Engineering the Digital Civilization

Search Here...

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Things You Should Check out While Renting a Concrete Mixer

Ideal, One that you wish you could Rent
Reality, What is actually available for Rent! 

Concrete Mixer is one of the most vitally required equipment on a construction site, its condition & efficiency can have a great impact on the total efficiency of the work at the site. This equipment becomes extremely important especially when your site is in a remote and extremely rural kind of a location where RMC is not available or too costly to be transported. The cost of the mixer is too high and it is not just the purchasing cost that is to be borne by the owner but the operating and maintenance cost is also quite high so, most small construction companies opt-in for rent. Yes renting is better if your work requires mixer only on certain occasions because it is much cheaper in the short term but if you are having good sites that continuously require a mixer or multiple sites where you can like compensate for the expense of a new mixer than purchasing it would be a much better option.
Back to the topic, I've worked with small construction contractors who take up works such as RCC, Renovation, Retrofitting and that like of a small scale work that doesn't need the concrete mixer to be there on site every day. So they end up renting the equipment for the time they need it for, this has the benefits such as lower initial investments, they don't have to worry about maintaining that machine, they don't need any place to keep it at, and many more.

So here are the things that you should look in for while renting a Concrete Mixer, 

The overall Condition

You renting the mixer, it is absolutely certain that someone else might have rented it before & turned it into a concrete mess, believe me, I've seen concrete mixers being covered with debris & hardened concrete that you need a chisel & hammer to remove that coating. This reduces the efficiency of the mixer & also adds weight to the hopper, drum & belts that may strain the engine.
1st thing to do is ask the owner to clean it & get it free from all the layers it has over it, I'm sure you won't get it too clean but it is good if you could get it just so cleaned that you can see the metal surfaces or the original paint.

Next is the most important,

The Engine

Typical Diesel Engine used in Concrete Mixers

Most concrete mixers comprise of a diesel-powered engine that transfers rotating torque through chains & sprockets. You should check out for any defects and leakages, broken gaskets, wiring and other general engine working related stuff.

Cranker Handle

It looks something like this

Generally, concrete mixers are required to be cranked by rotating a lever that is attached to the fly-wheel which interns cranks the engine to set it into motion. Check if the handle is in good shape and having proper grooves to notch in over the shaft and be easily released when the engine is cranked. I've been through a situation wherein the handle got broken & the mixer wouldn't start and so we had to reschedule the casting, this had us a big loss due to the labor and time. If possible I would recommend having an extra spare handle.


Your friend that helps in the smooth running of the machine, oiling is extremely essential in such situations as while concreting the equipment tends to become gain a lot of dust & dry up the oil & when this happens it is really bad for it'll add up the resistance to motion cause more fuel consumption & wearing of the parts that are in relative motion especially the gears and the chain drive.

Brakes & Liners

Good brakes are capable of locking in the hopper in any required position as seen here

The mixer doesn't move anywhere but it sure does needs to have some good quality braking system. 1 bag concrete mixers have a hopper where the dry mix material such as the cement, sand & aggregates are dumped in proportion. The hopper is then lifted by means of a lifting mechanism which is attached to the mixer body now there are labors working near the hopper and it is essential that the brakes are in good condition to stop the hopper from falling. In general, the brakes should be good enough to enable good control over the material delivery into the rotating drum for mixing.


The front part on the ground is the hopper where the dry mix is dumped

This is the part that delivers the material to the rotating drum for mixing. While you are taking it on rent be sure to check if there it is free from the settled concrete, many times there is a lot of concrete on the hopper and this adds on the weight of the hopper making it difficult to lift & also reduces the volume of the feed. Also, check if there are any holes or cracks in the hopper for this may waste a lot of your precious material.

Rotating Drum

Actually it's been recently dismantled for repair purpose but this is how a drum looks like
 The most important part where the concrete is actually prepared, the drum in transit mixers the drum swivels along its axis for delivery and mechanism is quite interesting. Things I would suggest to look in here is the surface of the drum, look for any potential cracks & holes and get them fixed. Also, there is a gear pinion arrangement that makes the drum rotate so do check if the gear is in perfect shape because the gears are borne to wear out over time. I've seen the gears getting with broken teeth slogging the entire process. Also, make sure that the gear arrangement along the circumference & also the axis are well oiled & greased to avoid damage.

The base stand & Tyres

Mixers are driven on their tyres only if the distances are less & usually transported in a truck if the distances are large. Generally, the mixers on site are mounted on wooden blocks well leveled.


Always start the mixer & check if everything is working perfectly fine, click a few photos while taking the delivery so that later any damages could be properly settled.

This is pretty much what I observed while putting such a rent deal. You check out the map below for one such vendor of my knowledge from whom I'd once hired the mixer & a few other construction equipment.

Hope this post helped you, please comment with your experiences I'd be glad to learn if I missed anything in my checklist!

Thank you