When concrete shows up at your jobsite, it’s in the plastic (wet) state, which allows it to be formed into different shapes. However, most people don’t think about what this concrete goes through before it shows up to be placed. Concrete, which is made of sand, stone, cement and water, is mixed according to specifications before being loaded into a ready mix truck. So what journey does this concrete take before its arrival on the job?
At Ozinga, each concrete load is individually batched and loaded so you get the right type and amount of concrete for your job. When you call to place your Ozinga concrete order, dispatch enters it into our scheduling software. When it’s time to load the truck, the dispatcher sends the ticket to the concrete plant. With this information, the plant operator knows which truck to load with which mix, how many yards, and where the concrete will be going once loaded.
Think of a concrete mixture like a cake. All of the "ingredients" are individually stored in bins, tanks, or silos, and a ready mix batch plant operator will use the ingredients needed to make your specific mix. The mix designs (or recipes) for one cubic yard of concrete are stored in the batch computer, and the plant will discharge the necessary ingredients into a mixer where they are blended into a homogenous mix.
Before the truck pulls under the plant to be loaded, the plant operator begins to weigh the sand, stone, and cement that will become your concrete. Water is then metered into the mix. As each material goes from the plant to the mixing drum, sand, stone, cement, and water are blended into the composite material called concrete.
The entire process from the plant receiving the load information to the truck leaving the yard takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
Inside the Truck
Even though the ready mix truck leaves the yard, the concrete inside the drum is still hard at work. A chemical reaction begins to take place between the cement and water called hydration. The cement and water paste is dispersed throughout the aggregate mixture to create a homogenous mix. The drum itself turns to ensure the concrete stays in the plastic/wet state—if no energy is given to the mixture, it will harden at a faster rate, and this could be detrimental to your project.
At Ozinga, we have tools in place to help us maintain a consistent mixture that’s true to slump. Using Verifi, which is an onboard slump measuring/management system available in certain markets, we have real-time access to the concrete in the truck in route to your job, allowing us to make sure it shows up just the way it was ordered.
If you're interested in learning more about Ozinga concrete and our process, contact our concrete specialists today.