Ready-mix concrete is a product made with a combination of Portland cement, aggregates, and water. It can be delivered in two forms: mixed in transit or at the site.
The process is one that you do have to be a bit careful with using. Ready-mix concrete will start to set within three to four hours of being initially mixed. That means you don't want to use it for projects that may require a lot of pauses and waiting. It's also less than ideal in settings that are far off the grid or extremely dry. Let's take a look at when you might want to employ this kind of concrete.
Small Amounts of Concrete
The logic here is that all the necessary equipment isn't worth the investment for you to buy or rent. If you're putting in a sidewalk in front of an apartment building, for example, it may be easier to have a truck come in with ready-mix concrete, pour it into your forms, and even everything out by hand. A job that might take you the better part of a day and create a mess can be knocked out in hours once you have your forms in place.
On-Site Mixing Isn't an Option
Not all locations are ideal for keeping equipment and supplies on-site. Especially when you are working in space-constrained environments, such as a densely packed urban area, it may be easier to bring in a few loads of ready-mix concrete. It's also an appealing option at sites where the cement dust from products sitting in bags is considered an unacceptable breathing hazard to on-site workers or nearby residents. This reduces the overall footprint of the project, and it also can minimize the risk of theft or destruction of property at the site.
Site access for the truck is best, but there are options if you need to access more difficult locations. Conveyors can be set up to move the concrete, and it's even possible to transport it by wheelbarrow over short distances.
Quality Control Matters
Most companies that deliver the material have a lot of practice with their formulas. Aggregates are thoroughly cleaned at factories to ensure that dust and impurities don't create problems. This means you can expect each load to be very close to the last one you've received. If you need to make sure the concrete is held to very tight quality-control standards, this can make a major difference.