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slug: shipping-precast-products

Best Practices for Shipping Precast Concrete Products… Small to Mega Large

Transporting precast structures can be an involved process and it requires careful coordination between the manufacturer and job site. Here, we will discuss how transporting these structures is made possible.



Before a structure can be loaded on the truck for shipment, there are several steps that must first take place. The product first must be inspected by Quality Control to make sure that the product is complete and needs no additional work. Once the product has been inspected and signed off by Quality Control that it is ready for shipment, Quality Control will alert the project manager. The project manager will then notify the transportation manager. Once the transportation manager is informed that the product is ready to ship, there are several duties that they will perform prior to the product’s shipment. First, they will create a delivery ticket. The delivery ticket will contain information that includes the shipment date, the trucking company that will ship the product, the load number, site contact address, and the ticket number. It will also contain the sales representative’s name and the customer purchase order number. Details about the structure itself will also be on the delivery ticket, such as the weight of the structure, the crane needed and details for the rigger. Four delivery tickets are then printed out. One is for the forklift driver so that they know which product is being loaded and shipped. Another is for the manufacturer to keep. Two tickets will be given to the driver. One ticket for the driver and one ticket for the customer.

Signatures are required from the forklift driver, manufacturer representative, Quality Control, transportation driver, and field representative for the product. The manufacturer’s transportation manager will also communicate with the transportation company to let them know which type of truck will be needed to ship the precast structure. Smaller structures can be easier to ship where larger structures will require more coordination and can involve different trucks or larger trailers to accommodate their size and weight. Structures that are over 8 feet 6 inches wide will require a permit. Structures that are 14 feet wide require a permit and an escort. Structures that are 16 feet wide will require a permit and two escorts. Precast structures that are over a certain weight will also need a weight permit.

For shipments taller than 13 feet, route inspections must take place and potential bucket lifts may be needed to avoid hitting any powerlines. The route will be surveyed to ensure that it is safe for the structures to travel. In the event the structure is too heavy, too tall, or too wide to be transported, precast designers can usually split the structure into multiple sections to reduce the weight or size of any individual precast section. The transportation manager will also contact a crane company to ensure that the correct number of cranes are at the job site. It is crucial to ensure that the crane has the capacity to lift the structure. For extremely large structures, lifting diagrams and rigging plans will be created by certified engineers to make certain that the structure will be properly lifted. How much reach is required from the crane is also an important factor. The manufacturer’s transportation manager will also coordinate the times that the trucks will arrive to pick up and transport the structures. They will also relay to the customer when the structures will arrive at the job site. Once all necessary preparations have taken place, the focus can then shift to loading the structures for shipment.

“We try to focus on loading the trucks in a timely manner so that they can make it to the job site on time. It is also important to make sure that any additional materials that are needed for the structure are loaded on the truck.” -Noe Castro, Transportation Manager at Locke Solutions



Precast structures are typically loaded by using a forklift, crane, or gantry. The structures are usually loaded on “dunnage.” The dunnage is a material that protects the product during shipment. Wooden pallets are commonly used as dunnage for precast structures. The transportation driver will communicate to the forklift driver on the loading placement of the structures. Depending on the size and weight of the structure, different sized trailers will be needed. Larger and heavier structures will need trailers with more axles to support and distribute the weight. It is important to be cautious and vigilant when loading precast structures. All who are involved in the loading of these structures should be dressed in proper personal protective equipment. A distance of 10 to 15 feet should be maintained from the forklift driver at all times when the structure is being lifted and then loaded onto the truck. Once the structure is loaded onto the truck, it will need to be properly secured. 

Structures are typically secured with chains or straps. Chains are often used for tall and heavy structures and straps are used for heavy and longer structures. The larger the structure, the more strapping will be needed. Once the straps are laid over the structure, they are fed through a lever and tightened until they are secure. 



Final inspections should take place once the product is loaded onto the truck. As important as it is that all product is loaded onto the truck, it is equally important that any joint sealants, eye bolts, or miscellaneous items that are needed for the installation of the structure are loaded on the truck with the product. This should always be checked. Once these steps are completed and the transportation driver has the delivery tickets, the product is ready to be shipped to the job site. 



With coordinated efforts and clear communication, shipping precast concrete is made easy. Once the transportation driver arrives to the job site, the delivery ticket must be verified before the structure can be offloaded. Now that we know how to load and ship precast concrete, how do we offload these structures?


Stay tuned for the next article where we discuss offloading precast concrete.

