Lauren Concrete relies on Mack? for power, increased uptime and driver comfort
Ronnie Klatt began Lauren Concrete in 1986 with one derelict plant and four beat up trucks. He slept at the job site and fueled 20-hour shifts with one meal per day. His fifth truck was a Mack®, and from there, with hard work and better equipment, the Austin-based businessman grew to dominate the Texas concrete industry.
Today, Klatt owns 20 batch plants, 10 million tons of sand and gravel reserves, and a 215-truck fleet, including 155 Macks. He oversees 400 employees and is involved in some of the biggest projects in Austin, including the U.S. Federal Courthouse, the Waller Creek Tunnel, Dell Medical School and numerous other schools, condominiums, apartments, hotels and office buildings.
He prefers Macks for their reliability, performance and driver comfort.
His mixer trucks are Mack Granites®, equipped with 11-liter MP7® 395 hp engines, with 1,560 lb.-ft. of torque and six-speed Allison transmissions. His tractors are Mack Pinnacles™, with 11-liter MP7 455 hp engines, 1,860 lb.-ft. of torque, and mDRIVE™ ¬transmissions.
“Macks are the best trucks out there,” Klatt says. “They’re bulletproof.”
His local dealership, Vanguard Truck Center of Austin, plays a crucial role in both his satisfaction with the Mack brand as well as the continued success of his growing company.
“They treat us like royalty,” he says. “Our salesman, Terry Lancaster, bends over backward to make sure we’re satisfied and have the maximum uptime on our equipment. We work around the clock in our shop, and when our trucks break down, Vanguard pulls them right in there.”
With GuardDog® Connect, an advanced system detects problems instantly and contacts Mack’s OneCall customer center with the fault code, where experienced technicians identify the issue. The necessary information, including parts needed, service instructions, and diagnostics, is sent to the repair center, where work can begin as soon as the truck arrives.
“Lauren Concrete is probably our biggest overall customer for parts service and truck sales,” Lancaster says. “When they hit the door, we work as a team to get their trucks back on the job. I can’t think of a time either one of us has let each other down.”
Lancaster has worked closely with Klatt, spec’ing their trucks so efficiently that he often receives calls from Klatt’s competitors, asking for the “Lauren Concrete spec.”
Lancaster is eager to see how Klatt likes his newest acquisition — a Mack Granite Axle Back with standard mixer recently demonstrated at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show in Las Vegas. The Granite is powered by an 11-liter MP7 425 hp engine, with 1,560 lb.-ft. of torque, and a Mack mDRIVE HD 14-speed automated manual transmission. The truck features a Cornerstone chassis, Mack PowerLeash engine brake, and Mack Grade Gripper hill assist, with 23,000-pound front axles and 46,000-pound rear axles.
Though Lauren Concrete is getting good fuel mileage with the Allison transmission, Lancaster thinks the mDRIVE HD will offer even better savings, and that will add up, especially given the length of time the trucks remain employed.
“They keep their trucks for quite a while,” Lancaster says. “Most mixers last about seven years, but Ronnie keeps his because they hold up over time. This guy lives and breathes Mack trucks, and this combination is working very well for him.”
Klatt is cautiously optimistic about using the mDRIVE HD for his mixers. He loves it in his Pinnacles, so he’s willing to try it.
“The traffic is a killer for us, and that’s another reason we like the automated transmissions,” Klatt says. “It’s a huge challenge. Fuel mileage with the mDRIVE is great, especially in the hilly areas of Austin.
Klatt believes strongly in giving back to the community, and he is heavily involved in the annual Touch-A-Truck event, which gives children of all ages the chance to see and explore everything from concrete mixers to cranes. Proceeds benefit the Austin Children’s Shelter. He has gotten Vanguard Truck Center of Austin involved as well.
He attributes his success to working hard, staying focused, and practicing his faith.
“The Lord has been good to us,” Klatt says. “I am a firm believer that the more you share in life, the more you will get back. We surround ourselves with good people, and God has blessed us.”
He hopes to add another 20-30 batch plants as his business continues to expand, and he says Macks will to play a significant role in the company’s growth.
“Mack trucks do a great job for Lauren Concrete,” Klatt says. “They’re the best out there. We have a lot of Mack trucks, and we will always have a lot of Mack trucks.”