ready mix trucks in parking lot against a blue cloudy sky

Ready Mix Truck Maintenance: Tips to Remain Ready to Roll

Your ready mix truck is, quite literally, a well-oiled machine. It’s a substantial investment, the tool you use to carry out your work — and it’s an impressive piece of machinery, too. At General Chipping, we’re big believers in the idea that routine maintenance now can help concrete and construction companies avoid costly repairs and replacements, and can keep their vehicles healthy for the long haul.

Ideally, you’ll replace your redi mix truck’s tires every three months, treat your truck to tune-ups twice per year and take it in for monthly oil changes to keep it safe and ready to serve you well. Concrete chipping appointments should also take place every three months, or monthly in warm conditions. (Please note, these numbers are just an industry average. Specific maintenance schedules will vary based on equipment brand and age, company workload and similar factors.)

closeup of a dusty tire on concrete
Regular ready mix truck maintenance by trained professionals helps keep your fleet healthy.

Here, our concrete chipping experts have pulled together some high-level tips aimed at making your truck maintenance efforts more manageable, specifically as it relates to chipping concrete. Read on, take note and take meaningful steps to keep your fleet ready to roll.

Prime Your Maintenance Appointments for Success

No matter how careful your crew is when it comes to your concrete pours, or how thoroughly you clean out your drums, you will need to book maintenance through a professional concrete chipping crew. It’s important to start such appointments out on the right foot, regardless of whether you’re scheduling simple concrete chipping to keep a healthy fleet working well for you, or emergency services for vehicles that are down and out. Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting your next appointment on the books.

Offer as Much Information as Possible

Your concrete chippers are trained experts who want to help your equipment stay healthy and safe. And, although most concrete chipping work tends to be fairly similar from one place to the next, no two jobs are exactly alike. In order to make sure the crew you hire has the manpower it needs and the right tools for your work, they’ll need to know what they’re up against.

When booking your appointment, fill them in on everything you can — from the location of your affected equipment, to the type and age of your redi mix drums, and the length of time since your last concrete chipping. Don’t forget to provide information about fleet counts, too. When they know exactly how many drums, mixers and even cement silos need TLC, they can determine how many crew members to send your way, and how long will job will take.

Allow for Some Flexibility

Remember, concrete chipping companies like General Chipping carry out work across the United States. Depending on the number of teams in their rotation — and where the work takes those teams — it might take some time for them to reach you. Clue them in to when you’d like to have maintenance take place, but remember that specific dates might not be possible.

We recommend booking a full year’s worth of maintenance out at once to ensure your crew can be in your area when you need them — and to help keep appointments from becoming forgotten on your end. (We get it. Schedules are busy!) If your maintenance request is due to a breakdown grinding your work to a halt, be sure to let your crew know. A quality company will consult its team members, work out a plan and determine the best way to get your vehicles back in working order as quickly as possible.

Always Have a Plan B

It pays to plan ahead — especially when you’re hoping to sidestep concrete trouble. Keep extra equipment available specifically for emergency use, or work out a friendly agreement with a nearby construction crew. You might make sure they know they can come to your crew if an emergency puts them in need of equipment — and ask if your company can do the same. In an ideal world, you’ll never have to act on it, but it never hurts to go in prepared.

Do Your Part for Your Drums and Mixers Between Maintenance Appointments, Too

six ready mix trucks parked on grass
Maintenance efforts between concrete chipping appointments help extend drums’ and mixers’ lifespans.

You understand the important role your ready mix truck drums play in your work, and you know the importance of regular concrete chipping. But how can you make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep those drums maintained in the meantime? Here are a few simple tips aimed at making drum upkeep easier between appointments with the pros.

Mix What You Need — And Use What You Can

When it comes to the concrete for your company’s planned pours, it’s important to avoid going overboard. Preparing too much material leaves you with unnecessary excess you’ll either need to find another use for or wind up chipping from your drum later on. Work closely with crew members to determine exactly how much you’ll need for the job. Once you’ve performed your pour, take stock of what, if anything, is left inside. Then, make adjustments moving forward. Our concrete calculator makes it easy to gauge the amount of material your work will require.

Keep Buildup at Bay with Chemical Drum Cleaner

Concrete chipping is a dangerous undertaking that should be left solely to the professionals. Even so, there are useful steps you yourself can take to keep your drums healthy and happy. Chemical drum cleaners are an effective and relatively inexpensive way to stave off excess buildup. They’re pretty simple to use, too. Just remember, such chemicals are meant to be just part of your drum maintenance regimen. You’ll still need to schedule chipping!

Don’t Let Mixed Concrete Sit Idle

Your ready mix truck drums turn for a reason. When the material inside remains in one place for too long, the mixed concrete can start to separate or set. The end result? A drum thrown off balance with excess weight, minimized carrying capacity and unnecessary wear and tear. Make it a point to only mix materials when you’re en route to your work, and to keep your drum moving along the way.

Are you showing your ready mix drums and trucks the respect they deserve? That added TLC can make a world of difference when it comes to ensuring your vehicles and drums remain healthy and working their best. If you have questions on any of the above, or if you’re interested in booking concrete chipping, feel free to get in touch the General Chipping team. We’re here, and we’re glad to help!