There are not many things which are more aggravating to produce on a worksite than concrete. Bags of cement, sand, aggregate (gravel) and other lesser additives have to be delivered to construction areas on a daily basis. Also, there has to be a supply of clean water, along with a concrete mixing hopper. And then, even after all the dust and heavy ingredients have been loaded into the hopper, one small mistake in the wet/dry ratio can deliver an entire batch of concrete unusable and wasted. One common answer to this messy and time-consuming problem is the wonder of ready mix concrete.
Ready mix concrete manufacturers employ the very same cement, aggregate, additives and water mix, but here the product is created off-site and ordinarily delivered in bulk to the building zone. Large trucks with revolving hoppers at the rear, replace the smaller versions used directly on the site. The concrete is usually ordered directly from a local supplier who can create custom blends and/or bulk orders. These days’ ready mix concrete supplies are the norm on most building sites around the world. Some contractors might need a special kind of mix, such as more aggregate in their concrete, or special curatives added for faster drying times.
Companies that manufacture ready mix concrete often belong to a professional organisation that oversees all of their members. Any new changes in the industry can be quickly implemented or discussed during periodic meetings. Other issues which may happen to affect the industry are the maintenance of professional standards, environmental issues and local laws regarding heavy transportation.
It is not uncommon to find ready mix concrete companies in the industrial areas of cities or in rural areas. Huge quantities of sand, gravel and other aggregates are usually stockpiled on such grounds, along with Earthmoving equipment and delivery trucks. Companies which specialise in this concrete business may also arrange for gravel to be utilised on roadway construction and cement for other construction projects.
Amounts and Time
Ready mix concrete is in most cases ordered in units of cubic yards or meters. It has to remain in motion until the time that it has to be poured, otherwise the cement may begin to solidify. The concrete mix is usually released from the hopper in a comparatively steady stream down through a trough system. Workers will then come along and use spades and hoes to make sure that the concrete goes into place. Some jobs will certainly require more than one production run, so at times, more trucks will arrive as necessary or additional batches may be produced off-site and then delivered.
As you can see, without concrete, all those buildings you can see around you, and indeed the one you are in right now, just wouldn’t be there! In fact, without concrete most of the buildings around the modern world wouldn’t be standing! Concrete – humble, and yet a necessity.