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What are the differences between ready mix concrete trucks and volumetric concrete trucks?

Concrete Delivery: Ready Mix VS Volumetric

It’s no secret that we at skEYEwatch have a strong interest in the concrete production industry. Our team specializes in creating technologies such as concrete dispatch software, GPS tracking software, truck camera systems and more! With this being said, let’s explore the differences between ready mix vs volumetric trucks. Both of these are incredibly useful within the concrete production industry, though each has its own unique pros and cons. Keep reading below to learn more!

Key Differences: Ready Mix VS Volumtric

Before we dive in, keep in mind that these are general differences and the specific circumstances of a construction job, such as the job site conditions, volume of concrete required, and logistical considerations, may influence which type of truck is more suitable.

Ready Mix Concrete Truck Ready Mix Onsite Volumetric Mobile Concrete Mixer Truck. Volumetric
Mixing Method Concrete is mixed at a central plant and transported in a rotating drum. Concrete is mixed on-site in the truck using an auger.
Flexibility Limited to the specific batch mixed at the plant. Can produce different mix designs on demand.
Wastage Unused concrete can go to waste. Reduced waste as concrete is mixed on demand.
Timing Concrete must be used before it sets, requiring precise timing. Not a concern as concrete is mixed immediately before use.
Quality Control Concrete is mixed under controlled conditions at a plant, leading to consistent quality. Quality depends on operator's skill and on-site conditions. Can be adjusted on the spot.
Concrete Discharge Concrete is kept in the rotating drum and discharged through a chute. The speed of the drum's rotation controls the rate of discharge. Concrete is mixed by the auger and then moved towards the chute for delivery. The auger's speed controls the rate of discharge.
Washout Process Washout is required after delivery to avoid hardened concrete in the drum. This requires a designated washout area and may create environmental concerns. Typically easier and quicker as the auger and mixing chamber can be flushed out on-site. This also tends to be less wasteful and more environmentally friendly as unused materials can be saved for future use.

Ready Mix Concrete Trucks

Ready Mix Concrete Truck
Ready Mix Concrete Truck

Now let’s let’s talk more about ready mix trucks. These trucks transport pre-mixed concrete from a central batch plant to the job site. The concrete is mixed at the plant, loaded into the drum of the truck, and then kept in motion until it is time for it to be poured. This method requires precise planning and timing, as the concrete must be used before it hardens. This type of concrete truck allows for efficient, cost-effective delivery of large amounts of concrete without having to spend time mixing it on site.

Without ready mix trucks, large-scale construction projects would not be possible due to the difficulty in transporting ready mix concrete over long distances and in difficult terrain. As such, ready mix trucks are an important component of the modern construction industry.

Who manufactures Ready Mix Trucks?

This question can be broken down into 2 parts, the “truck” manufacturer and the “mixer” manufacturer.

Ready Mix "Truck" Manufacturers

First, there’s the truck manufacturers that build and assemble the truck’s chassis, cab, engine and drivetrain. This would include the whole truck without the mixer attached. These manufacturers also build the truck bases for other specialized heavy duty trucks (aka lorries) such as dump trucks, garbage trucks, roll off trucks and more! After this phase of the vehicle production, the truck will roll off the production line and head over to the mixer manufacturer.  Just below is a list of popular U.S. based truck manufacturers that create the vehicles for ready mix industry.

Ready Mix Truck "Mixer" Manufacturers

The second phase of ready mix truck production is the mixer. These are the manufacturers of the large spinning barrels and machinery that is attached to these purpose built trucks. The mixer includes the frame assembly, barrel, hopper and all technology that helps regulate the spinning barrels and the charging and discharging of the wet concrete. This also includes the hydraulic cylinders that are added for controlling tipping and the riser arms that allow for ready mix concrete to discharge from the drum.

The ready mix concrete is then loaded into a hopper so it can be fed into an onboard mixing drum. The mixing drum is attached to a drivetrain consisting of a gearbox, transmission and engine which powers the rotation of the drum. This ensures that ready mix concrete is properly mixed before being discharged out of the ready mix truck. Here’s a list of a some ready mix concrete truck “mixer” manufacturers commonly used in the U.S.

