Have you ever heard of concrete mixer trucks? These amazing tools help keep concrete in a pourable state well and make it easy to transport large amounts of concrete from point A to point B. These are only a few exciting benefits of these incredible vehicles.
Although you will surely have seen these sorts of trucks on the road and even imagine what they look like, there is so much more to these powerful vehicles. This article will look at these mixer trucks in greater detail. This will be done by highlighting several frequently asked questions about these trucks.
We at BS Power always want to help our customers have as much positive experience as possible regarding their construction work. When it comes to concrete mixing on a large scale, we at BS Power believe that it is hard to beat the power, speed and efficiency of a concrete mixer truck. So, without further hesitation, let us explore the interesting world of concrete trucks.
How Do We Define A Mixer Truck?
A concrete mixer truck is a heavy-duty vehicle utilised within the construction industry. They are used to carry and transport ready-mixed concrete to either construction or building sites. The truck features a mixing drum and other specialised mixing mechanisms in a trailer-like attachment that sits on the back of a large truck with a powerful engine. Concrete is mixed inside the rotating drum.
History Of Concrete Mixer Trucks
T.L. Smith created and developed The first mixer truck in Milwaukee in the 1900s. The simple construction of the drum began as a double cone with blades. The original patent for this mixer truck was called the “Apparatus for Concrete Work”. The design remained relatively the same as the years passed, but now it features a tiltable conical drum.
After World War II, the trucks gained widespread popularity. This was due to increased demand for concrete to rebuild the destroyed or damaged buildings during the war.
Basic Setup Of A Concrete Mixer Truck
These truck are equipped with at least two or more axles. The most common types are either four, five, or six-axle trucks. The load required and the local legislation for heavy machinery on specific roads determine the number of axles utilised.
Axles help distribute the load evenly and assist in reducing the typical wear and tear on regular roads. Specialised trucks like those found at Syntech boast mixer drums with a capacity ranging from eight to twelve cubic meters. Furthermore, some concrete trucks come with Hardox technology, perfect for low weight, higher load capacities, and wear resistance.
How Does The Truck Work?
Concrete mixer trucks, or in-transit mixers, were designed to mix and transport concrete to construction and building sites. However, they differ from stationery mixers because these vehicles can constantly keep mixing concrete well, transporting it to the desired location at the same time.
Essentially, these mixers are loaded with water and dry materials and are set to mix during transportation. Otherwise, the mixer can also be loaded with a ‘central mix’ where the necessary concrete has been pre-mixed before loading. The trucks can then keep the concrete liquid through agitation (turning off the drum) until delivered.
How Long Can You Keep Concrete In A Truck?
Most manufacturers advise that concrete should only be discharged from the drum within two hours from the start of the mixing process. Or else the concrete will begin hardening.
This is why construction managers only request that concrete mixer trucks be dispatched once the building and construction sites have been prepared. This way, the truck can begin discharging the load as soon as it arrives on the site.
How Much Concrete Can Be Transported In A Truck?
Generally, most trucks can hold between 11 and 15 cubic yards of concrete. Some countries have weight limits, which may limit the allowed amount to 8 and 11 cubic yards.
What Are These Trucks Used For?
Mixer trucks are often utilised on building and construction sites where it is not possible or even practical to mix the concrete on-site. Since the concrete is delivered on-demand, finished and in the specific quantity required, it is ideal for the following reasons:
- Laying asphalt for roads.
- Creating road structures and sidewalks.
- Different applications on new structures like multi-floor buildings.
How Do Concrete Mixer Trucks Keep Fresh Concrete Usable?
Cement is a binding material. It contains aluminates, sulfates, silica, and other additional materials. When you add water to the mix, a chemical reaction begins, and it is an exothermic reaction. This water begins to consume itself to form the binder of the cement, and, eventually, the concrete sets. The setting time depends on the proportion of the material’s contents mentioned above. This can vary between 30 minutes to a few hours.
When you rotate the drum, what you see happen is that the reaction gets prolonged. It cannot occur so quickly. This is because the particles are no longer stable.
