15 September 2019 17:44
Construction haulage. Budokrusz relies on many professionals and the Arocs
Economics & Logistics
Reliability and robustness are the basis of the business for Budokrusz from Grodzisk near Warsaw. The same applies to the fleet that transports concrete and other building materials. Mercedes-Benz has set the tone in the company fleet for years now.
Everyone living in the Mazovia region in central Poland must have seen them: the red and yellow concrete mixers bearing the three-pointed star and the Budokrusz logo. They drive through Warsaw and other places. They deliver concrete for large-scale construction sites and also for private housing. Depending on the distance, concrete is delivered from one of the various company-owned cement works to the construction sites. The company has six sites in Warsaw and the surrounding area. The trucks that transport aggregate materials in the Mazovia region are also red and yellow; because Budokrusz owns a gravel plant in Bobrowniki near Sokolka and a sand works in Zbiroza close to Mszczonow.
“Our fleet comprises more than 200 vehicles, of which around 70 percent are from Mercedes-Benz,” says Marcin Charzyński, managing director at Budokrusz. “Our company is active mainly in this region. This is due in part to our own strategy and in part to the industry, because you can't transport concrete over long distances. It wouldn't be economical either.”
Over the course of Budokrusz’s history, sustainable business has always been of great importance. “Our parents set up the company at the end of the 80s. They're still involved in the company today. My brother Karol deals with service, maintaining the fleet and looking after all our equipment,” Marcin Charzyński tells us. “Initially we did excavation work and then we began transporting concrete and finally started producing it ourselves.”
Other services were added: concrete pumps, transporting aggregates and cement, prefabricated concrete parts. Everything grew step by step. Gradually the fleet expanded and changed. “Our first vehicles came from another, earlier economic age. We bought our first Mercedes-Benz trucks in the 1990s. They were used vehicles, including tractor units that were more than ten years old. Even then we were impressed by their quality,” the managing director tells us. “They were dependable, easy to repair and very efficient. And the drivers who changed over from Kamaz or Liaz vehicles were very enthusiastic about them.”
The company bought the first new Mercedes-Benz truck in 1997. “Since then their numbers have grown continually and increasingly we buy new vehicles like the Arocs to expand the fleet instead of simply replacing the old vehicles. That's not necessary, because the twelve-year old concrete mixers are still in excellent condition and we don't want to get rid of them for quite a while yet,” Charzyński says. A glance out of the office window in Odrano-Wola near Grodzisk confirms this.
However, you don't just see vehicles around the company premises. Pallets with paving stones and floor slabs are piled up in the company's yard. These are Budokrusz’s alternative source of revenue. “In 2017 we launched Vestone, a new brand for decorative concrete products. This market is growing and we didn’t want to be known only as a producer of concrete and aggregates,” says Marcin Charzyński. “This branch of business has a greater range, we can set ourselves apart with other design variants and the use-by date for paving stones is not as short as for concrete. With our product range, we can reach customers from Olsztyn to Katowice and from Posnan to Chelm.”
“Transporting and producing ready-mixed concrete requires being constantly on standby, perfect organisation and the availability of vehicles. We cannot afford any downtimes or breakdowns.”
– Marcin Charzyński, managing director at Budokrusz
Both branches of the company’s business involve transportation. “It is very convenient that Mercedes-Benz has proven itself for both types of operation,” Charzyński says. “When transporting concrete, robustness and reliability are extremely important. Our vehicles must prove themselves under very different conditions, both on the road and on boggy ground at construction sites. Short distances, but intensive work. From my 20 years of experience, I can safely say that Mercedes-Benz is a rock-solid partner. When transporting over longer distances, efficiency is also important. We've seen that the solutions from Mercedes-Benz for reducing fuel consumption really work. The vehicles are really efficient.”
Charzyński adds: “In a company with a fleet consisting mainly of construction vehicles with special bodies, you need to be able to rely heavily on the vehicle supplier. They should act as an expert at every stage of the partnership.” For Budokrusz, the co-operation with Diesel Truck, the local authorised Mercedes-Benz dealer, is extremely important. “Both when making the purchase and later. As far as the vehicle configuration is concerned, there are so many solutions available that only a good consultant is able to accompany the customer during the process so that at its conclusion everything functions perfectly. Of course, we have our well-proven configurations, but we do make changes every now and then which we test. Today, in the case of concrete mixers, it is the loading capacity that is the crucial factor. On the other hand fighting every kilo doesn't always make sense. Sometimes you have to choose robustness and thus a more durable component rather than a light-weight one. There are however certain elements such as the co-driver's seat in the cab that we deliberately omit.”
Because the trucks operate in demanding conditions for several years, service is also of great importance. “For us, it is very important to be able to count on the support of the service staff at Diesel Truck after the warranty period expires. The easy access to spare parts also speaks in favour of Mercedes-Benz, because the special aspects of our business demand that we have our own workshop. Transporting and producing ready-mixed concrete requires being constantly on standby, perfect organisation and the availability of vehicles. We cannot afford any downtimes or breakdowns.”
Every day Budokrusz produces many concrete compounds, constantly monitored by the company’s own laboratory for concrete and aggregate materials. Each of these must then be delivered to the relevant customer within an average of two hours regardless of the weather, road conditions, traffic congestion or other unforeseeable situations. Because concrete has a very short life. Therefore this work also demands precision and resilience from the drivers. “Our drivers work under difficult conditions; when unloading and loading they must leave their cab. The concrete mixer must be continually cleaned,” the managing director says. “Added to this, there is the stress of traffic and time pressure.”
And there are both small customers waiting for concrete to lay the foundations of their own houses and large-scale construction sites for public buildings such as the national stadium in Warsaw. The company is also involved in infrastructure projects such as the construction of a section of the S8 motorway near Warsaw – from Radziejowice to Przeszkoda. Charzyński continues: “The construction of the museum of Polish history in Warsaw and the world’s deepest swimming pool for divers in Mszczonow, not far from our company premises are amongst our current flagship projects. The swimming pool also includes an underwater tunnel from where visitors can marvel at the divers.”
Photos: Krzysztof Skłodowski