Concrete Mixer: Fitting Into The Construction Process



The concrete mixer is almost always an integral part of any urban construction project. Construction projects are the reason behind all of the infrastructure around us. Roads, buildings, shopping centres, schools, hospitals, and entire residential areas are the result of careful planning, architecture, and construction projects.


Depending on the size, a construction project can take anywhere from several weeks to several years. No matter the size of the project, there are some steps, and some tools and equipment, that are used and implemented across the board. Keep reading as we cover exactly where concrete mixers fit into this process.


Concrete Mixer: A Construction Project Breakdown


Step 1: Planning


Planning is an integral step in any project. The area needs to be assessed, permits obtained, and plans drawn up to detail how the building will be constructed, what it will look like, and what functions it will serve.


Planning gives you a vision of what the final product should look like and allows you to set up the steps that will get you from start to finish. Planning also allows builders and companies to determine what tools they need, and what quantities of materials they will need to complete the project. Planning ensures that they do not run out.


Tools and equipment do not come into play during the planning process, but the steps in planning are a good time to determine which tools will be needed to get the job done. For example, before the project even begins, we will know what size concrete mixer is needed for the job, and how much concrete it will need to mix over the duration of the project. This needs to be carefully considered and calculated before the project begins.


Step 2: Laying The Foundation


Construction projects start from the ground up, and laying a strong foundation is the most important part. The entire project rests on the foundation, which is why it needs to be good, and strong.


A weak, or badly poured foundation could lead to the collapse of the entire construction project, which is why it is vital to get the foundation right the first time. This means laying it properly, letting it dry, and most importantly, using the correct materials. Concrete is made from blending materials, mainly cement, sand, and water. In this stage of the process, a concrete mixer is used to mix concrete which is then poured into the allocated, moulded foundation area where it is then left to set.


Step 3: Building Up


Once the foundation is dry and properly set, it’s time for the building process to start. The structure begins to go up, bricks are placed, walls are built and floors are put in, and much more. The building starts to take shape and design elements begin to come to life. Concrete is used in this part of the process to create columns, walls, and beams, giving the structure strength and support.


Step 4: Finishing Touches


Once the building is finished, the final step is adding finishing touches. The buildings need to be painted, and tiles and flooring need to be installed, as well as windows, electrical elements, and plumbing. These final touches serve to make the building functional, as well as pleasing to look at.




The final stage also involves going back and re-examining the interior and exterior of the building, looking for cracks, chips, or any other kind of minor structural damage. This damage does not affect the functionality or safety of the building but can affect the end aesthetics.


A mixer can be kept on-site to mix small amounts of concrete used to fix up and smooth out the final elements, ensuring a perfect finished product. With construction equipment surrounding the building, the pathways, driveways, and exterior elements are often left till last, and completed at the end.


Concrete Mixer vs. Concrete Mixing Truck


Concrete mixers are an essential part of any building project, whether they are on the ground or mounted on the back of concrete mixer trucks. They are essential for mixing and transporting concrete in construction projects of varying sizes.


Whilst they both serve the same purpose, there are some notable differences between the concrete mixer and the concrete truck involving their mobility, functionality and overall purpose.


Mobility: Concrete mixers used on construction sites are stationary, meaning they cannot move on their own. They can be moved, but this needs to be done before the concrete mix is inside the mixer, otherwise, it may be too weighty to move. These mixers are usually set up in a convenient location, and the mixture elements are brought to it and added to it.


Mixing Trucks are far larger, and are mobile. This makes them capable of transporting mixed concrete to various locations. Mixing trucks can turn and mix the concrete as they travel, meaning that it is ready by the time they reach the location, and can visit and drop off the concrete at multiple locations. This makes them useful for larger projects, or companies working on multiple projects at once.


Capacity: Concrete mixers, depending on their size, often take less concrete than a mixing truck, however, larger stationary concrete mixers can carry more than a mixing truck because they are not limited to weight. Because the mixing truck has the mixer mounted on the back of the vehicle, there are limits as to how much concrete it can hold before the weight makes it unsteady or causes damage.


Mixing trucks, because they travel on the road with normal vehicles, have to fit within road regulations based on their size and the amount of concrete they can load in the truck. Because the truck travels on public roads, there are limits to how much it can carry, whilst a concrete mixer on site does not have to abide by these rules and regulations.




