Concrete Mixers 101: A complete guide to different models

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A Concrete Mixer is used to mix cement, water and aggregate in proportion into a consistent mix known as concrete. They were invented in the early years of the twentieth century, since then their construction has evolved into the ones we know today. This comprehensive guide gives you all you need to know about concrete mixers, all in just 6 minutes reading time.



The main parts of a concrete mixer consist of a standard tilting mixer drum, driven by rotating gears, V-belts and pulleys, all mounted on a steel frame and powered by an electric motor or an internal combustion engine. The drum is equipped with mixing paddles to facilitate a consistent mix and most are wheeled, however stationary units are also available.



Tilting occurs by the use of gravity to discharge concrete into wheelbarrows or a concrete dumper. They have a much higher production capability with a better mix consistency than what would be possible manually, but is still mobile enough to allow for moving it around the construction site.



To ensure operator safety, some features include a ring gear guard. On some models this guard is removable to make cleaning and servicing easier. They also come with an enclosed engine cabin, which may or may not be lockable.


Typical construction of a traditional tilting drum model:


Typical construction of a traditional tilting drum model


1 Frame 9 Bearing 17 Ring Gear
2 Tilt Wheel 10 Bearing 18 Pulley
3 Tilt Gear 11 Drum 19 Wheels
4 Tilt Gear Cover 12 Spacer 20 Engine Bracket
5 Housing 13 Bearing 22 Hitch
6 Yoke 14 Nut 23 Canopy Arm
7 Bevel Pinion 15 Drum Cap 24 Canopy
8 Bush 16 Seal



If you’re thinking about buying or renting one, there are a lot of different options to explore. They come in a wide range of sizes, weights, and features. The different types of concrete mixers are:


  • DIY Mini Type Concrete Mixers
  • Traditional Tilting Drum Concrete Mixer
  • Tractor Driven (PTO) Concrete Mixers
  • Hydraulic Reversing Drum Skip type Concrete Mixers
  • Hydraulic Loading Concrete Mixers
  • Pan Concrete Mixers



Each of these individual types comes with different features, weights, dimensions and production capacities. There are many different companies and manufacturers as well, and this can make their exploration overwhelming. Below we’ll look at each type of concrete mixer and see what you can expect from them.



DIY Mini Type Concrete Mixers





DIY Mini Type Concrete Mixers are specifically designed for the DIY enthusiast or Hobby market and due to their low production capacity, they are used for small projects. They are at the lowest price point, lighter and with production capability suitable to be operated by a single user. They are made from lower grade material versus others in the range, and often parts are made of plastic material.



They are usually powered by an energy efficient 220v electric motor that can be powered directly from your homes main supply. Due to their small relative size and weight, they are also easy to store in your garage or garden shed. Some of the disadvantages are that they are less robust with a shorter lifespan, and in general are not repairable should any major parts breakdown or wear.



Hobby Type

  • Drum Volume:
  • Output:100Lt
  • Weight:66Kg
  • Single phase motor 230V/50Hz



  • Poly-V belt transmission
  • Folding Legs



Traditional Tilting Drum Concrete Mixer


These concrete mixers are simple yet robust and reliable, making them perfect for rental companies or the demanding professional builder. These are medium sized models and can be delivered to the jobsite by truck or light delivery vehicle. These are also offered in a high speed towable variant (max 80km/h),which can be towed to the construction site.


This will come in handy if you have a limited number of workers, and it also opens up space on your truck which can be used to transport construction material etc. whilst towing. They have a wide range of sizes, usually from 350L to 500L ,with the 400L model class being most popular amongst rental companies. Power options are usually electric or petrol engines.


Demanding users usually opt for a reliable Honda engine. You can chose  between the Commercial Grade Honda GX160LX 5.5Hp or less expensive Honda GP200 6.5HP engines.




Honda GP160H 5.5HP 3/4 Inch Keyway Shaft Engine



What is important to note here, is that you can usually opt between an engine with or without gear reduction. Gear reduction engines are more expensive, but importantly reduce the shaft output to 1500rpm. The use of straight shaft engines results in increased drum speed via pulleys which is not ideal.


In this case the drum speed is usually too fast, or problems arise with belt slippage due to the necessitated use of an engine pulley with smaller diameter. The optimal drum speed for a consistent even mix is 24rpm as speeds of 30rpm or above result in an inconsistent mix .