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slug: precast-light-poles

Every parking lot and city walkway are littered with light poles illuminating and creating a more inviting, safer space. Most people take it for granted and only notice the light poles when they’re absent creating a dark and precarious feeling at night. But if asked, the contractors installing those light poles will probably tell you how much of a pain it is to build this relatively unnoticed feature. And it’s not the actual light pole that is difficult to install, it’s the concrete base that anchors this light pole that creates so much coordination and effort.

Some parts of the country have discovered the relatively unknown secret of prefabricated concrete light pole bases, also known as precast concrete bases.

The traditional process of constructing concrete light pole bases in the field consists of drilling an excavation, placing formwork or cardboard tubing to create a round shape extending a few feet above grade, fabricating and placing a rebar cage, fabricating and securing conduit or openings for electrical wiring, and setting a template to maintain the exact spacing and vertical alignment of specific anchor bolts. At this point, a third-party inspection is typically required to ensure the proper reinforcing steel is used and placed in the correct position, the excavation and formwork have been correctly established, and finally, the anchor bolt and conduit positions are properly placed and secured to prevent any movement during the concrete pour.

Once the light pole base setup has been confirmed, ready-mix concrete is scheduled for delivery. Getting the 80,000 lbs ready mix truck close enough to the light pole base can be challenging, but once ready, the concrete placement beings and a geo-tech inspector is typically required to be onsite to take concrete samples during the pour. After the concrete has been placed and the concrete has cured, typically 7-10 days, the formwork or cardboard tubing needs to be removed and the light pole base needs to be patched and cleaned up to meet aesthetic expectations. All in, this process can take anywhere from 7 to 14 days, and that is assuming no downtime due to rain events or scheduling conflicts with the inspector, geo-tech technician, concrete and electrical trades, or ready-mix concrete delivery. It is a lot of work and coordination for a simple light pole base.

LPB set out to make this process easier. These precast concrete light pole bases can be made in advance and stocked to be ready when the customer needs them. The patented bolt pattern system allows for varying bolt patterns to determined onsite to fit exactly with the pole being attached.

This simple system changes the whole schedule and process for installing light pole bases. Not only does it simplify the 7-14 day process down to one day, but it also leaves the owner with a better quality pole foundation. The LPB’s are built in a controlled factory environment with high-strength concrete and constant quality control monitoring throughout the manufacturing process.

The contractor can control the schedule of installation and finish in a fraction of the time while virtually eliminating the risk of weather or inspection delays…all at a lower installation cost and headache factor. The LPB is delivered cured to strength, consistent, and clean with no need for additional aesthetic touchups.

Locke Solutions has recently partnered with the LPB as a licensee for the patented concrete light pole base system.

Recon LPB Precast Light Pole Base

It is not a surprise as there is a natural fit between Locke and LPB as both companies have a culture and purpose revolving around making life easier for our customers. LPB has taken the cumbersome process of constructing concrete light pole bases and turned it into a simple and quick step in the project.


Precast Light Pole Base Product Information

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slug: light-pole-bases

Precast concrete Light Pole Bases are pre-engineered, pretested and manufactured in a controlled environment.

Precast Concrete Light Pole Bases provide a fast and easy way to install light poles up to twenty-five feet in height and in some cases taller.


We have partnered with LPB and their proven universal bolt system allowing us to stock pre-engineered units.


Light Pole Base Features:

• Accommodates Light Poles up to twenty-five feet tall
• Adjustable anchoring system for bolt patterns ranging from 7-1/4” to 13’-1/2” in diameter
• Pre-engineered and pre-tested light pole bases are 24” diameter.
• Light Pole Bases are designed for multiple conduits from all directions
• Other sizes available upon request
• The future of light pole bases

Minimize Your Project Time:

• Stocked and available for when you need it
• Fast and easy installation
• Less weather dependency
• Less manpower is needed


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slug: compressor-platform-project

Locke Solutions recently manufactured the concrete column and beam structure for two compressor station platforms for a polyethylene expansion project for Total Petrochemicals near Houston, TX.  The total project consisted of 42 columns and 120 beams with individual sections weighing as much as 53,000 lbs.  Locke’s design team worked hand-in-hand with the contractor, Bo-Mac Contractors, and the engineering group with McDermott/CB&I to convert the original cast-in-place design to a precast construction method.  The goal was to drastically improve the schedule duration of the installation and to provide a safe working environment to manufacture this concrete frame with the tightest of tolerances.

Locke’s design team developed hundreds of drawings to detail each individual column and beam and show the unique placement of embed plates, anchor bolts, lifting anchors, steel reinforcement locations, and diagrams for lifting and installation.

The concept of prefabricated products has continued to gain favor as contractors and engineering firms are trying to find more efficient and quality methods of construction.  Not only concrete, but other materials have seen success with prefabrication methods including steel, piping, and electronic components…all benefiting from the advantages of offsite fabrication in controlled environments prior to being installed on the job site.

