Everything There is to Know About Ready-Mix Concrete

Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world, but it can be difficult to know which type to choose for your project. A large amount of engineering, planning, and testing is involved in creating an evenly mixed concrete tailored to your construction requirements. Ready-mix concrete is an ideal solution that saves you time and money for both large construction projects and small DIY jobs.

Ready-made concrete is either prepared off-site at a batch plant or on-site in volumetric mixer trucks and delivered directly to the construction site. The streamlined process of a volumetric mixer truck eliminates most of the hassle, time, and labour costs of premixing and transporting to site in bulk. The experts at Axtell have prepared this guide to answer all your questions about volumetric ready-mix concrete.

How is Ready-Mix Concrete Made?

Barrel ready-mix concrete is manufactured in a batch plant according to the specific requirements of its purpose, recipe and then delivered to a work site. Dependent on the application a precise mixture of cement, aggregates, and water are combined until they form the correct consistency and loaded into the drum mixer on the truck.

In contrast, volumetric trucks and the rotating drum maintains the concrete’s liquid state throughout its transportation and delivery to the site.

Volumetric ready-mix concrete is mixed on site and ready to pour immediately. Volumetric trucks are pre-loaded with the components required to create any mix type and then once at their destination a trained driver/operator calibrates the onboard computer to the precise requirements of the task.

Benefits of Volumetric Concrete:

  • Only pay for what you use
  • Flexibility to alter the mix on site
  • Never under or over order again
  • Always get the freshest concrete

What Is Ready-Mix Concrete Made From?

Ready-mix concrete consists of a combination of cement, water and various aggregates including graded sand and stone. People often use the terms “concrete” and” cement” interchangeably, but cement is an ingredient of concrete. Cement binds the materials together and is manufactured from substances such as iron, aluminium, silicon and limestone and shells.

The aggregates chosen are dependent on the physical properties demanded by your construction but constitute roughly 60 to 75 percent of the volume. We’ve created a chart of different ready-mix concrete solutions to match your structure’s requirements.

The powdered cement is mixed with water and concrete-enhancing additives, turning it into a paste. A high-quality concrete mix should have a good water to concrete ratio to get the overall strength of your mix right.

Where Is Ready-Mix Concrete Used?

Ready mix concrete is an extremely strong and resilient material.It is waterproof and does not burn, rust, or rot. As a result, it is capable of outstanding durability in any environment.

It can be used for a wide range of applications ranging from civil engineering projects to small scale home improvements. The versatility of ready mix concrete makes it applicable to numerous uses from airport runways, motorways, bridges and pavements to, foundations, flooring and DIY projects such as planting sign posts or forming shed bases.

What are the benefits of Volumetric Ready-Mix Concrete over hand mixing?

Volumetric ready-mix concrete comes with many advantages over manually hand mixing concrete.

  • Larger volumes and less storage required.
  • Ability to customise on site.
  • Quality assured with computer calibrated component levels.
  • Reduced time, labour, and costs.
  • Freshly batched product.
  • Less wastage.
  • Easier and more direct pouring with the addition of a pump.

One of the main benefits of a volumetric poured ready-mix concrete versus manually mixed concrete is that it utilises high-tech equipment to produce better quality concrete. Each batch of ready-mix concrete from a volumetric is unique and specifically tailored to the application. Computerised systems calculate the correct mixing ratios, which has more accurate results than mixing concrete by hand. Besides being labour intensive, manual concrete mixing involves a higher risk of human error. By reducing labour time and costs, you can spend time on more productive tasks.

The delivery of ready-mix concrete eliminates storage costs. It is much more convenient as you can get on with laying the concrete as soon as it arrives. Since it’s mixed and tested under specially controlled conditions, waste production is kept to a minimum, making it more environmentally-friendly. By using bulk cement (instead of bagged cement), ready mixed concrete significantly reduces dust pollution.

How Is Ready-Mix Concrete Delivered?

Volumetric mixers on a truck deliver ready-mix concrete to the final work site where it will be discharged via back discharge chutes.

Sometimes the truck cannot get close enough to the site to use the chutes, so using a concrete pump is the most time-efficient way to pour. Line pumps run along the ground and are better for small projects such as pavements and ground slabs. Boom pumps come in varied lengths and can reach up and over or around structures. They are the preferred choice for in larger construction projects due to their versatility and ability to pump high volumes of concrete.

What Ready-Mix Concrete Do I Need?

Ready-mix concrete comes in various formulas to suit different applications. The great thing about ready-made concrete is that you can change the mix to suit your requirements. Visit Axtell’s ready-mix concrete page to see the different types of concrete you can order.

How Much Ready-Mix Concrete Do I Need?

The major advantage of ready-mix concrete comes from its versatility. We can supply enough concrete for big or small jobs.

Volumetric Ready-mix concrete is batched in different quantities and our mixers can provide the exact amount of concrete you need whatever the scale of the project. However, we understand it can be tricky to work out the precise amount of concrete, so we recommend you use our concrete calculator. Just simply enter your maximum measurements and we’ll calculate the volume in cubic metres to ensure you order enough concrete.

What If I Don’t Use All of the Concrete I Ordered?

You only pay for the concrete you use. Luckily, with our volumetric concrete trucks, you can be flexible as to the amount you use. Our volumetric mix trucks are as precise as a centralised batch plant but can also produce the computerised amount of mix on-site and alter it according to changes in scope or weather conditions.

How Much Does Ready-Mix Concrete Cost?

The cost of a ready-made concrete mix delivery can vary depending on different factors such as its grade, strength, delivery distance, and the inclusion of additives and fibres. With volumetric ready-mix concrete, you only pay for what you lay so it helps to know how much concrete you need or call us today to speak with one our team.

Why Use Ready-Mix Concrete?

Ready-mix concrete is of superior quality because it’s produced under specially controlled conditions. Formulating high-quality concrete has become a science, it depends on the correct proportions of materials to create the optimum composition for the customer’s needs. Ready-mix concrete is subject to rigorous testing by expert technicians, ensuring better quality assurance and a fast turnaround.

Visit our How To section for advice on laying concrete.

Ready Mix Concrete Services with Axtell

Axtell has over 20 years’ experience supplying ready-mix concrete to many satisfied and repeat customers across Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire. We are the only supplier in the region with BSI accreditation on its ready-mix concrete products. Our state-of-the-art fleet of volumetric concrete mixers are equipped with an on-board system to mix just the right amount of concrete you’ll need, so you only pay for the concrete you use. We also offer a concrete pumping service to place your concrete exactly where you need it.

Learn more about Axtell Concrete’s full range of concrete services and find out how we can deliver the exact ready-mix concrete your project requires. Alternatively, contact our friendly team to find out more or request a free quote.

Read our How To guides on laying concrete and floor screed.