Having pushed a wheelbarrow or three hundred as a kid- volume isn't as
important as weight. Wet concrete weighs like a bitch- it would take
superman to push a full-size wheelbarrow of it, especially since we are
usually talking pushing it on dirt or bouncy walkboards. A full one
would usually lose the top 3-4 inches of fill to splashing. If you are
filling the wheelbarrows out of a truck or portable mixer, more
important to have many strong backs and several wheelbarrows staged. You
only have so many minutes of 'open' time before you have to dump the
load Right There, rather than in the forms. Once the concrete shows up,
IT is in charge- no smoke breaks, no lunch, no potty breaks. You move
and shovel and screed till the forms are filled.
Back before concrete pumpers came along, they used to have cute little
self-dumping gas-powered walk-behind 'mules' for use on sites where you
couldn't get the truck close enough.
Yep. I can't believe how everybody got all wrapped up around 'how
much does it hold' ignoring the fact that _noone_ with sense would
ever fill a barrow full. At least noone who has ever moved even one
barrow with mud in it.
No offense, but has basic math skills gone out the window so that you
have to guess?
One yard is 36x36x36"F656 cubic inches
If your bucket is 28x35x10, that's 9800 cubic inces
IOW, 5 trips.
On Oct 15, 8:25 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
But keep the truck off your driveway unless you like cracked concrete.
He might make ruts in the lawn, but in a few months they will
disappear. Have lots of helpers available, don't forget to compact the
soil and use pea gravel and wire mesh/rebar. Good luck.
On Oct 15, 9:25 am, email@example.com wrote:
Just for the record, I've never heard of anyone ordering 3.25 yards.
I don't think they make/transport concrete in that level of precision
-- esp. to the second decimal place. So don't plan your needs too
Whatever results you come up with, double them. It's far, far better to have
too many helpers than too few. For example, what happens when one (or more)
of the volunteer wheelbarrows breaks? Or for that matter, when one of your
helpers keels over with a heart attack? What happens if it rains? Helpers
are cheap (pizza and beer).
Lay a plywood track to the dumping area.
You'll need barrow drivers and concrete spreaders. Have plenty of tools on
hand (shovels, hoes, etc.).
Your plan for an adjustable form sounds fine. Be sure to put in reinforcing
(rebar, wire mesh...)
A 35 by 28 by 10 half-ellipsoid is 2.97 cubic feet, and in my experience
wheelbarrows are a little closer to conical than to that. A cone
(elliptical version as opposed to circular) of the same dimensions is 1.9
cubic feet. I would guess about 2.2-2.3 cubic feet.
Meanwhile, suppose the actual inside dimensions are 33 by 26.5 by 9.5?
That's 15% less volume! Sounds to me like 1.9 to 2 cubic feet now.
Another point - that wheelbarrow will not be level during the filling
and the transportation. I think it would be optimistic to fill it 1 inch
short of the top, and I think 33 by 26.5 by 9.5 then becomes at best 31 by
24.5 by 8.5, and that's with optimistic aggressive filling of the
wheelbarrow. That makes the volume 66% of the original figure (of 2.2-2.3
cubic feet), meaning about 1.5 cubic feet. Make that 1.6, because that
portion of the wheelbarrow gets a little closer to a half-ellipsoid and a
little less like a cone.
But this is still with filling the wheelbarrows so full that you have a
good chance of spilling concrete. I think more realistic is fill it 1.5-2
inches short of the top, roughly 1.3 cubic feet of concrete. A cubic yard
is 20-21 wheelbarrow loads at that rate. I may be erring a bit on the
conservative side - please post your actual results!
Now, another matter: How much weight to pour into a wheelbarrow?
Although the wheelbarrow operator only has to lift about 40% maybe 35% of
the weight of the wheelbarrow and the load, keep in mind how much a cubic
foot of concrete weighs. I asked a concrete mixer driver how much
concrete by cubic yards and tons his truck carries, and IIRC the answer
was 10 cubic yards and 20 tons - meaning a density of 2 tons per cubic
yard. I have read a few slightly lesser figures however. A ton per cubic
yard is 148 pounds per cubic foot.
The Wikipedia article on concrete says that the density is usually
around 150 pounds per cubic foot.
My experience suggests that if someone has to carry much over about 100
pounds, there is a good chance that things get wobbly. Beer goes only so
far to buy careful driving at best! I am guessing that it takes 10 pounds
of force to lift the handles of an empty wheelbarrow of above size,
leaving 90 pounds divided by the 35-40% above that I am guesstimating for
percentage of weight showing up at the handles. That means 225-257 pounds
of concrete. Divide by the Wiki figure of 150 pounds per cubic foot, and
that is 1.5-1.7 cubic feet.
At this moment, I would say probably 1.3 to 1.5 cubic feet per
wheelbarrow load, 18 to 21 wheelbarrow loads. Though I would not be too
surprised if everyone manages a "good mood chemistry" and gets it done in
15 trips - but be prepared for things to not work quite that well and
require closer to 20 trips.
