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Logistics and safety

When ordering bulk products like concrete; steel; and timber, it's important to keep the logistics of delivery in mind.

Site Access

  • Will the suppliers' standard truck be able to get access to where I want the product placed?

    • Standard concrete trucks are up to 3m wide, 4m high and 10m long​

    • Reinforcing steel is often delivered on a semi-trailer

    • MaterialsLink can arrange for smaller trucks where available

  • Will a fully loaded truck cause damage to my property including to driveways, paths and in ground services?

    • Most of our suppliers will deliver to the curve 

    • Concrete suppliers may in some instances drive onto the property where requested to deposit their load directly

    • If a fully laden concrete truck weighing up to 30 tonnes is likely to cause damage, it may be better to pump the concrete from the street

    • If you request a truck onto your property, you will be responsible for any damage as suppliers do not accept liability

How are you going to place concrete?

  1. Direct from the truck: this method is the simplest and useful for jobs where the truck can drive up to the formwork being used. Trucks usually have a chute that can extend up to 1.75m (confirm when ordering if this is an issue)

  2. Concrete pump: concrete pumps are often the easiest way to place concrete where truck access is not available. Pumps add to the cost of the pour but can reduce the labour required

  3. Wheel barrow: using a wheel barrow can be a good option for small loads but remember, concrete is heavy: 1 cubic metre weighs approximately 2,500kg. Using a standard wheelbarrow, moving 1m3 will take 30 trips and each load will weigh 80kgs (15 trips are possible but each load weighs 160kg). Trucks only have around 20mins to unload their load after which additional fees will apply so if you're using a wheelbarrow it's important to have several people helping out

Making sure you have enough materials

It's always cheaper to order a little extra than to have to place a separate order for a small load.


For concrete it's recommended that 10% extra be ordered for a standard residential job: ordering 10% extra might cost you around $250 whereas ordering an extra 1m3 in a separate order will cost you approximately $380 due to minimum cartage costs imposed by suppliers. 

For products that are scheduled by the supplier (e.g. reinforcing) they will usually fit engineering drawings and be quite precise so make sure your drawings match the site.


It's always best to cross check measurements on site before ordering to make sure that human variance and environmental factors (e.g. uncompacted surfaces) don't necessitate lower or higher quantities.


Building materials can be dangerous and it's important to follow proper safety precautions. Consult an expert if in doubt about the right way to handle or assemble materials. In particular be aware that:

  • Wet concrete can cause chemical burns to skin and eyes: make sure you use appropriate safety clothing and equipment

  • Always wear head protection when on a construction site

  • Be aware of the risk of puncture wounds from unfinished frames, formwork, reinforcing and other materials. Make sure sharp surfaces are appropriately covered and visible

  • Protect your back: lift with your legs and bend your knees when moving heavy items, don't use your back. Take care not to overload wheelbarrows when carrying concrete and make sure you're pushing forward not pulling upwards. Get help if you need it: a day of labour is cheaper than a month of injury

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