Portable Concrete Mixer Trailers
The modern portable concrete mixer trailer carries a drum just like a standard ready-mix truck. But unlike the old “U-cart” tub style concrete trailer of the past, these mixing trailers keep the wet concrete mixing. The old tub concrete trailers are now being replaced by these more efficient and portable mixing trailers. Towable concrete mixer trailers where first introduced by Cart-away in 1993 to haul wet concrete from a small Cart-away mixer/loaders at a store location to a job site. For the last 23-years the Cart-Away concrete trailer has steadily changed the concrete trailer landscape.
The latest study of the concrete trailer industry indicates that over 60% of today’s concrete trailer users are contractors due to the mixing capabilities in a Cart-Away portable concrete mixer trailers.
From tub concrete trailers to mixing concrete trailers
The proof of this evolution in concrete trailers is the number of locations that have switched from the old U-Cart-style concrete trailer to the new Cart-Away mixing concrete trailer. This has created a large used concrete trailer market where old U-cart suppliers have made the change to the Cart-away concrete trailers. It is our understanding that a used Cart-away tub concrete trailer will sell between $200 and $1000 depending on its condition.
The differences between an old U-cart-style tub concrete trailer and Cart-Away portable concrete mixer trailers are apparent from the first glance. The tub version is a concrete trailer that is open at the top to accept a load of wet concrete. The cart-away concrete mixer trailer holds a 1-yard or 1.75-yard drum that mixes the raw materials as it travels down the road, very much like a ready-mix truck. The final result is a much better concrete mix from a cart-away mixing concrete trailer than that from a tub style concrete trailer.
The demise of the U-cart tub concrete trailer is due to the ability of the mixing concrete trailer to travel great distances without a reduction in concrete quality. The tub concrete trailer allows the rocks to sink to the bottom of the tub after the first couple of miles.
By comparison, the Cart-Away portable concrete mixer trailer with a drum can deliver quality concrete even after 40 to 50 miles of travel. Because of the distance improvements, the concrete trailer business has captured many more contractors. The older Cart-away concrete trailers were used primarily by do-it-yourselfers who really weren’t that concerned with a strong finished product. Contractors shied away from these older concrete trailers because they had to stand behind the strength of their concrete work.
Comparing the Mixing Concrete Trailers
U-cart of America / Trailer- Haul and Cart-Away:
Cart-Away Concrete Systems, Inc. is the world leader in the manufacturing and distribution of concrete trailers that carry the mixing drum. Cart-Away concrete trailers were designed in the early 1990’s through a collaboration between Neil Surry of Cart-Away and Fred Caron, the future owner of U-cart of America.
U-cart of America (Trailer-Haul) and Cart-Away build what would appear on the surface as the same concrete mixing trailer, but there are some very important differences. The U-cart/Trailer-Haul concrete mix trailer has maintained the same gearbox from the original design, whereas Cart-Away upgraded to the super-duty Auburn Gearbox when there was a spike in gear failures on these trailers. Along with the gearbox change, the Cart-Away concrete mix trailer added an internal cross-port relief valve to further reduce gearbox failure. Cart-Away mixing trailers use the exclusive GearSaver (that virtually eliminates gear box stress. To save weight Cart-Away mixing trailers use plastic fenders called Tandemflex. These fenders help to give you more concrete caring capacity and more opportunity to profit. Other additions are more subtle but effective in increasing serviceability; Easier access to the wheel bearings for greasing, improved mixing fin design for clean-up and the improved 8000# max capacity brake actuator. U-cart of America / Trailer-Haul has maintained much of the old systems while Cart-Away has continued to lead in product innovations.
Mini Mix and Cart-Away:
In the middle 1990’s Felesta Smith built the first Roto-mix concrete trailer and marketed it with limited success. Because of the success of U-cart and Cart-Away, he was encouraged to design a lower price point unit. This concrete trailer used the wheels to rotate the drum and mix the concrete as it moved down the road. Roto mix eventually failed due to the limitations of mixing when stopped and poor quality in construction. Mr. Smith then started producing concrete mixing trailers using the Mini-Mix name. The mini-mix unit was different than the roto-mix due to the addition of an engine to drive the mixing drum, like the U-cart and Cart-Away design. Unlike the other designs, the Mini mix does not tilt to dump the concrete from the trailer.
The mini-mix concrete trailer dispenses like a full-size mixing truck and creates several clean-up issues when placed in a rental application.
The Cart-Away concrete trailers are specifically designed to tilt thereby facilitating the clean-up by an untrained user. The mini-mix trailer also has discharge chutes that must be mounted by the novice rental customer, increase risk of injury. Unlike the Mini-mix, the Cart-Away concrete trailer does not have a water tank that increase weight (and adds maintenance headaches. The Mini-mix hydraulic water pump is a chronic challenge to owners of these concrete trailers. Finally, there is a big difference in the quality control procedures between the Mini-mix concrete trailer and the Cart-Away trailer that would be apparent in a side by side comparison. Cart-Away mixing trailers use a powder-coated drum to enhance the quality of the trailer.
Some people are all wet when it comes to selling a mix trailer!
There are equipment sales people who will say anything to make lemons sound like lemonade. One of the latest ploys is to suggest that water on a mixing trailer is a great idea. At first look, it seems reasonable to offer water on a mixing trailer. But consider these facts from the past 30-years of trailer-based ready mix sales:
Certified Weigh Master Slip
1. You are making a profit from selling concrete not water.
2. Less than 3% of job-sites have no water available.
3. You have 7000# in carrying capacity, so use every pound for profit.
4. Water can cost you up to $15.00 in lost concrete payload on every sale.
5. You are liable for overloading a customer’s trailer with either water or concrete.
6. A good cleaning deposit policy will return trailers clean without on-board water.
7. 5-Sack concrete weights 142 lbs per cubic foot or 3834 lbs per cubic yard.
For your peace of mind we suggest that you do two things before you purchase a mixing trailer:
1. Demand to see a certified weight certificate with all holding tanks full of fluids, including hydraulic oil and water. This information and coupled with the GVWR of the trailer, will tell you the
legal concrete payload. Payload = Profit!
2. Call a user of both styles of trailers, one with on-board water and one without. We are happy to give you some names and phone numbers of people from various locations around the country that have had experience with both.
Cart-Away Concrete Systems has been supplying trailers to successful concrete operations for 13-years. Our team members have run successful building material companies that use these concrete trailers. We KNOW the business and have a vested interest in your success. This is why we boldly proclaim that anyone who claims that you need on-board water is ALL WET!