Frequently Asked Questions
Step 1: Placing an Order
We have multiple locations in Maryland that service the greater Baltimore and western Maryland regions as well as selected areas of southern Pennsylvania and West Virginia. To ensure superior service, please schedule your order as soon as possible. Schedules often fill quickly so the earlier you call the more likely you’ll get the time slot that fits your project. Contact Us to place your order.
When you call, your customer service representative will want to know a few things including:
- Your name
- Your company name
- A call back number where we can reach you or your contractor on the job, preferably a mobile telephone number
- The job address, city, state, and zip code
- A PO number (if your company requires it)
- The delivery date and time
- The status of the order:
- Definite/Active – We will ship the order to you at the agreed upon date and time with no more interaction from you.
- Will Call – We will hold your time slot and your order details in the system and wait for you to call and release the order on the scheduled shipping date.
- Your payment method – We accept Cash, Check, Credit Card, or we can establish a business credit line with you.
- The total cubic yards that you wish to order and if you want us to put your order in as a plus order. If you order 9 yards, for example, we will ship 9 yards to you and schedule the truck for another customer following completion of your project. If you order 9 yards plus we understand that you may require additional concrete and will be sure to leave room in the schedule to accommodate an increase in total yardage following your first truck.
- The schedule of your trucks (if ordering over 10 yards) – If you order 16 yards of concrete do you want 10 yards on the first truck followed by 6 yards on the second truck 20 minutes apart? Or maybe you would prefer 8 yards on the first truck and 8 yards on the second truck 30 minutes apart? We can work with you to accommodate a delivery schedule that works for you.
- The product that you wish to pour, as well as any additional additives. Your customer service representative can assist you in choosing the best product for your application.
Your customer service representative will confirm the details of your order and give you a final price. You can also request an order number which will expedite any future calls about your order.
Step 2: Confirm or Cancel an Order
If you placed a will call order, please be sure to call and confirm that you wish to change your order to active. We will not ship a will call order until we hear from you first. If inclement weather or extenuating circumstances require you to cancel an active or will call order, please notify us immediately, preferably at least 2 hours before your scheduled delivery time.
Step 3: Dispatch, Tracking, and Delivery
We locate the shipping address that you provide and pair that with the delivery time you have requested. Our systems then pin point the exact time that we need to load your order to ensure timely delivery. The order details are sent to a batch panel which interacts with the physical plant to weigh all the materials in correct proportion and empty them into the truck. The driver cleans the truck one final time, inspects the load, and is on his way to your job.
As the truck leaves any of our plant locations our satellite tracking system continually monitors its position en route to your job. Your dispatcher can find the exact location of the truck at your request. He or she can also preemptively deal with issues en route to you job before they impact the delivery of your material based on the real-time data provide by our tracking system.
Step 4: Billing and Payment Options
We offer various billing and payment options including Cash, Check, Visa® or Master Card®, or you can contact our Sales department to setup credit terms. For larger projects your salesperson can provide a customized quote with project pricing.
If you choose to pay by Check please be aware that we will ask you for a telephone number that is linked to the account so that we can verify that the required funds are available. We will NOT ask you for the bank account number or routing number on the phone.
If you order by business line of credit you will usually receive an invoice within one week of your concrete delivery as all completed orders are billed within two days of the delivery date.
We know that business is all about value and we strive to make sure that our products and services add value to your project. From the first phone call to the final invoice we want your experience with us to be outstanding. That means accuracy in placing your order, honest and up front pricing, quality raw materials, on time delivery, and accurate billing.
We never cut costs or boost profits by cutting corners in any aspect of production, from raw materials to the finished product. We insist on quality materials to produce quality products that are industry-proven. Our focus is on outstanding customer service paired with a quality product at a competitive price point. We think you’ll be impressed!
Concrete itself is a relatively safe material with which to work, however, the delivery and placement of concrete can have some inherent dangers. You can mitigate most risk by taking a few simple precautions:
- Wear personal protective equipment including safety glasses, PVC gloves, rubber boots, a high visibility vest, a hard hat, and fall protection if necessary.
- Fresh concrete may irritate your skin – be sure to wear gloves and rubber boots. If you’re going to be finishing the concrete on your knees with a float, be sure to wear knee pads that are soft and waterproof. Consult a medical professional if you experience irritation in the eyes or prolonged skin irritation.
- Be sure that you have a location large enough for a mixer truck to navigate and park safely, out of the flow of traffic. Our mixer trucks are rear-discharge meaning that the driver will have to back his or her truck into position. A mixer is nearly 12’ high, 9’ wide, and 25’ long. Be sure that your driveway or job site can accommodate a truck of this size.
