The concrete mixer has a long history. It started in 1916 when Stephen Stepanian applied to patent a motorized transit mixer that he had developed to replace the horse-drawn concrete mixer that was in use at the time.
Stepanian’s concrete mixer churned the mixture as the cart wheels turned wooden paddles. This design was not only of limited use, but was also slow and cumbersome. However, much could be said of the trucks and engines of the same period. It was not until the 1940s that truck frames and engines were capable of carrying thousands of pounds of unset or wet concrete. This was when the mixer trucks with their full swing capability came into their own.
Actually, the large drum mixer trucks on the road today are not a great deal removed from Stepanian’s idea of better concrete transit. A mobile concrete mixer consists of a frame, an engine, and a rotating mixer. The mixer changed as technology did. Today most mixers have a separate tank for water in the truck. One spinning drum is filled with the dry ingredients and when the truck is near the site, the water is added so the concrete is fresh when the truck arrives at the site.
Metered and volumetric mixers are also being used more often. These are both much like custom concrete batching plants placed on site. They contain separate holding tanks for the aggregate, concrete, and water on the truck. A computer is linked to the pumps and augers. When the truck arrives at the site, the customer can order the specific type of concrete they want and it is then mixed by the truck. These types of mixers are often used at construction sites where high-rise projects are being done because pumper trucks can be paired with the mixers and concrete can be delivered more than fifteen stories high which is a much more efficient way to work.
Mixing concrete has changed a great deal in some ways over the years and not much in others. Technology has impacted the efficiency and effectiveness of how quickly concrete is mixed and where it is mixed. It is still delivered by truck and mixed on the back of the trucks. The trucks are just a big bigger and faster today than they were when Stephen Stepanian first envisioned his motorized transit mixer.
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