Short Loads

The economics and scheduling of concrete jobs can create cost and labor issues for public works departments that often need only small amounts of concrete. One good option is commercial-grade tow-behind concrete mixers, which can increase efficiency and cut costs.

The trailered concrete business is not new, but the equipment available has come a long way since the original tow-behind mixers that could result in concrete segregation and nonhomogenous pours. The newest tow-behind rotating drum concrete mixers have a 1.25 cubic yard capacity and an onboard water washout system, allowing users to complete jobs on their own schedule. Users are no longer dependent on the schedule of ready-mix producers, nor do they have to pay short-load fees and fuel surcharges.

Using these mixers, crews can place small concrete pours at an economical rate, far less than the cost of a delivered short-load. The machines deliver the same high quality, homogenous mix as ready-mixtrucks, but can easily be towed with a half-ton pickup truck. The onboard water washout system allows crews to keep the mixer out all day, by batching the concrete and washing and cleaning the mixer on the jobsite.

Tow-behind rotating drum mixers can be loaded with dry aggregate in the morning and taken to the jobsite; with bagged cement and water from the onboard water tank, concrete can be mixed and poured inthe afternoon with only six minutes of mixing time. Most popular concrete mixing trailers are diesel-powered, feature advanced hydraulic systems, and are built to heavy duty construction equipment standards.

Public works departments, park and recreation departments, school systems, transportation departments, utilities, and universities have found it economical to add this type of equipment to their fleets. In some cases where short-load fees and minimum purchase requirements are strictly enforced, cost savings can be significant, allowing the equipment to be fully paid for in less than a year for agencies pouring as little as 1 cubic yard per week.

Concrete repairs, sidewalk installations,and small infrastructure pours wil lalways be common jobs for a public works department. Tow-behind rotating drum concretemixers are an efficient tool to consider for this work.