- Mixer trucks can weigh between 36,000lbs and 75,000lbs depending on the load. Be sure that your driveway or job site entrance can support the weight.
- Beware when placing concrete below grade, or ground level. Be sure that you provide appropriate escape inclines and adequate support to any loose dirt to prevent a cave-in.
- Be sure that you have a plan to effectively unload the concrete safely. If the truck cannot directly access the site of your pour you will likely have to use buckets, a wheelbarrow, buggies, or even a concrete pump. Be careful not to injure yourself by carrying loads that are too heavy.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially when working with large equipment including mixer trucks, pump trucks, etc. Stand clear when equipment is in motion and work safely near all equipment.
- Concrete is often poured in places that are by nature “unfinished”. Watch for dirt access roads, ruts, muddy conditions, hazardous inclines, or slippery surfaces.
- Plan for incidents and injuries. Make sure you know who to call if someone were injured on your job or at your home. Ask your contractor about your liability for an injury while at your home or jobsite. Also ask your contractor about their liability concerning any property damage that may take place during construction. The more you know, the more prepared you’ll be.
The reaction between water and cement gives concrete its strength. The important water-to-cement ratio is responsible for the strength of the finished product. Concrete strength is usually measured by its compressive and flexural strength in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). When you order a “Bag” mix you’re really ordering a specific quantity of cement per cubic yard of concrete. Using some conversion factors you can translate between the two.
It takes time for concrete to achieve its full strength. They say that the innermost concrete poured in the Hoover Dam is still hardening to this day! Often concrete is measured for strength at intervals of 7 days, 14 days, 28 days, and sometimes 56 days. We assume that the 28 day strength test will be an accurate measurement of the final strength of the product.
Your account representative can help you determine what strength of concrete you need. As you can imagine, cement is a costly material in the production of concrete. We tailor specific mixes to specific applications so that you can successfully accomplish the goals of your project in an economical way.
Concrete is one of the most versatile building materials used in construction today. In the 1960’s concrete construction challenged steel structure construction in the United States. Rather than large steel girders and steel decking, reinforced concrete was used to make building columns and decks in high rises. This economical building method is used more than ever today.
Part of the versatility of concrete is its wide availability and wide range of applications. In addition to large building construction, concrete is often used in residential applications for driveways, house foundations and walls, as well as many others. Concrete is often used for paving and curb and gutter applications. Precast concrete refers to the process of filling pre-made molds with concrete to produce a variety of things such as drainage piping or underground vaults. Tilt-up concrete construction is a building process often used in large warehouses with a large flat floor and semi-identical wall sections. Construction crews pour a large flat floor then spray a non-stick film onto the floor. The wall sections are actually formed on top of the floors and “tilted up” into place using a crane.
Schuster Concrete ships what we call Ready-Mixed Concrete. When you place an order for concrete we match your requirements with a specific mix design from our database. The mix constituents are sent to batch panels that load all the raw materials into a drum which mixes the concrete. By the time the truck arrives at your job the product is sufficiently mixed and ready to pour. Each load is custom made for your application according to a specific mix design only moments before the truck leaves for your home or job. The batching of the raw materials in their specific quantities is done by computer, guaranteeing accurate products and reproducible mixes.
Cement and concrete are not the same thing, but concrete does have cement as a primary ingredient.
In its most basic form concrete is made of cement, water, sand, and stone. Cement is a very fine powder made from limestone, sand, clay, and iron ore. In the right proportions these ingredients are crushed and super-heated in a kiln to form “clinker”. The clinker is crushed again with the correct amount of gypsum and other ingredients and the result is a fine powder that we call cement. The strength of concrete comes from the reaction between water and the chemical compounds in cement referred to as hydration. The aggregates in concrete (sand and stone both coarse and fine) serve to add volume only and are not active ingredients in the hydration process.
Schuster Concrete delivers ready-mixed concrete to jobsites in the following geographical areas:
Anne Arundel County, MD
Baltimore City, MD
Baltimore County, MD
Carroll County, MD
Frederick County, MD
Harford County, MD
Howard County, MD
Montgomery County, MD
Prince Georges County, MD
Washington County, MD
Berkeley County, WV
Jefferson County, WV
Franklin County, PA
Fulton County, PA
Please contact an account representative at one of our seven concrete plant locations to confirm that concrete delivery is available to your specific jobsite.