • January 21, 2019, at 9:06 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Plus, you don’t want to just drop a pallet worth of stuff without someone controlling distribution on the ground, to ensure it actually gets distributed, not commandeered?

    Like with the US and UK airlifts during the Warsaw Uprising in which over half of the 370 tons of supplies fell into German hands.

    • #17
    • January 22, 2019, at 1:57 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    Everybody’s seen occasional press reports about America’s seemingly built-in talent for organizing efficient transportation and inventory

    Scale, or as I’m fond of saying the time and distance problem. Our roots as a continental nation was an imperative driving our evolution in logistics. The lessons learned in coordinating systems of nationwide production and distribution starting in the 19th century was the foundation our success in WW2. Plus the advantage of not having your domestic logistics network subject to aerial bombing.

    The irony, our mastery of efficient logistics contributed to the hollowing out of American industrial production. It’s not just that you can make widgets cheaper in Asia, it’s that with modern communications and forecasting software you can plan and schedule delivery with much less friction than you could just 20 years ago.

    Personally, I have some concerns about the fragility of contemporary military logistics. Just in time works great when you are building Fords. But military logistics needs to be robust.

    Yes, while we do not need “iron mountains,” a nice iron pile protects against disruption of “just in time” or “velocity logistics.”

    These types of logistics issues are always the main part of discussions with LTG (Ret.) Hodges and the CEPA guys when they’re in the CEE region, including infrastructure itself. I’d say things are fragile in that there’s a lot of room for progress but I don’t get the feel that anyone on the US side or our allies in the area believes “just in time” logistics is the way to go.

    I’m dealing mainly with ISR these days but I am extremely proud to have played a small role in the progress in Poland. First, my construction company was a part of many of the highway projects in the lead up to the EURO 2012 soccer championship. Small part, but proud nonetheless. And now that I’m back in defense & security, one of our projects is trying to implement RFID and ITV. Certainly not the sexiest stuff in the world but I think one of the most important and will go a long way in improving overall readiness.

    • #18
    • January 22, 2019, at 3:30 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. The Reticulator Member

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Plus, you don’t want to just drop a pallet worth of stuff without someone controlling distribution on the ground, to ensure it actually gets distributed, not commandeered?

    Like with the US and UK airlifts during the Warsaw Uprising in which over half of the 370 tons of supplies fell into German hands.

    I didn’t know there had been airlifts during the Warsaw uprising. 

    • #19
    • January 22, 2019, at 8:50 AM PST
    • Like
  20. The Reticulator Member

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):
    First, my construction company was a part of many of the highway projects in the lead up to the EURO 2012 soccer championship.

    Which highways, if I may ask? I’m curious, because I’ve read that EU cohesion funding paid for a lot of the new autostrada construction, but that some of the more nationalistic Poles are dismissive of it, saying that the money just goes to German workers and construction companies. (We were surprised at all the good roads we encountered in Poland, and not just the expressways.)

    • #20
    • January 22, 2019, at 8:53 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):
    First, my construction company was a part of many of the highway projects in the lead up to the EURO 2012 soccer championship.

    Which highways, if I may ask? I’m curious, because I’ve read that EU cohesion funding paid for a lot of the new autostrada construction, but that some of the more nationalistic Poles are dismissive of it, saying that the money just goes to German workers and construction companies. (We were surprised at all the good roads we encountered in Poland, and not just the expressways.)

    The A1, A2, A4, S6, S8… truthfully, probably a bit on most of them.

    We worked for all the GCs at some point on some section. Most of the GCs were foreign companies, e.g. Skanska, Strabag, SIAC, Dragados and even some of the big Polish are part of a foreign group. Of course, the worker tends to be Polish or Ukrainian. With that said, take what you read on Poland with a shovel load of salt. Most people even PiS supporters are well aware when it comes to infrastructure we’ve benefitted from the EU and hardly anyone is anti-EU any more than Americans who want to leave the US.

    • #21
    • January 22, 2019, at 10:37 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  22. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Plus, you don’t want to just drop a pallet worth of stuff without someone controlling distribution on the ground, to ensure it actually gets distributed, not commandeered?

    Like with the US and UK airlifts during the Warsaw Uprising in which over half of the 370 tons of supplies fell into German hands.

    I didn’t know there had been airlifts during the Warsaw uprising.

    Yep, thanks to our Soviet “allies” there were many issues that made it much less than we wanted but there was some. Keep in mind there were two uprisings in Warsaw.

