Before 1916, when Stephen Stepanian developed the first patented motorised concrete mixer, concrete was mixed using horse-drawn contraptions that relied of wooden paddles to churn the mixture. This took an age, and required the cooperation of the horses! This article takes a look at two types of concrete mixers, the parts of a typical portable concrete mixer, how a concrete mixer works, and a few guidelines for mixing concrete safely and correctly:


Types of Concrete Mixers

  • Mobile Transit Mixers
    These are the large truck-mounted mixers you’ll have seen driving to and from larger construction sites. They are constantly churning the concrete held within to keep it from setting, and can carry up to 20,000 kilograms of pre-mixed concrete at a time. 
  • Portable Drum Mixers
    Commonly found on construction sites of all variety, portable drum mixers are essentially smaller versions of the above mobile transit mixers. While only able to mix smaller amounts of concrete, these concrete mixers are ideal for ensuring a constant flow of fresh concrete.


Parts of a Drum Concrete Mixer

A typical portable drum concrete mixer is made up of three main components. These are:

  • The drum: A rotating barrel, open on one end, where the concrete and water are combined
  • The motor: An electrical motor that, when activated, rotates the drum at an appropriate speed
  • The frame: The structure, usually featuring wheels, that supports the drum and motor


Source: NorthernTool


How a Concrete Mixer Works (step-by-step guide)

  1. Pour concrete powder into mixer
    Before starting up the concrete mixer, empty the bag of dry concrete premix into the drum of the mixer – making sure not to breathe any in. 
  2. Douse with Water to Remove Dust
    Take a hosepipe set to spray and douse the dry power with a bit of water. Do the same to the inside surfaces of the barrel. 
  3. Activate the Concrete Mixer
    Once you’ve added the dry mixture and doused it with a sprinkle of water, it is time to activate the motor. Be sure not to run the electrical cable through any puddles of water. 
  4. Keep Adding Water Until Perfect Consistency
    Finally, with the drum rotating, keep adding water to the mix until the perfect consistency is reached. If you’re not sure about how much water to add, read the instructions on the dry concrete bag.


Concrete Mixing Guidelines

  • Wear goggles and consider wearing a face mask while mixing concrete yourself
  • Keep your hands well away from the concrete mixer while the motor is engaged
  • Avoid leaving the concrete mixer unattended while it is mixing
  • Switch the concrete mixer off before handling it directly
  • Don’t try and move the concrete mixer while it is mixing
  • When cleaning the inside of the drum, be careful around the sharp mixing fins


Hire Concrete Mixers in Durban

Need-A-Tool has been offering construction equipment rentals in Durban for a very long time, ranging from consumables all the way through to large cherry pickers and access equipment. Looking to rent a concrete mixer in Durban? Contact us and we’ll sort you out in a jiffy!