A&A Ready Mix Concrete Inc.

AA Ready MixA&A works with its clients to achieve their specific concrete needs.

By Alan Dorich, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media 

No job is too large or too small for A&A Ready Mix Concrete Inc. “We’re big enough to service any project, but small enough to care about servicing the smaller projects,” Technical Services Supervisor Brandon Agles says.

Newport Beach, Calif.-based A&A provides ready-mixed concrete for multiple markets, including residential and commercial projects, patios, sport courts, walkways and driveways. Founder Andy Caillier started the company in 1949 with a single truck and trailer.AA Ready Mix info box

Today, his sons, President and CEO Kurt Caillier and Vice President Randy Caillier, own and manage A&A, which serves projects that range from sidewalks to high-rises. “We don’t turn away any opportunity,” Agles says. “I’m proud that we’re not too big or to small to entertain doing any project out there.” 

Fulfilling Work

A&A’s “crown jewel” project for the last five years, Agles says, has been a replacement structure for the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach, Calif. “It’s a bigger, longer and higher structure than what’s already there,” Agles says.

The need for the new bridge is due to the fact that the old one is showing its age and starting to deteriorate. The old bridge also is not high enough over the water to accommodate larger ships that need to pass underneath it.

The new structure will allow for an additional 50 feet of vertical clearance over the water, thereby accommodating these ships. The bridge is essential to ensuring the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles remain vibrant and competitive to shipping companies, while the ports are critical to the economy of Southern California and the rest of the state.

When completed in 2019, the new bridge will span more than a mile. The structure also is supported by two vertical hollow columns that are 50 floors high, making them the tallest structures in Long Beach. The columns will house steel cables that will support the bridge deck.

A&A worked side-by-side with project engineers to develop 200 mix designs for the project. “It’s kind of mind boggling, the mixes we’ve developed with them,” he says.

A&A also has developed a strong rapport with the project’s engineers. “It’s been a very challenging and fulfilling project,” Agles says.

The company also supplied the concrete for the brand-new Banc of California soccer stadium adjacent to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Los Angeles Football Club. The stadium was open in time for the 2018 MLS season, and the team got off to a great start. It was third in the Western Conference in June.

In the Trenches

A&A sets itself apart with its willingness to adjust its concrete product for its customers’ needs, Agles explains. If clients need an exotic material, many of its competitors will turn them down, only offering a set number of products.

But A&A is willing to explore different options. “We’ll work in the trenches, side-by-side with the design team and do whatever it takes to meet the project requirements,” Agles says. “We exhaust all of our options.”

Sometimes A&A is unable to meet their specific need, but “99 times out of 100, we can come up with something,” he says. One of the exotic materials A&A has recently used is Orca, a heavy granite material from British Columbia. 

“It’s a good, hard, dense rock,” he says. “[But] if you want a material to be strong, but not brittle, it can help.” 

The company also is using white cement, white sand and colored aggregates. “We’re also using brand new chemicals and construction processes to achieve looks that were thought not to be achievable with ready-mix concrete,” he says.

“A lot of our competition is not willing to even entertain the idea,” he says, admitting that this can be very expensive to A&A when bringing in these exotic and/or custom materials. “But when you nail it and get it right, it’s very satisfying.”

Better for Everybody

Green initiatives have not passed A&A by. The company uses recycled materials and byproducts, such as fly ash and silica fume, to offset its carbon footprint. “There’s a dozen different materials we can use,” Agles says.

The company also keeps its finger on the pulse of green trends and has made adjustments to its trucks. “We have to make sure our equipment meets or exceeds the emissions requirements,” he says.

A&A also ensures that its plants do not release processed water. “We want to make sure we leave the surrounding areas as good or better than it was before we got there,” he says. “The more advanced we can get with that, the better for everybody.”

This philosophy has fit in well with the progressive construction regulations and guidelines found in Southern California. “We’re always at the forefront in terms of making sure that we’re where we need to be,” he says.

All Together

A&A sets strong expectations for its employees and their work. “There’s a sense of pride and that what we’re doing here is a little different,” Agles says. “We need to make sure that we dot all our ‘I’s and cross our ‘T’s every time.”

He praises the company’s entire team. “From our plant managers all the way down to our drivers and order takers, everybody’s a cohesive unit working together to keep us moving forward,” he says.

A longtime veteran of the industry, Agles predicts more product advancements ahead in A&A’s future. “I learned long ago that you can never think you’ve seen everything,” he says. “We’re going to have to keep up with the newest methods, regulations and technologies to stay involved with the industry.”

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