Concrete Parking Lots: Using Concrete Mixers To Meet Consumer Needs



High Vehicle Ownership Demands Better Parking Accessibility


In 2017 more than 30.5% of South African households owned cars. In metropolitan areas, specifically, vehicle ownership was even higher at around 39% of residents. With so many vehicles, urban planners and private developers have to work together to determine how to optimise traffic circulation, road safety, regulation of transport routes, and parking services. Vehicles are the most popular form of transportation, so concessions have to be made in order for drivers and passengers to commute freely and safely. Read this article in you’d like to learn more about the demand for concrete parking lots, and how concrete mixers can help developers construct them.


In South Africa, many people make use of vehicles for their commutes. Especially in cosmopolitan or metropolitan areas where distances are too far to walk, people will either drive or use taxis. In both scenarios, parking is an important aspect of driving. According to CEIC DATA, the following information about South Africa Motor Vehicle Production is relevant.


  • “South Africa Motor Vehicle Production was reported at 447,218.000 Units in Dec 2020.
  • This records a decrease from the previous number of 631,921.000 Units for Dec 2019.
  • South Africa Motor Vehicle Production data is updated yearly, averaging 528,886.000 Units from Dec 1997 to 2020, with 24 observations.
  • The data reached an all-time high of 631,921.000 Units in 2019 and a record low of 314,017.000 Units in 1998.
  • South Africa Motor Vehicle Production data remains active status in CEIC and is reported by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.”


The Importance of Parking Lots


We all know how maddening a bad parking experience can be. Circling areas multiple times, scanning for open bays while drivers behind you honk in frustration, parallel parking in bad conditions, getting stuck and having to do 5-point turns while unofficial pedestrians try to get involved drivers speed by. These scenarios can be a massive irritation and they’re likely to ruin your mood. Parking shouldn’t have to be like this; instead, it should be accessible and convenient.


Without parking lots, cities are at risk of increasing the frequency of traffic jams and illegal parking situations. With so many cars and so few safe sparking spaces, drivers will feel the need to park on curbs or pile up on small roads, causing dangerous traffic obstructions. For example, if you’ve ever lived in Cape Town, then you’ll know how difficult it is to find parking nearby recreational areas. Drivers constantly have to park on residential roadsides where they destroy peoples’ well-kept verges and block driveways.


Besides the frustration that difficult parking causes, poor parking facilities can also be a massive liability. When customers park their vehicles on the road, they are more at risk of having their cars broken into or hijacked. Without parking attendants present to survey the area and prevent break-ins, these cars become easy targets for criminals. This is a massive source of anxiety for many drivers and car owners, as vehicles are expensive assets that are costly to insure and repair-so it is always in drivers’ best interests to park in secure, monitored parking lots.


Poor parking situations can be incredibly frustrating, and these scenarios exacerbate peoples’ road rage. This is why businesses go out of their way to provide safe, secure parking for their customers, as this is the first point of contact between customers and a business.


Just like your interior design, branding and staff have an impact on your business’s ability to satisfy consumers, parking is also an important aspect of creating an enjoyable customer experience. If people have difficulty finding parking to come to your business or event, then they are a lot less likely to frequent your shop or support you as regular customers.




Types of Parking Services:


There are a variety of different types of parking services available. In some countries, parking services are even automated for maximum efficiency and optimisation. However, in South Africa, there are three particular kinds of popular parking services which are listed below.


Parking Lots


If a shop would like to create a designated parking space for a festival, a pop-up event, or their clients then they will require a parking facility, in which case, parking lots would be developed in order to offer customers greater convenience and better access. Within parking lots, bays are assigned to individual cars by markings of white and yellow lines. Most modern parking lots are often metered with booms that provide parking tickets, parking attendants, and sometimes even sensors that demonstrate the number of parking spaces left.


Multilevel Parking Garages


These are parking garages with multiple storeys to park on. These are particularly prevalent in cities and central business districts, where large malls, shopping centres and office blocks require ample parking spots for customers and civilians. These kinds of parking facilities are usually designed with ramps connecting the different floors. Often these types of facilities will also grant you access to underground parking garages.


Valet Services


Hotels and boutique restaurants often provide valet parking services where they collect your vehicle and park it for you. This removes the hassle of finding a parking spot so that you can simply fast-forward to enjoying your evening. At the end of the evening, the valet will bring your car back around to the front of the restaurant and you can collect your keys from him. This is beneficial for both the client and the property owner, as the owner does not have to worry about congestion caused by clients who double park or block the entrance.




Benefits of Parking Lots:


Businesses choose to develop and install parking lots for three primary reasons. Profit, consumer demand and public need are all incentives behind the construction of concrete parking lots. Read the list below to understand how businesses can benefit from providing parking lots to their customers.


