If you are looking at buying concrete you may be wondering, what’s the best way to transport concrete? Are you unsure of the best way to transport concrete to your site? Then read on. At Doncaster Quickmix, we’ve been supplying ready mix concrete in Doncaster and Rotherham for many years, working with both domestic and commercial customers throughout the area. We can answer all your questions when it comes to concrete, including how you should transport it so the quality of the mix isn’t compromised.
The importance of proper concrete transportation
Concrete is a complex mixture of cement, sand, aggregate, and water. Making it is fairly easy as long as you have the right materials and tools. However, once it’s been produced, it needs to be transported to the site where it will be poured. One of the most common questions asked is,” What’s the best way to transport concrete?” Proper transportation of concrete is essential since it affects the quality of concrete. Choosing the incorrect method can impact the final quality of the mix, leaving you with inferior concrete which isn’t suitable for your needs.
You need to transport concrete to your site as quickly as possible. If it’s not delivered to the site promptly, there may be issues with the water-cement ratio, slump, air content, homogeneity, and the consistency of concrete workability. Segregation and bleeding can also occur.
The “Specifications for Structural Concrete for Buildings (ACI 301-72, Rev. 1981)” states that: “Concrete shall be handled from the mixer to the place of final deposit as rapidly as practicable by methods which will prevent segregation or loss of ingredients and in a manner which will assure that the required quality of the concrete is maintained.”
The correct handling of concrete not only ensures that its quality is maintained but also reduces the final cost since additions will be unnecessary.
Methods for transporting concrete
There are several possible methods of transporting concrete. The method you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- Type of concrete mix
- Weather conditions, including temperature and humidity
- Size and type of construction
- Location of the batching plant
Usually, the application of the concrete and the setup of the construction site is the most important factor to consider. When transporting concrete to a worksite, there are two main methods of doing this. They are using a concrete mixer (transit mixer) or volumetric mixer.
Concrete mixer (‘transit mixer’)
A concrete mixer is the most common option for transporting concrete in the UK. A truck-mounted rotating drum, the machine can either mix the concrete during transit or keep a premixed concrete continually agitated until it arrives at the site. This will be the method of choice for ready mix concrete, which is what we supply here at Doncaster Quickmix. A concrete mixer is ideal for shorter journeys and when concrete is needed on-site quickly.
A volumetric mixer is essentially a mobile batching plant that transports the basic components of the concrete to your site. Mounted on a truck or trailer, it has separate sections for cement, sand, aggregates, and water. Mixing will take place either before it reaches the site or once it arrives. Volumetric mixers are useful for adapting the mix once it’s delivered to your worksite. This might be necessary if a worksite’s requirements fluctuate.
If you need to transport concrete within a worksite once it has been delivered, there are many possible options. The method you choose will usually depend on where the mix will be poured and the general condition of the worksite. The most popular ways of transporting concrete within a worksite include:
Wheelbarrow and shovel
The wheelbarrow is commonly used for transporting concrete across short distances. For this method to be suitable, your site should be flat and easy to navigate. Ideally, there should be a clear and direct route to the pour site. If the transportation distance is long or the ground is rough, wheelbarrows are often provided with a pneumatic wheel to avoid the concrete segregation due to vibration.
Chutes are often used when concrete needs to be poured from ground level to below ground. Consisting of a metal trough with a rounded bottom and open ends, they are useful when the labour can’t access the area where it needs to be poured. Most ready-mix trucks carry between three and four chutes that, when attached, reach a horizontal distance of around 20 feet from the tyres to the point of discharge. The concrete mix should be fairly workable so that it can be easily transported down the chute without the risk of segregation.
Pumping of concrete is a common and reliable method of transporting and placing liquid concrete. A common feature on building sites, concrete pumps can increase the efficiency of building projects, particularly when it comes to constructing high-rises. In the past, buckets of concrete needed to be lifted up by cranes. However, it’s now possible to pump the concrete up to higher floors, providing a fast and continuous supply of concrete. There are three types of concrete pumps – line pumps, boom pumps, and specialised usage pumps. The first two are the most common, with boom pumps being most useful for delivering large volumes of concrete to high locations quickly.
Belt conveyors can transfer concrete horizontally and across limited distances vertically. Conveyors made specifically for handling concrete are quite inexpensive these days and can often be a worthy investment since they remove the need for other more costly equipment such as cranes. Belt conveyors are especially useful in areas such as tunnels where there isn’t much space. They’re also commonly used in building construction, particularly for large floor slabs or bridge decks.
Contact Doncaster Quickmix
Sourcing high-quality ready mix concrete has never been easier, and we hope that this article has answered the question of, “What’s the best way to transport concrete?”. Doncaster Quickmix is the leading concrete suppliers in Rotherham and Doncaster, so you can rest assured that we can meet your needs. Call 01302 972997 (Doncaster) or 01709 807977 (Rotherham) today to discuss your requirements with one of our friendly team. You can also send us a message via the website.