PREPARING FOR YOUR CONCRETE POUR
🚨 Things to Consider
Placing concrete is physically demanding. A wheelbarrow of concrete can easily weigh several hundred pounds. Make sure you have adequate help for the size and scope of your project.
Concrete is perishable and you will have about 60 minutes to have the truck unloaded. This is another reason you should ensure you have adequate help and all of the tools necessary to complete your project when the truck arrives.
Concrete is caustic to skin and eyes and will cause burns. Always ensure you have proper personal protection: including rubber boots, rubber gloves, and eye protection. If you do come in contact with concrete, wash immediately with soap and water.
Ready mix trucks are big and heavy. A fully loaded ready-mix truck can weigh around 70,000 pounds. Our drivers will ask you to sign your delivery ticket, COD disclaimer and other disclaimers (color, etc.) if necessary, which provides consent for the truck to enter your property and owner acceptance of liability for any damage to your property and our equipment.
🚨 Doing it Yourself
This guide will provide you with an overview of each step listed below:
Preparing for Your Pour
Preparing Your Subgrade
Order Your Concrete
Placing Your Concrete
✔️ STEP 1: Preparing for Your Pour
Preparation is imperative to the success of your DIY concrete project. You will need to lay out precisely what you want to do and make sure you have all of the proper tools and supplies to complete the project. Once the concrete is batched into the truck, you take ownership of the product and it becomes your responsibility to place and finish the concrete. As soon as water is mixed with the cement it initiates a chemical reaction which causes the concrete to “set” or become hardened. You will have about 2 hours from the time the concrete is batched before it has completely set. This is why it is so important to have everything prepared before the concrete arrives. This includes securing any necessary permits and contacting your local utility companies to have buried cables marked. You must also determine how the truck will access your project. You will need to ensure the truck will have overhead clearance from trees and power lines and be aware that the weight of the truck can damage your yard, sprinkler system, driveway, sidewalk and septic tank. Please use caution when directing the truck off the street and onto your property.
You will likely need the following tools to complete your project (depending on your project, this may not be an exhaustive list):
Rubber gloves, boots and safety goggles
Nail stakes and nails (double-headed is recommended)
Hammer and sledge hammer
Large wheelbarrow (if direct access for truck is not available)
Sub-grade compactor (tamper, heavy roller, or vibrating compactor)
Screed board that extends beyond the width of the forms
Concrete placer (come-along)
Bull float with a handle long enough to reach across the concrete
Concrete broom (if broom finishing) with a handle long enough to reach across the concrete
Jointer, groover, or concrete saw
Trowel (for finishing non-air-entrained interior floors)
Curing and sealing materials and equipment (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for application)
✔️ STEP 2: PREPARING YOUR SUBGRADE
The ground that will be beneath the poured concrete is referred to as the subgrade. You must remove all grass, plants, roots, rocks and loose or soft dirt from your project site. Replace this with a proper subgrade material like fill sand or crushed aggregate. Make sure that the compacted subgrade is at a uniform depth (generally four inches, but follow your county or city requirements) below your anticipated finished grade. When the concrete truck arrives, slightly dampen the subgrade so moisture is not drawn out of the concrete when it is placed on the subgrade.
Compacting the Subgrade: It is very important that this step is completed properly. Improper subgrade compaction can cause unwanted settling and cracks in your finished concrete project. Moreover, heavy wet concrete will compact the loose subgrade and cause a miscalculation of concrete quantity. The subgrade should be uniform, hard, free of any foreign material, and well-drained. If you have a large project, like a driveway, consider using a vibrating compactor to complete this step. A heavy roller or hand tamper can often be used to compact subgrade for smaller projects.
Setting the Concrete Forms: After you have prepared the subgrade, you will need to set your concrete forms. Your grade should be on a slope so that water is able to drain from the concrete surface. Use your level and string line to set the grade for the concrete forms. Once your string-line is set you can cut your form boards to size and lay them outside the string line. It is most common to use straight 2x4 wood lumber for your forms. Start at one end of the string line and stand your form up next to your string line, square up the steel nail stakes with your forms, and drive the stake into the ground behind the forms. Your stakes should be roughly four feet apart and flush or just below the top of your concrete forms. Also, make sure to brace behind each spot where the concrete forms butt. Once the stakes are set, you can start to nail the stakes to the forms. Raise the 2x4 so that the top is level with the string line and nail through the stake hole into the 2x4. Install expansion joint material in between the adjoining concrete, making sure the expansion joint material runs the entire depth of the concrete.