You will be able to see this effect when you mix the cement. You will incorporate a percentage of the water and mix it. A little while later, you will notice that if you do not combine it any longer, it will dry, and you will start to disturb it again. You will see that the water is seeping out from the concrete mixture or cement paste.
Interestingly, engineers tend to use a slightly different mixture by adding more water to the mixture while mixing the paste so that it does not dry or set too quickly.
In the case of a cement mixer trucks, the cement paste is formed by adding the water the moment it leaves the concrete plant. In this way, it is kept rolling to prevent the concrete from setting. People also tend to add other additives to increase the setting time of the concrete.
Did you know that if the truck is in a traffic jam and the driver feels that the concrete will be unstable by the time they reach the site, there are some things they can do to offset this? They can attempt to add sugar to the mixture and rotate the drum. By doing this, the driver will increase the setting time. Sugar is one of the most commonly used admixtures for increasing the setting time.
How Do You Clean And Maintain the Concrete Mixer?
Once you have removed every trickle of concrete out of the drum or it all ripples out of the pump, the truck is surprisingly complete. There is always a small amount of concrete that remains inside the concrete mixer truck, especially in the drum mixers. You can wash out the truck, run water through the drum while it is rotating, and even pressure wash the inside of the drum. However, some concrete is always left. And it dries. Then, a little more is left behind the next time you use it, and this cycle repeats itself. Over time this becomes a significant problem. It reduces the volume and the capacity of the mixer.
The concrete mixer must get cleaned daily when it is being used continuously or following each period of use if it is being used less than a day. If you keep the outside of the mixer coated with oil, the cleaning process can be speeded up. The exterior of the mixer must be washed with a hose, and all accumulated concrete must be knocked off.
If the blades of the mixer become coated with hardened concrete or worn, the mixing action will not be as efficient as it once was. Badly worn blades need to be replaced as soon as possible.
Hardened concrete must not be allowed to accumulate inside your drum. The drum must be cleaned whenever it is necessary to shut down for more than 11/2 hours. Place a volume of course aggregate into the drum equal to half the concrete mixer’s capacity and allow it to revolve for roughly 5 minutes. Discharge the aggregate and flush out the drum of the mixer with water.
Do not pound on the discharge chute, the skip, or the drum shell to remove any hardened concrete or aggregates. This is due to the reason that concrete will adhere to the bumps and dents created. Please study the manufacturer’s manual for complete instructions on operating, maintaining, and adjusting your mixer.
The mixer’s rollers, chains, and gears should be guarded properly. All moving parts must be cleaned and serviced properly to ensure the safe performance of the equipment. When you tend to you the drum, ensure the switches are open, the throttles are closed, and the control function is locked in the off position. You must ensure that the area surrounding the cement mixer is clear.
A few companies offer pre-treatments, acid and chemical baths and high-pressure washes for the drums and interiors. However, eventually, the concrete will build up to the point that the only viable alternative is mechanical removal. Some smaller companies handle this on their own by sending one of their workers in with a jackhammer to chip out the hardened concrete, whilst dust protection equipment needs to be issued to all crew members engaged in performing the work to prevent sand and cement from being blown into their faces and eyes.
How Do You Save The Drum Of A Concrete Mixer Truck?
Most companies make their primary strategy to do all they can to get the drum turning again. All drivers must be instructed that if the drum does not want to turn, they should notify the plant immediately so that all necessary help can be recruited quickly.
About BS Power
BS Power manufactures a wide range of high-performance construction equipment for the use of any individual involved in the agricultural, forestry, and construction industries as well as any person who would like to know more about these and all the equipment that would be needed if they would like to begin their journey in these spheres.
BS Power also cares about the environment, so reducing waste and using environmentally friendly products is at the heart of our company. Not only do we care about the environment, but we care about our customers as well. If you need assistance or have general questions about this industry and how to navigate this world, BS Power has a team of knowledgeable individuals who would love to help you with anything!
If you want to know more about construction products, including concrete mixer trucks, visit your nearest branch today!