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How Ongoing Maintenance Keeps Maryland Concrete Work Moving Forward

We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating: Regularly chipping concrete away from the walls of your redi mix truck drums and central mixers — and ridding your cement storage silos of clumped material — plays a crucial role in keeping that equipment healthy, functional and able to continue supporting your team’s work. Let’s get down to the details.

As it relates to concrete chipping, we like to think of your truck drum as if it were a water bottle resting on its side. If you took that water bottle, overturned it and worked to pour out every last bit of liquid, you’d never be able to get it all. There would always be some water remaining along the water bottle’s walls. That’s how it works with your ready-mix concrete drums.

Each and every Maryland concrete pour your crew takes on results in some material being left behind in the drum. Because that amount is so miniscule, the remaining material is no cause for alarm at the start. As time goes on, however, and the material builds, it can bring real trouble.

Caked-on concrete can lead to dried bits breaking away and falling into blended material, not only creating eyesores, but resulting in a finished product that isn’t as strong as it otherwise could be. The dried concrete’s extra weight can also throw drums off balance and lead to mechanical issues that slow (or stop) your crew’s work and hit bottom lines hard. On top of all that, lower carrying capacity can impact your team’s ability to transport enough blended material to your job site.

Of course, your drums and mixers aren’t the only tools to consider. Foregoing cement silo maintenance can also have costly impacts, too.

Cement storage silos often suffer from clumped material or all-out clogs brought on by elevated outdoor humidity. When your crew can’t access the dry cement required to create your concrete, it’s difficult to do the work your clients hired you on for.

Long story short, when you look out for your drums, silos and mixers, they’ll look out for you. And they’ll help keep your projects moving as they should.

Chipping Out Concrete: How Professional Concrete Chippers Go About the Work

Now that we’re past the “why” surrounding mixer drum and silo maintenance, it’s time to look into the “how”. Many people are surprised to learn that a traditional concrete chipping appointment actually consists of three separate services. 

Remember, your concrete chipping company’s job is to look out for your system as a whole. For that reason, they’ll often tackle concrete central mixer cleaning, concrete truck chipping and cement silo cleaning during a single appointment. Here’s a high-level look at what goes into each service. 

Layer 2

Concrete Chipping

Using handheld jackhammers, crews physically enter your ready-mix truck drums to remove hardened material that has dried along the walls. This improves your carrying capacity and helps ward off mechanical issues which can lead to costly slowdowns, repairs and replacements.

Layer 3

Central Mixer Cleaning

Similar to concrete chipping services, central mixer cleaning involves crew members reaching inside your team’s mixer to remove hardened material from drum walls. This results in a healthier mixer capable of holding more material than before.

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Silo Cleaning

Members of your chosen company’s silo cleaning crew are lowered down into your cement storage silos. Once inside, they remove clumps and clogs that slow the release of your cement — and can hold up your projects. Those clogs are ushered out the bottom of the silo
NOTE: Cement silo cleaning is extremely important in areas that regularly experience high humidity, such as Maryland, with its bodies of water.

Selecting the Right Maryland Concrete Chipping Company for Your Crew’s Needs

Finding concrete chippers who are willing to take on your maintenance work and finding concrete chippers you can trust to do the job right are two separate things. When it comes time to hire a team, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing your due diligence.  

When hiring concrete chippers, it’s all about finding a crew that understands the intricacies of the work and is able to knock that work out in a safe and efficient way. It’s also important to find someone you feel comfortable trusting to look after your valuable drums, mixers and silos. Here are a few factors to consider. 

  • Hire a Concrete Chipping Company that’s Willing to Work on Your Terms: Although most concrete chipping appointments are similar, no two are exactly alike. (That’s because no two concrete or construction companies are the same.) It’s important to find concrete chippers who are willing to factor in your company’s unique needs and circumstances when planning out your chipping appointments. Do you have mixers that are prone to extra buildup and require a bit more care? Is your plant situated near a residential area where noise ordinances come into play? Do heavy workloads mean your fleet is only available for maintenance on specific days? Let your potential company know. By laying important information out there from the start, you’ll ensure your team is prepared to take on your work in the proper way. Not only that, but by getting everyone on the same page, you have a better chance at keeping the project on track from start to finish.
  • Hire a Concrete Chipping Crew that’s Trained for the Work: The number of unlicensed, untrained individuals out there offering concrete chipping services isn’t just surprising. It’s disheartening, too. The truth is, concrete chipping work is incredibly dangerous, and trusting the job to someone who isn’t trained to do it can have devastating repercussions. Of course, the key concern is that such work could result in injuries that place lives at risk. Damaged silos, mixers and drums, however, can also eat into your company’s budget — especially if the crew you’ve hired on isn’t insured. When talking with potential concrete chipping companies, we encourage people to ask for proof of insurance — and for details surrounding the certifications and continuing education requirements they have in place for their crew. The General Chipping team, for instance, regularly takes part in OSHA safety training courses and the like, not to mention safety toolbox talks aimed at helping us take on our work both safely and efficiently.
  • Hire a Concrete Chipping Crew Friends and Colleagues Recommend: Word of mouth really is among the best forms of advertising — especially when it comes to finding a concrete chipping crew you can trust. At General Chipping we encourage people to talk with others in the industry about who they’ve worked with before, and what their experience was like. Did the concrete chipping team do good work? Were they on time? Would your colleague hire them again? What, if anything, would they do differently? From there, take your search to the internet. Check out your potential teams’ Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, online reviews and customer testimonials, if they have them available. You might also consider contacting the companies themselves for references you can reach out to.

When Should You Book Concrete Chipping, Maryland?

Your company’s unique concrete chipping needs will vary slightly based on considerations such as the type of concrete you pour, your regular volume of work and even the types (and ages) of your mixers, drums and silos. As a general rule, however, industry experts recommend scheduling concrete chipping, silo cleaning and central mixer cleaning on three-month intervals. By keeping up with those maintenance practices (and keeping buildup at bay) you can ensure your equipment will be at peak performance and ready to serve when your next job rolls around.

PRO TIP: We recommend booking a full year’s worth of concrete chipping appointments out at once. This route allows you to incorporate maintenance practices into your crew’s daily schedule, so they don’t get forgotten. At the same time, it helps ensure you won’t have trouble booking service when you need it (and you won’t find yourself facing costly rush fees for last-minute bookings).

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