GSA Advantage
Stationary concrete batching system to load portable mixing trailers
Small scale concrete batching system and mix trailer

The portable concrete batching system for remote building projects
Cart-Away Batching System
Mixing trailer used with a Cart-Away Batch Plant

 
Loading Methods Compared
Efficiently loading materials into a mixing drum to make concrete is the key to a successful project. Every minute spent loading increases the labor and reduces the effective mixing time of the ready-mix. Cart-Away engineers have spent enormous energy in developing a variety of ways to get the sand, gravel, cement and water efficiently into your mixing drum.

The following comparison will give you the pros and cons of the different ways to fill a ready-mix drum.
Before we begin to compare we must know the basic statistics of the loading target on a Cart-Away mixing drum:

The diameter of the loading opening is 23 inches

The pour-in height of the loading opening is 66 inches

There are four fins that reduce the opening to 18”.
These spin, so caution must be taken as the drum is loaded.

1. The Shovel…

It takes approximately 188 shovels full of pre-mixed sand and gravel to create a yard.

After struggling with each scoop of material you then will need to lift 5 to 7, 94 pound sacks of powdered cement the 66” up into the drum.

The advantage of this method is the low entry cost to load, because a shovel requires an investment of less than $50 dollars.

The disadvantages of this method are obvious:
  This is the least efficient and the most inaccurate measuring system for producing ready-mix.

Load time can be as high as 40 minutes per batch.

Shovel volumes vary and can make each batch different.

Very high probability of a workers comp. claim.

Few people will want to mix this way for long.

Bagged cement storage away from any moisture

2. Pre-mixed Concrete Bags…

Every home center stocks 80# bags of concrete in pallet quantities.

It takes 42 of these bags to create a yard of material. Like the shovelmethod previously mentioned, this a completely manual loading method involving lifting each bag up and into the drum opening.

The standard mix design of these bags is not very high in cement content, so it is recommended that you add at least one 80# bag of powdered cement into each batch.

The advantage of this method is the easy
availability of the bags in every community, but it is not cheap when compared to using the basic raw materials in ready-mix. A sack of concrete can be as high as $3.50 per bag or $147. per yard before
delivery charges. The batching size is better controlled with the bags than with the shovel method.
 The disadvantages of this method are similar to the shovel:

Efficiency is not good, but better than a shovel.

Load time can be as high as 30 minutes per batch.

High probability of injury from the four moving mix fins.

Very high probability of a workers comp. claim.

Few people will want to mix this way for long.

Bagged concrete storage away from any moisture

The higher cost of materials.

3. The Super Sack…

This device is a large woven polypropylene bag that holds about 3500 pounds of pre-mixed sand, gravel and cement.

These sacks are usually prepared with a specific mix design at the factory. To load a
mixing drum with a super sack will require some type of lifting device, usually a tractor or forklift and a funnel to direct the material down into the drum.

Loading is accomplished by pulling a string to open a spout on the bottom of the bag and letting the material flow into the drum.

The advantage of this loading method is that it is extremely fast and the funnel system is not very expensive.
The Cart-Away C.U.B.E. has used this method successfully to produce a specification mix in a mine.

The ability to produce a specific mix design consistently is also an advantage of this method.

The disadvantages are:

Finding a local supplier for the pre-mixed super sacks.

Cost of transportation to the job site from a distant supplier.

Building a useful funnel system that is not in the way of emptying the drum.

The cost of the pre-packaged materials.

Storage of the sacks out of moisture and the space required for a truckload price.

Tractor or Forklift for lifting the sacks.

 4. 2 Yard LoadPro…

A small material hopper feeding an inclined conveyor belt.

The LoadPro uses an 11HP Honda engine to power the hydraulic functions on the unit. There is a water hose hook-up and water meter for adding in the water.

The sand and gravel are loaded into the hopper using a tractor bucket.

The bucket of the tractor is used to measure the quantity of raw material that will go into the mixing drum.

Bags of powdered cement are placed on a bag-breaker that is mounted over the hopper allowing the cement to pour in on the top of the aggregates.

The conveyor moves all of the sand, gravel and cement up and into the mixing drum.

The belt travels quickly and throws the material down deep into the drum.

The water meter allow for a fairly consistent mix as long as you remain consistent with the tractor bucket volumes.

The advantage of a LoadPro is that it can load less expensive individual raw materials fairly quickly into the drum.
A typical one-yard load can be put into the drum less than 4 minutes.

The advantages of the LoadPro are the increased speed to load and the ability to use less expensive materials for the mix.

The hopper is also useful as a storage and measurement bin which helps in creating a more consistent mix between batches.

The water meter also allows for consistent moisture specifications.

The disadvantages to the LoadPro are:

Additional investment in machinery for loading.

On-site batching requires an extra unit to transport.

Volumes of material can vary if not careful.

Some dust is created from the loading belts quick motion.

Daily clean-up is required.

Lifting 94# sacks of cement to the bag breaker knife at a lift-over height of 44 inches.

Storage of cement bags from moisture

5. The Concrete C.U.B.E.

On-Site Batching System. The C.U.B.E. is an all-in-one loading and mixing system designed to
help people become independent from the transit-mix companies.

The mixing drum is mounted inside of a steel framework that supports a material loading conveyor.

The conveyor is loaded over the top of
the upper framework and the raw materials move into the drum via a diverter.

The water is introduced into the drum by a water metering system similar to the LoadPro.

Cement bags are emptied into a hydraulically operated chute that moves the powder up and into the drum. The lift-over height for each 94# bag of cement is about 32 inches. A typical 1 ½- yard load can be put into the drum in about 10
minutes.

The advantages of the C.U.B.E. are the complete packaging of all the material loading and mixing functions.
The C.U.B.E. reduces the number of pieces of equipment need on site to make ready-mix.

The bag breaker chute has a reduced lift-over height for less back strain and will also load in 80# pre-mixed concrete bags.

The C.U.B.E. can be ordered with gas, diesel and electric power options and can load with super sacks of pre-mix with the conveyor removed. Water is metered to create a consistent mix batch.

The disadvantages to the C.U.B.E. are:

Requires a trailer or truck to deliver.

Not as portable as a trailer mounted drum.

Volumes of material can vary if not careful.

Daily clean-up is required.

Lifting 94# sacks of cement to the bag breaker knife at a lift-over height of 34 inches.

Storage of cement bags or concrete bags/sacks from moisture.

 6. CBL Automated Material Loader

This is the most efficient raw material loader available for filling the mixing trailer. At 2 minutes per yard batching time, the CBL can load several trailers in a fleet with ease.

Each CBL comes equipped with a sand and gravel hopper that can hold up to 12 yards of material.

A powdered cement silo will hold enough material to mix well over 100 yards without refilling.

Using a silo to store and distribute the cement powder saves material costs, labor and storage hassles.

The CBL is a dry batching system so the clean-up is easier than any of the wet-auger loaders from the past.
The CBL system is widely used in applications where selling ready-mix to others is the primary focus of the enterprise.
The disadvantages to the CBL are:

May require special zoning for a silo installation.

Must be welded to metal plates on concrete footings.

Three-phase electrical service is required.

Daily clean-up is required.

Investment is larger than other loading systems.

Regular material calibrations are required.

Additional maintenance schedule.

Additional Information:
Investment Comparison

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