One of the benefits of fabricating these elements in advance is the ability to stage products and plan for delivery and installation when weather conditions are favorable.

The result is a structure built within a factory-controlled environment with zero safety incidents and laser tight tolerances, all contributing to shorter installation time and less risk of weather delays.

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slug: personalizing-precast

At Locke, we take pride in the relationships we create through the products we build. Though we do have some products readily available “on the shelf”, we primarily create custom pieces for our clients by solving their technical problems in order to create a design that meets their needs.

We consider this service as part of our larger process, even referring to ourselves as “Your personal precast division.” With our refined design process and our years of experience in custom solutions, we try to help customers see the benefits—and flexibility—of precasting. We understand that good customer service is a cornerstone to product creation and we take our process very seriously and our products are a direct result of that.



Just because a product is “custom” doesn’t mean the approach has to feel that way. Since our inception, we have developed unique approaches to precast design that get results without all of the typical design headaches like decision fatigue, delayed build times, or blatant delivery issues. Our tried-and-true process allows us to stay on task while still remaining flexible in pursuit of what we find incredibly important: solutions. Have questions about our approach to precast? Reach out, we’d love to talk about it.



We actively refine our process for better efficiency, shortened production times, and smarter communication throughout the product lifecycle. As we move forward as an organization, we are considering even better ways to implement technology into our daily workflows, creating tighter feedback loops and simplify progress updates. We’re even actively investing in our proprietary software that tracks hours and production timelines, leading to better, more transparent billing and scheduling.



A process is only as good as your ability to implement and support change That’s why Locke continuously improves our industry-leading plant, ensuring what we can dream up can swiftly become reality. From our recent investment of 2 new crane 45′ Proserve bridge cranes to our proprietary production application, Locke puts it money where its heart is: better service.

And as 2020 comes to a close, we’re thankful for all the little improvements on our horizon and look forward to sharing them as they are deployed. We truly are a solutions company, even for ourselves.

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slug: concrete-headwall-case-study

You see it along any farm-to-market road in the country, drainage swales and stormwater outfalls gauged with deep ruts the likes of the Grand Canyon.  Locke was recently asked to provide a concrete headwall (also known as a concrete wingwall) designed specifically for one of these situations.

The 3D CAD Modelers and Engineers for Locke worked with them using AutoDesk Inventor modeling software to create a 3D rendering of a possible solution.

The dimensions and shape of this headwall were unique and therefore no standard mold was available to cast this structure, but…this is a common situation here at Locke.  Our production team is used to dealing with one-of-a-kind structures and they went to work building a custom mold utilizing both wood carpentry and steel fabrication skills during the process.  The final product was loaded up and “received without any issues and the delivery was perfect, notification and timing were great as well.” mentioned the customer.

The customer set the concrete headwall, backfilled, and placed concrete rip rap as a final erosion protection control.

Marco Ramos, sales for Locke Solutions commented, “The best part of the process was knowing we provided value to our customer and helped make their life a little easier.”

Marco’s efforts were definitely noticed as the customer’s final words after completing the installation, “Let your management know we appreciate Locke’s key role in our success and a special thanks to you for being a great customer interface for me.”  Great job to Marco and the whole Locke team!

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slug: npca-2021

We are proud to share the following press release from NPCA:

Local Businessman Elected to Trade Association Board

Indianapolis, Ind. – Asher Kazmann, president of Locke Solutions in Houston, Texas, was elected to serve a three-year term on the National Precast Concrete Association Board of Directors on October 5 during NPCA’s 55th Annual Convention.

Kazmann has worked in the precast concrete industry for 18 years, starting as a structural engineer before founding Locke Solutions in 2013. Locke focuses on engineered precast products in the industrial and heavy commercial markets with products including manholes, pull boxes, utility trenches, box culverts and more.

“I look forward to working with Asher and seeing the impact he makes on our association and industry,” said NPCA President Fred Grubbe. “Asher is an innovative businessman who looks for new and modern ways of doing things, which will translate well as a member of the NPCA Board of Directors.”

Kazmann has been active with NPCA since 2013, serving on the Utility Structures Committee and Education Committee. He has also served on the Board of Directors for Associated Builders and Contractors. He is a KidsHOPE mentor and serves on the St. Luke’s United Methodist Lay Leader Committee. In his free time, he enjoys coaching his three kids in soccer and baseball and traveling with his family.  “My family, especially my wife Meghan, have been my greatest supporters during my career and they are a daily reminder of why I need to be serving my employees and the industry.”