    • #22
    • January 22, 2019, at 10:54 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. The Reticulator Member

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):
    We worked for all the GCs at some point on some section. Most of the GCs were foreign companies, e.g. Skanska, Strabag, SIAC, Dragados and even some of the big Polish are part of a foreign group. Of course, the worker tends to be Polish or Ukrainian. With that said, take what you read on Poland with a shovel load of salt. Most people even PiS supporters are well aware when it comes to infrastructure we’ve benefitted from the EU and hardly anyone is anti-EU any more than Americans who want to leave the US.

    Dragados sounds like a partly Slavic name, maybe a hybrid. Good name for road construction in Poland, anyway.

    Yeah, I take everything with grains of salt, especially issues of European nationalism. It’s really complicated. I was in Poland visiting sites where my German ancestors came from, and it seems there is a different, complicated backstory in each of the three regions we visited, to say nothing of the different relationships one might have found within a single village. And that has led me to learning more about the Polish-Ukrainian relationship, etc., which is also unbelievably complicated. It’s fascinating, though. 

    I watched all four of those curb-extrusion videos. I imagine there are really close tolerances, if that’s the right term, for the mix brought to the site in the cement trucks. Are there any additives in the mix, or is it just a low-slump mix? Can you just call the local concrete mix company and expect them to deliver a mix you need? 

    • #23
    • January 22, 2019, at 11:20 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):
    We worked for all the GCs at some point on some section. Most of the GCs were foreign companies, e.g. Skanska, Strabag, SIAC, Dragados and even some of the big Polish are part of a foreign group. Of course, the worker tends to be Polish or Ukrainian. With that said, take what you read on Poland with a shovel load of salt. Most people even PiS supporters are well aware when it comes to infrastructure we’ve benefitted from the EU and hardly anyone is anti-EU any more than Americans who want to leave the US.

    Dragados sounds like a partly Slavic name, maybe a hybrid. Good name for road construction in Poland, anyway.

    I watched all four of those curb-extrusion videos. I imagine there are really close tolerances, if that’s the right term, for the mix brought to the site in the cement trucks. Are there any additives in the mix, or is it just a low-slump mix? Can you just call the local concrete mix company and expect them to deliver a mix you need?

    I too always think it sounds more Slavic but it’s actually a Spanish company.

    Well, definitely the mix is the biggest thing to deal with both in the mixture and logistics. It can go with pretty much any low-slump mix but of course the mix will affect how everything else proceeds. We also manufacture and sell that extrusion machine (I still do that but don’t do curb contracting anymore), and suggest as a starting point a pretty simple mix that we’ve found to be good. I know that we never used it exactly though. Sometimes the specs called for different admixtures, sometimes the ingredients at the nearest batch plant weren’t available. Even things like sand being slightly different from place to place makes a difference. We always took the time to work with the concrete company we were going to work with before a job started to make sure we got exactly what we wanted and build a relationship with them. The relationship is important to reduce the chances of them changing up the mix after agreeing and know how hard I could push if I needed to send a truck back.

    But, yes, you can actually just give a mix and deal with it. We’ve had customers buy a machine and get it sent directly to a jobsite with our suggested mix and adjust if need be. It always worked better for us though to do some testing with the concrete company beforehand though. You can see from ours, there was very little if any hand finishing after pouring.

    • #24
    • January 23, 2019, at 1:43 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Yeah, I take everything with grains of salt, especially issues of European nationalism. It’s really complicated. I was in Poland visiting sites where my German ancestors came from, and it seems there is a different, complicated backstory in each of the three regions we visited, to say nothing of the different relationships one might have found within a single village. And that has led me to learning more about the Polish-Ukrainian relationship, etc., which is also unbelievably complicated. It’s fascinating, though. 

    Yes, indeed. I’ve been here a while and history is my thing, and I still don’t completely get the Polish-Ukrainian relationship. 

    • #25
    • January 23, 2019, at 1:49 AM PST
    • Like
  26. The Reticulator Member

    @ChrisHutch13, thanks for taking the time to explain all of that. I like learning the everyday ramifications of adopting new technologies. When visiting a dentist or a car repair place, I used to look for trade magazines to read (in the days before I could take my computer with me in my pocket). This is even better. 

    • #26
    • January 23, 2019, at 6:14 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  27. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    @ChrisHutch13, thanks for taking the time to explain all of that. I like learning the everyday ramifications of adopting new technologies. When visiting a dentist or a car repair place, I used to look for trade magazines to read (in the days before I could take my computer with me in my pocket). This is even better.

    No problem, it’s an incredibly interesting and rewarding part of my work in both construction and defense.

    • #27
    • January 24, 2019, at 1:41 AM PST
    • 4 likes

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