Scenarios Where Ready Mix Trucks Might Be More Useful:

  1. Large Volumes: For large projects where a high volume of concrete is needed at once, ready mix trucks can be more efficient as they can carry a large batch of pre-mixed concrete.
  2. Strict Quality Control: For projects where consistent quality is crucial, ready mix concrete may be preferred. It is mixed under controlled conditions at a plant.
  3. Short Delivery Times: If the job site is near the batching plant and the concrete can be poured immediately upon arrival, ready mix trucks can deliver the concrete efficiently.
  4. Standardized Mix Design: If a project only requires a standard type of concrete, a ready mix truck can deliver this without the need for on-site adjustments.
  5. Efficient for Repeat Jobs: For construction jobs where the same specific mix is needed repeatedly, ready mix trucks can be more efficient as the concrete is pre-mixed at the plant.
Onsite Volumetric Mobile Concrete Mixer Truck.

Volumetric Concrete Trucks | Metered concrete trucks

Now let’s dive into volumetric trucks. These trucks are essentially mobile concrete plants. They carry the separate ingredients for concrete (sand, cement, water, and other admixtures) in separate compartments and mix them on-site as needed. This allows the operator to adjust the mix design and volume on the fly, providing flexibility in terms of quantity and type of concrete produced.

Volumetric trucks use an auger for mixing the concrete. The auger mixes the cement, sand, water, and any other admixtures together to produce concrete. After the mixing process, the auger also helps to move the concrete towards the chute for delivery.

The advantage of this approach is that it allows for greater control and customization of each batch since all of the measurements can be adjusted onsite according to specifications or changes required by the conditions of the project. Additionally, this method also allows for smaller batches to be made which can be extremely helpful when working with tight spaces or limited access points where bringing in a ready mix truck might not be possible or practical.

Volumetric Concrete "Truck" Manufacturers

Just like ready mix trucks, volumetric concrete trucks start with a foundation consisting of the entire truck minus the mixer. It wouldn’t be uncommon to see these truck manufacturers with a volumetric mixer attached.

Volumetric Truck "Mixer" Manufacturers

The second production phase of volumetric concrete trucks are the mixers. Below is a list of several different manufacturers of onsite / on demand mixing machines that are permanently attached to the rear of these trucks.

Volumetric Concrete Production: How it works...

Mobile mixing concrete trucks (volumetric trucks) are revolutionizing how we do construction projects. Instead of hauling ready-made batches from a factory, these innovative vehicles make it possible to whip up the perfect blend onsite – with each batch containing precisely mixed ingredients like sand, gravel, cement and water for optimal results. The rear mixers feature storage compartments so that every measurement is exact down to the last grain of sand!

When an order is placed and ready to start production, the truck operator can easily dial in the mix design with one click. With precision accuracy of +/-1 percent for every pour due to dual auger cement metering technology, sand and stone pass through their own gate before falling precisely into the mixing auger that meters out exactly the needed amount of cement – easy as pie!

The precise concrete mix is then carried to the discharge chute where it is ready to pour on the job site with practically no waste.

Scenarios Where Volumetric Trucks Might Be More Useful:

  1. Variable Demand: If the exact amount of concrete needed is uncertain, a volumetric truck can be a good choice. It can mix the precise amount required on site, reducing wastage.
  2. Different Mix Designs: If a project requires different types of concrete mix, a volumetric truck can easily adjust the mix design on the spot.
  3. Remote Locations: For projects in remote locations where a ready mix plant is far away, a volumetric truck can be useful as it can produce fresh concrete on-site.
  4. Longer Delivery Times: If there are potential delays on the job site or long travel times, a volumetric truck can be advantageous. Since the concrete is mixed on-site, there’s no risk of the concrete setting in the truck before it can be used.
  5. Small Quantities: For smaller projects where a full truckload from a ready mix plant may be too much, a volumetric truck can mix just the right amount.

In conclusion, both concrete trucks have their unique purposes

Overall, both methods are useful for different circumstances and both provide effective solutions for getting concrete to the job sites and completing projects efficiently. However, when dealing with larger projects or tight budgets it may be better to use a ready mix truck while smaller jobs may benefit more from the flexibility and customization offered by a volumetric truck.