Be prepared to accept the concrete delivery in a timely manner,
especially if you are not the last stop for the concrete truck. The
driver does need to empty the truck before the concrete hardens, and
concrete does not need air to harden. Concrete cures from the cement
ingredient (typically "Portland Cement") combining with water to form a
rock-like hydrated material.
Maybe even if you are the last stop the truck still needs to keep
rolling on a schedule - I suspect the truck may need to be rinsed out
before the residue hardens! (They say "cures" in that industry.)
Another thing that may help a little, at least gain a "brownie point",
when dealing with concrete people: Don't refer to concrete as cement.
Cement is the adhesive component of concrete. Cement roughly means glue!
Concrete is a mixture of cement, "fine aggregate" (traditionally sand),
and "coarse agregate" (this is often pebbles).
The basis for this is that most of the volume is pebbles with sand
grains filling much of the space between the pebbles, and pebbles and sand
cost a lot less than cement does.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
On Tue, 16 Oct 2007 00:23:59 +0000 (UTC), email@example.com (Don
I just read all the replies on here. I know better than to fill the
WB (wheelbarrow) to the top. I mixed some concrete for another shed
by hand (with an electric mixer). I once overfilled the WB and it
tipped over. What a mess !!!!
I was originally going to mix this shed by hand, but since I am doing
the driveway, it only ends up costing $40 more, because they charge
$30 more per yard for loads smaller than 3 yards. So, by ordering 3
yards, I am saving $60 on the first two. Or, in other words, 3 yards
will cost $300, two yards would cost $260. So, I will be paying about
$65 for that shed floor. (With that extra quarter yard). I can barely
mix it for that, and it takes a lot of work to shovel all that sand
and stone and make the mix right.
Here's another idea that I got today. The shed is attached to the
rear of my barn (it's a feed room). The truck can not get in the rear
by the shed because the garage and some trees are in the way.
However, if I close the gate to fence out my horses, the truck could
drive to the front of the barn where there is a 9foot wide sliding
door. I know the door is too low for the truck to enter, but their
chute could come right thru the barn. They'd need a chute about
25feet long. The barn itself is 20ft wide so if they parked 2 feet
from the door, ran the chute thru the barn, (at a slight angle), they
could pour it right into that shed. The door comes off easily enough.
Does anyone know how long the average chutes are on cement trucks?
On Oct 16, 4:22 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Call your readimix company. They'll tell you--it probably varies by
model. A front discharge can reach 21 feet. A rear less. I'd look
into a conveyor truck. They aren't as versatile as a pump, but they
are cheaper, at least where I live. I just poured a three yard porch
patio with one--cost me about 125 bucks above the cost of the
concrete. They are good for small pours because the concrete and the
conveyor show up on the same truck.
Holy cow! Now comes to my mind... When I asked a concrete truck driver
about weights and yards, best as I remember besides a full load being 10
cubic yards and 20 tons, is what the truck weighed empty... That gets a
little foggy now, but I'm pretty sure in or near the range of 12-15 tons.
You might want to find out if you are not the truck's last stop.
However, my experience has been that driveways don't get destroyed by
having a small number of incidences of heavy trucks using them. You may
get some cracks, etc.
Then again, ask the driver when the truck is approaching your property.
The driver will probably have enough experience to be the expert to ask in
And I also advise to have enough wheelbarrows and well-fed well-fueled
well-hydrated friends (soda and bottled water, make sure you have caffeine
available, as well as beer and food) to be prepared for a bad answer from
the truck driver.
Also, I give some chance that offering the truck driver a soda or two to
drink and a beer to take home can help - and also have bottled water in
the cooler (a case of bottled water is usually $5-something at Target in
my experience). Some people who you need to work with you may want at
least at some moment water more than sugar, caffeine, food or alcohol.
- Don Klipstein ( email@example.com)
I have seen plenty of these chutes, and *DOGGONE IT NOW* I have trouble
remembering if they are about 6 feet long, 8 feet long, 10 feet long or 12
feet long. I would say almost certainly under 15 feet. I am starting to
think around 7 to 10 feet.
But if the chute stops 10 or 20 feet short of where the concrete has to
go, you only need 2 or 3 wheelbarrows and wheelbarrow operators, maybe
just 1 case of beer, maybe a boombox playing some good energizing "classic
rock" or good energizing dance music from back when they knew how to make
Also, if you need the driver to do you favors and take some extra time
or do tricky truck maneuvering, I think you have a good chance of gaining
at least half a brownie point calling the stuff concrete rather than
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
replying to alvinamorey, Rodney D Mengel wrote:
Exactly right,on the form. From the side's and leave the tail form, when you run
out of cement take back a pile and secure the bulkhead. Most contractor grade
wheelbarrows are 6cu,ft.
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