The Mixing Process: A mixer is placed on site and then loaded with concrete ingredients and components (cement, water, sand, etc.). This is usually done manually but can be done using automated systems to make the process easier. Shovels are often used in this process as well as buckets of water.


The mixing process of the mixing truck is very similar to that of the concrete mixer, as both bits of machinery are manually loaded with concrete ingredients before mixing begins. However, mixing trucks can be loaded at different locations, and travel whilst mixing the concrete. The truck can arrive at the location with the concrete mixed and ready, and the motion of the drum turning prevents the concrete from hardening on a long journey.


Convenience and Efficiency: Concrete mixers on the ground are suitable for construction sites or projects where a continuous supply of concrete is needed. Large batches can be made over time and topped up where needed as the process continues. A concrete mixer can also be optimised for specific different mixes depending on what the job requires.


Mixing trucks are convenient for large batches as well as delivering to multiple sites or locations, allowing for the concrete to be mixed and produced along the way so that they arrive with a finished product. This saves time as well as manual labour. However, the constant mixing during transportation is unmonitored, as the truck is moving, which can lead to the concrete mix being slightly less consistent on arrival.


Versatility: Concrete mixers allow for more customisation, the mixture can be altered and adapted depending on what the job requires or if the situation changes. For more detailed or specific projects, a concrete mixer comes in handy.


Mixing trucks are suitable for small to large construction projects but do not have the capabilities that concrete mixers have to allow for small tailored or altered batches. Mixing trucks can travel varying distances to deliver a finished concrete mix, which saves time and effort. This being said, all of the sites it delivers to will have to be using the same concrete mix, as they are all receiving it from the same large batch.


Concrete Mixer vs. Mixer Truck: Which Will I Need?


There are various factors to consider when deciding whether your job needs a concrete mixer or a concrete mixing truck. For smaller projects and home renovations, one would imagine that a concrete mixer is the right choice, which is usually correct. However, many factors need to be considered, including the size of the project, the location where construction is taking place as well as the timeline and requirements of the project. Here are a few factors that will be considered when choosing which to use:


Size and volume: A standard mixer is suitable for projects that require smaller amounts of concrete that are produced in batches at a time. Concrete mixers are most commonly used for small to medium-sized projects, like the foundation for residential homes or smaller building construction projects.


A mixing truck, because of its size and capacity to hold and mix larger volumes, is suitable for high-rise buildings, infrastructure like bridges and roads, and for pouring the foundation on larger and medium-sized sites. The truck’s ability to deliver ready mixed concrete is also an advantage for large construction projects that have strict deadlines and risk losing money if they go over time.


Mobility: Concrete mixers are not mobile, and therefore suitable for single construction sites. The concrete mixer stays in one location and is used to make concrete as needed for the project. A stationary concrete mixer is a more cost-effective choice


Concrete mixing trucks are more effective than concrete mixers for projects that involve multiple locations, or for large sites where construction is happening at distances apart. Concrete mixing trucks can deliver large batches to specific locations where it is needed and can remain on-site to mix more concrete.


Duration: Concrete mixers are suitable for longer projects, as the concrete can be consistently mixed on-site as and when needed, without the cost of having a concrete mixing truck delivering concrete every day.


Because of their efficiency and ability to deliver ready mixed concrete, concrete mixer trucks are more suitable for time-sensitive projects to minimize downtime on the project.


Labour: Because they are placed in a fixed location, concrete mixers may require more manual labour, as you will have to load ingredients into them and manage the mixing process. It is more labour-intensive in this way, but if it is set out and thought through properly, loading it can be a relatively quick and easy process.


Concrete mixing trucks arrive with the mixture loaded and ready to pour, which cuts out the need for manual labour.




Concrete Mixer: Perfect For Your Project


Unless you’re planning to construct an entire building or another large-scale project, the chances are you’ll most likely not need a concrete mixing truck on your next project.


BS Power supplies a range of concrete mixers of various types and sizes, with the option to invest in concrete mixers for current and future projects, or to hire concrete mixers for a set period. Our team is highly skilled and knowledgeable and will be able to help you select the right concrete mixers for your project.


Visit BS Power to view our range of equipment, machinery, and tools, and let us help you find everything you need for your next big project.