Additional Revenue


Parking is an essential service that every vehicle owner regularly makes use of. By providing a convenient parking service, you can generate a massive additional source of revenue for years to come. Parking charges are usually charged in small increments based on time spent in the bay. R10 for an hour is a small price for patrons to pay if it means that their car is protected, but it can be a massive source of profit for businesses or property owners, especially since it only requires one significant capital investment to construct the lot, and then minor maintenance over time.


Improved Accessibility


If a location, shop or event space caters to 100 people, then there should be at least 100 parking spaces available for each of them. Accessibility is an important aspect of parking, as it makes it easier for people to travel from their cars to the location without having to walk long distances or worry about their safety. What’s more, parking lots can make provisions for handicapped people who require extra support. Making accommodations for disabled patrons, pregnant women and families is a useful advantage of parking lots that also makes people feel valued and catered for.


More Convenient


Parking lots provide clearly identifiable parking spaces with signage, making it far easier for customers to navigate the area and quickly drop off their cars when they’re in a hurry. The process of entering, paying and exiting the parking lot is a lot easier than having to wander along residential roadsides or congested public spaces. This convenience, in turn, improves customer satisfaction, increases business amongst local vendors, and improves the chances of them returning to the local businesses. Having ample and accessible parking lots available in close proximity to your business is an undeniably useful way to attract customers and guarantee that they give positive feedback on their experience.




Benefits of Using Concrete Instead of Asphalt For Parking Lots :


Now that you know the benefits of parking lots, you can begin to consider design and construction. When choosing how to design your parking lots, you will have the choice of picking asphalt or concrete as your primary material. While asphalt is more widely used, many modern contractors have opted to use concrete for a more sustainable, aesthetically pleasing approach to parking management services. Below you will find three reasons why concrete is considered better for parking lots.


It’s Cheaper Long-Term


Traditionally, parking lots have been made with asphalt. However, rising prices in the asphalt industry had led developers and contractors to lean toward using concrete to pave parking lots. Concrete requires less maintenance throughout its lifecycle, making it cheaper to install and refurbish. Concrete also has a longer lifespan than asphalt in general, so it is far easier to use in large development scenarios.


With regard to repairing and maintaining concrete surfaces for parking lots, contractors and asset managers will only need to worry about sealing joints annually. Contrastingly, asphalt requires resurfacing every 10 or so years, which can be a large service interruption and a problematic halt to profit generation. Asphalt parking lots also need to be coated with liquid asphalt every few years, while concrete only requires annual cleaning.


It’s More Environmentally Friendly


Unlike asphalt – which is made from the natural deposits or residue of distilled petrol – concrete contains recycled materials such as fly ash, recycled concrete aggregate and slag. Concrete also requires one-twelfth of the annual repair costs of asphalt, so it can last far longer and is therefore more sustainable. When installing concrete using concrete mixers, the runoff is also lower in toxicity as opposed to when installing asphalt.


Concrete’s lighter colour also means that it generates less heat, unlike asphalt, whose darker shade enables it to radiate more heat thereby exacerbating the heat domes that grow over cities (also known as the heat-island effect). The lighter colour also improves visibility, and it will be easier for customers to see and navigate through concrete parking lots. With asphalt parking lots, the darker colours force developers to install more light fixtures, which increases energy usage and costs.


Concrete Has Greater Strength and Durability


Concrete pavements are incredibly durable; they can carry very heavy vehicular loads without fracturing or rutting. This means that there is a smaller likelihood of potholes developing. Comparatively, asphalt surfaces are more permeable, making them more susceptible to excess damage, particularly in Winter. Furthermore, asphalt often gets damaged by gasoline leakages, which stain and damage it, unlike concrete.




What to Consider When Designing Concrete Parking Lots


Parking lots require drainage facilities, curbs, light poles, slabs and joints. Constructing each of these elements properly is an essential part of creating an efficient and hard-wearing concrete parking lot. Engineers should be consulted to see how these practices can be carried out successfully.


The edges of parking lots should be thickened if developers want to expand the surface area so that cars can park close to the edge. This will allow more customers to use the parking lot, and in turn, owners of the space can generate more revenue. If the space is larger, however, development costs will be larger, more equipment such as concrete mixers will be necessary, and installation time will be prolonged.


Concrete parking lots can be designed in any style, according to the architect’s preferences. Concrete can undergo any exterior cosmetic treatment, such as the addition of texture or colour. However, decorative treatments can quickly become expensive, so most opt for the traditional, original colour of the cement with sealing.


Mixing Concrete for Parking Lots Using Concrete Mixers


Developers and contractors are going to need the right equipment for the development of their concrete parking lots. With BS Power, contractors can find any kind of equipment they require. From concrete mixers to generators, to plate compactors, the product list at BS Power is endless. At the moment there are currently 3 concrete mixers available:


  • BAUMAX BS500 500L Concrete Mixers Fitted with BAUMAX RX200 2:1 Engine (R24,995)
  • BAUMAX BS360L Concrete Mixers Fitted with BAUMAX RX200 2:1 Engine (R17,495)
  • 400L Concrete Mixers with BAUMAX RX2002:1 Engine (R19,495)