Add Reinforcement: We advise using fiber in your concrete, however when use wiremesh or rebar, be sure include the reinforcement as per ACI and ASTM specifications.
✔️ STEP 3: ORDER YOUR CONCRETE
Customer information; this includes name and phone number if we need to contact you regarding your order.
Delivery address and any special on-site directions. A valid address or thorough driving instructions are very important due to the perishable nature of concrete.
The date and time you would like to have your concrete order delivered. We will do our best to accommodate your request. Please call at least 3 days in advance to give us the best chance to meet your request.
Project information; this includes the nature of your project (driveway, patio, etc.) and the concrete mix and the slump you prefer (we can assist with any questions you may have).
The number of yards you will require. You can utilize our Concrete Calculator (www.cranesville.com/calculator) to determine your quantity or you can calculate it yourself. Concrete is measured in cubic yards. A cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet. Add 10% for spills and subgrade settling and round up to the nearest 1/2 yard. Concrete can only be ordered in 1/2 yard increments, with 1 yard being the minimum order quantity. A small delivery charge may be charged on loads less than 7 yards.
Customers are given six (6) mins per yard from AT JOB to STOP POUR, after which $2.00 per minute overtime is charged and due at time of payment
The method you will use to unload the concrete truck:
Pour directly off of the truck
Motorized concrete buggy
Bobcat or skid loader
Conveyor, or other specialized placement equipment
Let us know how you would like to pay for your order. We accept cash and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover). We do not accept checks or American Express. Please note that we collect payment after the delivery driver unloads the concrete.
If paying by cash, please have exact change as our delivery drivers do not carry change.
If paying by credit card, please make arrangements when placing the order.
You may be subject to additional charges if you are not able to unload your concrete truck in a timely manner.
✔️ Step 4: Placing Your Concrete
It is your responsibility to ensure all site preparation and subgrade work is complete prior to your order arriving. Cranesville Block Co., Inc. and Affiliated Companies will supply ready mixed concrete, but will not assist with site preparation and concrete finishing nor furnish any tools required to complete your project. We are committed to delivering you a quality product, but it is your responsibility to make sure it is placed and finished. Please remember that placing and finishing concrete is physically demanding. Make sure that you have enough people available to help complete your project. Having at least one person with experience placing and finishing concrete is highly recommended.
🚨 Safety First
Please take safety precautions. Always know where the truck is and be sure your delivery driver knows where you are. Contact with wet concrete can cause severe irritation; always wear rubber gloves and boots, as well as safety glasses. Prior to unloading the concrete, please read the disclaimer on your concrete ticket and the COD disclaimer regarding the safety considerations of working with wet concrete. You may find a copy of the ready mixed concrete Safety Data Sheet here: https://ehs.cranesville.com/msds.pdfs/MSDS(F015).pdf or on the company SDS Library on the Homepage.
🚨 When the Truck Arrives
Make sure you have navigated and fortified a path that the truck will take to access the site of your concrete project. Please make sure the concrete truck has enough clearance to navigate the truck to the location you request. It is also helpful to guide your delivery driver as they are moving the truck into place. Please also remember that a fully loaded concrete truck is extremely heavy. Trucks can range in height and width, please contact your dispatcher for any clearance restrictions. It is not recommended to have the truck drive over existing driveways, sidewalks, patios, sprinkler systems and septic tanks. Your delivery driver will not drive onto your property until you have signed the consent and release on your delivery ticket.
✔️ STEP 5: Cleaning Up
Please provide the delivery driver with a location to rinse the truck down once you have completed the pour. It is mandatory that truck chutes are rinsed after delivery. Containments should be self contained and lined with PVC plastic as to not have an adverse environmental impact. The delivery driver will rinse down the chutes and hopper into a containment system leaving slurry water, excess sediment, and color (if used).
✔️ STEP 6: PAYMENT
At the conclusion of your pout, truck time will be totaled (if necessary) and payment must be furnished in full. If you choose to switch your method of payment from CASH to CREDIT CARD, a 3% convenience fee will be assessed to the total and it is your responsibility to phone dispatch prior to the driver leaving the jobsite.
*This information has been provided as a guide for DIY ready mixed concrete projects. For specific information on placing ready mixed concrete please conform to ACI/ASTM standards.