Concrete is used more than any other man-made material in the world. From building bridges to paving roads, concrete is an essential material used in a wide variety of industries and applications. But it’s not the easiest material to work with and transport; it’s heavy and requires special experience and equipment, including heavy-duty trucks.
Our Portland OR truck shop has partnered with countless contractors and fleet managers involved in the concrete industry over the years. We know how important concrete work trucks are, so we put together this article to help you understand your truck body options and other important considerations.
Concrete Truck Bodies: Know Your Options
Being a concrete contractor is a tough job that requires a tough truck to match. In the concrete industry, heavy-duty platform trucks and concrete mixer trucks are two of the most commonly used truck body types.
Platform concrete truck bodies are multi-functional and ready to meet the demands of a wide variety of heavy-duty trades. The concrete truck body from our manufacturing partner Knapheide has it all. This truck includes a sturdy Value-Master X Platform Body, a 1,500 lb. overcab material rack that can accommodate wheelbarrow storage, a drop-down tailgate and removable solid sides that allow you to get close to the load space and easily retrieve items, and above and under-body tool boxes to keep all your valuable tools and equipment secure. These trucks can be further customized and upfitted with custom accessories to meet any other requirements or needs you may have. Popular add-ons include underbody storage compartments or aluminum tread plate overlays.
If you’re looking for a concrete mixer truck rather than a platform body concrete truck, read on to explore options and key considerations.
Kew Considerations for Your Concrete Mixer Truck
In the concrete industry, no truck fleet is complete without a concrete mixer truck (often referred to as a cement mixer). A concrete mixer truck is one that combines cement with aggregate materials such as sand or gravel and water to form concrete. It also keeps the material in a liquid state by constantly agitating or mixing it until it is poured.
There are a few important considerations when it comes to choosing a concrete truck body, including the following:
Volumetric Mixers vs. Drum or Barrel Mixers
You will have to choose between a volumetric or drum mixer truck body. Drum mixers have been used more commonly in the United States, but volumetric mixers have started to grow more popular in recent years. Volumetric mixers are favored by many contractors because they allow you to mix the concrete on-site, and measure and pour only what you need, thereby reducing waste and lowering costs.
A drum or barrel mixer is used to deliver pre-made concrete to a construction site. These types of mixers are favored for their efficiency, speed, and consistency. They also take up less space than volumetric mixers, so they work well in more difficult to access or cramped locations.
Front Discharge Mixers vs. Rear Discharge Mixers
When choosing a mixer body, you will also have to choose between rear-discharge mixers and front-discharge mixers. Rear-discharge mixers are the oldest and most popular option, favored for their affordability and ability to handle high-volume pours. Also, they are widely produced and available from most major truck manufacturers.
On the other hand, front-discharge mixers have grown more popular in recent years and have many exciting benefits. Although they tend to cost more, they eliminate the need for a chute and therefore reduce labor costs and speed up the pouring process. In place of a “chute man”, the driver is able to control a hydraulic chute with precision, directing it to exactly where it needs to go at a specific flow rate. Front-discharge mixers also have a longer lifespan than rear-discharge mixers, so although they cost more upfront, they’re considered cost-effective. On top of all these advantages, front-mixer trucks are considered safer because operators can better feel what the chassis is doing on job sites and while driving.
Concrete Mixer Size:
The size of the concrete mixer is largely determined by the axle configuration. If you are looking for a larger mixer with greater capacity, you can choose lighter-weight chassis components and a smaller engine. However, a smaller engine means lower horsepower, so you have to think about all the applications and whether this tradeoff is worth it.
Customization & Accessories:
You’ll also want to think about how your concrete truck can be upfitted or customized to better suit your specific needs and goals. Industry-specific accessories include chute funnels, chute scrapers and handles, chute hold-downs, water tanks, and more. When it comes to the truck cab, you can choose from popular add-ons such as adjustable steering columns, climate control options, and other deluxe cab features. Other popular truck accessories include backup cameras, radar/LiDAR detection, and remote control options. There are many more customization and accessory options to choose from, so consult with a truck customization expert to learn more and take your setup to the next level.
Concrete Truck Cost Factors
There are many factors that affect the cost of concrete trucks, including the type of concrete truck body and mixer you choose. For example, as mentioned above, front-discharge mixer trucks tend to cost more upfront than those with rear-end mixers. Other factors that affect the cost include the level of customization, how heavy-duty the setup is, whether the truck is new or used, and the size of the engine, among others.
Generally speaking though, you can expect to pay anywhere between $100,000 and $150,000 for a concrete mixer truck. If you’re looking for a more accurate estimate, you can reach out to us for a detailed concrete truck quote.
Ready to Invest in a Concrete Truck?
As you can see, if you’re looking to add a concrete truck to your fleet, there are many options to consider. Maybe you need a more general work truck to transport your tools and equipment and act as a mobile workstation. Or perhaps you need a mixer truck body to actually prepare and transport the concrete itself.
No matter your needs, our truck shop in Portland, Oregon can help you choose the very best concrete truck and customize it in order to maximize your productivity and efficiency. Our state of the art facility is fully equipped with the finest fleet service tools and staffed with experienced and professional personnel, and we have the flexibility to accommodate any size truck fleet. To learn more or get started, contact us and request a quote today!