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January 05, 2007

Bulk Materials Billed by the Pound

We got a flier in the mail from a local materials supplier, stating that they were changing billing methods for bulk materials (gravel, sand, soil, bark). Instead of charging by the traditional volume measure of cubic yard, they were switching to a Loadrite system, whereby as materials are loaded with a tractor they are weighed by the pound. On the face of it, this seems like a good thing, using the old system, depending on the tractor operator, you could receive a lot more or less than a cubic yard. The supplier touts improved satisfaction and quicker loading.

After thinking about it for a while, one critical problem seems to arise- what happens when the materials are wet and can weigh substantially more per cubic yard? I would guess that a cubic yard of sand that is wet could weigh at least 20-30% more than a dry yard of sand. Doesn't that mean that materials will cost more in the rainy season and less during the dry months if they are uncovered?

Unless they have a way for compensating for this fact, this works out to be very convenient for the materials yard, while increasing the cost of materials.

Posted by Michael O'Connell at January 5, 2007 03:33 PM


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