Now in its 55th year, the National Precast Concrete Association ( provides technical, educational and safety resources to more than 900 member companies in 12 countries, all 50 states and seven Canadian provinces.

For More Information:

Kirk Stelsel
Vice President of Communications
(317) 582-2318

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slug: concrete-fish-house

If someone asked you what a “Fish House” was, you would probably think of a fishbowl or aquarium with pebbles, fake plants, some overgrown algae, and a plastic shipwrecked at the bottom.  Now if you were asked to think of an environmentally friendly “Fish House” for the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean, you would probably have something like this come to mind.

Locke helped develop a precast concrete design to manufacture several hundred Fish Houses to be deployed and placed in strategic locations along the Gulf Coast.


Use of the precast concrete was chosen because of the durability of reinforced concrete materials, the scalability and consistency of the manufacturing process, and the rapid installation process due to prefabricated units.

This is not the first time Locke has teamed up to provide an environmentally friendly solutions to the Gulf Coast.  “We have always kept an eye on how we can positively impact the environmental landscape and listen to the people in the coastal restoration arena to come up with solutions to satisfy their needs,” says Asher Kazmann, President of Locke.  “Together we turn those ideas into real products and value engineer them to be worthwhile and economical solutions.”  Locke’s engineering team worked directly with their client developing several iterations of this Fish House design until the most efficient product was developed in terms of materials, structural integrity, manufacturing productivity, and efficiency of shipments.

With apparent changes in climate and an excessive number of hurricanes reaching the Gulf Coast, we need to continue exploring ways to protect our shorelines and ecosystems that depend on them.


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slug: concrete-boardwalk

Let’s face it, COVID-19 has forever impacted the human race in so many ways.

The year 2020 has been a struggle and a challenge for an untold number of people throughout the world, but…being the optimist, there are some bright spots that have come to light this year.  One bright spot being the movement to spend more time outdoors.

One of Locke’s partners, PermaTrak, is positioned to help us enjoy the outdoors with their patented concrete boardwalk product.  PermaTrak has been providing unique boardwalk systems since 2010, and in 2015, Locke Solutions became a manufacturing partner with them.

“Locke Solutions was specifically chosen by us because our niche product appeals to both engineers and landscape architects requiring both accuracy and aesthetics in one product. Locke Solution’s teamwork has been critical to our success in meeting the needs of our customers and I am grateful for them stepping up to the challenge that is required in a partnership when introducing a new product to the marketplace.” says Jason Philbin, President of PermaTrak North America.

Much of the appeal of this concrete boardwalk system is the natural look and feel of the boardwalk while enjoying the inherent durability of reinforced concrete.  “The different combinations of surface finishes and integral color options helps make each boardwalk system unique in itself.” says Matthew Chesser, project manager for Locke.  “Plus, the combination of PermaTrak’s engineering and design work along with Locke’s custom precast experience allows for virtually any shape or size system you can think of.”

Over the years, Locke and PermaTrak have teamed up to provide projects all over the country from Washington state to Pennsylvania, to the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado.  As of this writing, PermaTrak has provided more than 320 boardwalk systems of precast concrete in the United States.

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slug: integral-sloping-concrete-trench

Arguably the most frustrating and time-consuming aspect of an industrial or commercial project revolves around the construction of sloping concrete trench drains.

The ever so subtle slope required to create a positive water runoff flow creates a challenge for the most skilled carpenters and concrete crews to obtain.  Pre-fabricating these trench drains often appear unthinkable as each precast section would have to be unique in order to achieve the sloping invert.

Luckily, the precast industry has made great strides in innovative mold designs allowing for efficient and cost-effective manufacturing methods in precast trench drains with an integral sloping floor.

From electrical utility trenches needing a sloping floor allowing for drainage of excess water, to concrete trench drain systems with the sole purpose of conveying sheet drain stormwater runoff from the surface down to underground drain pipe, there are various manufacturing processes to create this integral slope in the precast product.

Trenches on each project are different, but with the advances in mold equipment, the economic value has shifted in favor of prefabricated concrete segments versus in-situ concrete. This along with the inherent advantages of prefabricated construction to reduce the project duration and minimize the downtime and risk associated with weather delays has made sloped concrete trench installation as simple as laying concrete pipe or box culvert.

These precast concrete trench drain systems have started highlighting how important it is to minimize weather delays.  The “excavate as you go” construction method with prefabricated trench sections is ideal for wet climates and helps reduce the amount of “mucking out” required after a heavy rain.  Gone are the days of excavating and prepping subgrade for hundreds of feet at a time and praying for 2 weeks of dry weather.  Now these systems are excavated and installed in half day increments with 50 to 200 feet of sloping trench fully installed each day.