Below, we’ve picked out a few examples for you to check out. This will give you an idea of what these models can offer, as well as an idea of what to expect as you explore further


Common features:


  • Cast iron ring gear and bevel pinion transmission
  • Poly-V Belt transmission with belt tightener
  • Steel drum built in three parts
  • Semi pneumatic rubber wheels with steel rims
  • Drawbar for Handling




Baumax BS361 Concrete Mixer fitted with Honda GX160LX 2:1 engine



  • Drum Volume:360L
  • Output : 200L
  • Dimensions: 200x95x145cm
  • Drum Thickness: 3mm
  • Weight:


For more information on this Model, including features and more detailed specifications, feel free to visit our website




  • Drum Volume:420L
  • Output : 230L
  • Dimensions: 202x95x145cm
  • Drum Thickness: 3mm
  • Weight:




  • Drum Volume:500L
  • Output : 280L
  • Dimensions: 215x105x155cm
  • Drum Thickness: 3.5mm
  • Weight:


For more information on this concrete mixer, including other floor plans and more detailed specifications, feel free to visit their website


Tractor Driven (PTO) Concrete Mixers


These mixers are similar in construction to the traditional tilt drum concrete mixer. Instead of being powered by an engine or electric motor, it is powered by a tractor PTO (Power Take Off) shaft. The drum speed is reduced to the required 24rpm, by use of V belts and pulleys. It does not feature an engine canopy and features a shaft to couple with the tractors PTO, and also has a three point bracket system to attach to the tractor.



These concrete mixers are popular in the agricultural sector, as most farmers has a tractor available for general farm work. This is handy as the concrete mixer can be attached and in operation fairly quickly. It also eliminates the engine maintenance required of an engine driven concrete mixer.


Concrete Mixer


PTO 350


  • Drum Volume: 305L
  • Output : 260L
  • Dimensions: 172x100x150cm


For more information on this model, including more detailed specifications, feel free to visit their website


Hydraulic Reversing Drum Concrete Mixers


The reversing drum mixers are non-tilt and rotate on a horizontal axis via rollers, allowing for large quantities of concrete to be produced quickly .The drum has an opening at both ends. One end for discharge, the other for loading via a hydraulic powered skip.


The hydraulic powered skip rapidly increases production as operators can fill the skip whilst mixing, resulting in much faster reloading time. They are usually transported by truck. For offloading, a hydraulic arm is required.




Penta 1500


  • Drum Volume:1300L
  • Output : 950L
  • Dimensions: 380x220x280cm
  • Weight:2600Kg
  • Engine :Two Cylinder Diesel Electric Start Engine



  • Hydraulic Bucket Lift Piston
  • Safety valve to prevent bucket falling onto piston
  • Pneumatic wheels and height-adjustable legs
  • Water tank with level indicator
  • Side Netting Protection
  • Available with 4 pneumatic wheels


For more information on this model, including more detailed specifications, feel free to visit their website


Hydraulic Loading Concrete Mixers


Hydraulic loading concrete mixers are very similar in construction to traditional tilt drum concrete mixers. They feature a traditional drum suitable for all types of mixing, and are equipped with a hydraulic system to simplify work for the operator.


The only differences are their larger capacity as well as feeding assisted by hydraulic skip. They offer a compact console from where all operations can be accessed. This concrete mixer offers a mid range solution to construction companies.


Hydraulic Loaders


Amis 500

  • Drum Volume: 500L
  • Output : 400L
  • Dimensions: 200x200x270cm
  • Weight: 750Kg
  • Engine :Electric Motor


  • Hydraulic Bucket Lift Piston
  • Safety valve to prevent bucket falling onto piston
  • Pneumatic wheels and height-adjustable legs
  • Water tank with level indicator
  • Tank Rim Protection Guards
  • Side Netting Protection
  • Also available with scraper blades



For more information on this Concrete Mixer, including more detailed specifications, feel free to visit their website


Pan Concrete Mixers


Pan Concrete Mixers are used when a consistent smooth mix is of utmost importance. The two main variants are:


  • Featuring a stationary pan with blades rotation or;
  • Featuring stationary blades with drum rotation.


These concrete mixers are often used in concrete block or lintel production. That is why they are often spotted on the building sites of budget housing projects. Blocks are produced using a block making machine.


Pan concrete mixers


  • Diameter: 900 to 1200mm
  • Material : Stainless Steel
  • Cell height: 400mm
  • Weight: 580Kg
  • Engine :Electric Motor 7.5HP


For more information on this concrete mixer, including more detailed specifications, feel free to visit their website


Maintenance and Cleaning of Concrete Mixers


Below are a few tips on how to look after and prolong the life of your concrete mixer:


  • Read the instructions in the operating manual provided by your supplier
  • Read the operating manual of the engine supplier
  • Never overload your concrete mixer. This may damage the mixer and may result in a uneven and inconsistent mix.
  • When in operation, ensure the engine throttle lever is in the “run” position and not “choke”.
  • Regularly check belt tension and wear.
  • Ensure no material or stones are trapped on the ring gear. This may result in gear slippage and severe damage.
  • Ensure the engine canopy is in the operating position and airflow is unrestricted to the engine.
  • Regularly replace the engine air filter (and oil filter where applicable) and regularly perform an engine oil change as per your owner’s manual.
  • Thoroughly clean the concrete mixer after each use to remove any excess concrete that may have accumulated on the inside and outside of the drum. The use of a pressure washer is highly recommended.


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