Smart Fleet Technology for the concrete Industry

Thanks for reading our blog post about ready mix vs volumetric concrete production. If you have investment interest into concrete or construction materials industry, then we highly recommend that you check out our product offerings at skEYEwatch. Below is a list of some of our most popular applications that our customers are already using in the concrete industry.


FAQs About Ready Mix & Volumetric

Common answers to common questions about ready mix vs volumetric.

Ready mix concrete is produced in a batching plant and delivered to the job site in large quantities, while volumetric concrete delivery operates a truck with a cement mixer that mixes the concrete on site as it is needed. This method allows for more control over the mixture's composition and placement, as well as allowing for more flexibility during construction.
Volumetric concrete delivery eliminates the need for transporting large amounts of ready mix to the job site and waiting for it to be unloaded, mixed and placed. Volumetric trucks arrive onsite with all of the necessary components already onboard, allowing them to dispense accurate amounts of liquid admixtures, aggregates, cements and other additives directly onsite. This helps reduce labor costs by reducing trips back-and-forth from a fixed mixing station while also shortening wait times associated with traditional ready mix deliveries.
The cost of volumetric concrete delivery can vary depending upon distance traveled and complexity of the mixture required; however, compared to ordering traditional ready mix pours off-site, volumetric deliveries are often less expensive since they eliminate transportation costs associated with hauling materials long distances. Additionally, because volumetric mixing allows for adjustments in real-time as necessary, any additional ingredients or changes can be added directly onto the job site without having to reorder an entire batch from an external source.
Volumetric mixing provides greater control over quality assurance due to its ability to combine multiple ingredients at precise proportions onsite prior to pouring. Additionally, it eliminates environmental waste associated with traditional methods; since all unused material can be returned unused into its respective hopper after each pour which keeps excess material from being left behind or disposed off-site improperly. Furthermore, this form of mixing produces strong structural bonds that would otherwise not be achieved through pre-mixed solutions since each component contains its own unique blend of binding agents which are only activated after being incorporated together according to predetermined specifications outlined by engineers or architects beforehand.
Ready mix concrete has several advantages over volumetric delivery. Firstly, it usually results in a more consistent quality since the exact proportions are mixed consistently in one place by experienced personnel. Furthermore, it can potentially reduce costs when compared to volumetric delivery since there may be fewer trips required from the batching plant than if each trip needed especially for volumetric amounts would need to be made. Additionally, due to its convenience and short setup time, this method also allows larger projects (e.g., bridges) with long curing times to be completed more quickly and efficiently than with volumetric deliveries alone.

Yes! Volumetric blending provides better consistency than pre-mixed solutions due its ability produce a variety of blends according exact requirements laid out by engineers or architects before beginning work onsite - making it easier for contractors to adhere strictly specified levels regarding ratios between components such as water/cement ratios or air content measurements which are considered essential elements used in determining durability of structures created utilizing these types of mixes when compared against those made using regular pre-mixed bags found at most hardware stores.

The accuracy of measurements when creating ready mix concrete depends largely on both experience and practice of those responsible for loading trucks at plants; however many companies use computerized systems (known as “batch controllers”) which accurately weigh each ingredient as it's added into drums ensuring that no extra or insufficient material will be added into any given mix. This ensures consistent quality across batches regardless of who’s loading them up at plants or delivering them out on site.

Update Notice:

This blog post was updated on June 6th, 2024 to fix broken links and ensure all information is current. We strive to provide you with the most accurate and useful content. If you have any questions or notice any issues, please feel free to contact us.

Recent Developments:

  • Rebranding: McNeilus Mixers has rebranded to Revolution Concrete Mixers™ following an acquisition by Right Lane Industries. The rebranding includes a new logo and website, and the corporate headquarters has relocated to Rochester, Minnesota. Read the full announcement Revolution Concrete Mixers.

  • Oshkosh S-Series Trucks: Oshkosh has moved details about their S-Series trucks to a new dedicated website, which can be accessed Oshkosh S-Series Front Discharge Mixers.

  • Peterbilt Update: We have updated the link to the Peterbilt website. Their latest Vocational truck model has changed from the 365 series to the 567 series. You can find more information Peterbilt Truck Model 567.

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