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They Built Their Own Cement-Mixing Facility
Joel Waldner of Lethbridge, Alberta, is a member of a Hutterite colony with a large farm operation. Since they do all their own building, they go through a lot of concrete.
  Waldner recently sent FARM SHOW photos of the colony's own home-built, two-story concrete mixing facility.
  "It's not as sophisticated as a commercial mixing facility but it works beautifully for us and has saved us a lot of money. We make our own concrete for about half as much as it would cost to have it delivered to our farm," says Waldner.
  It consists of a large I-beam frame mounted above 16-ft. high, 1-ft. thick concrete walls set 12 ft. apart. A large hopper bin on top holds up to 50 tons of dry cement. Cement gravity feeds out the bin through a long rubber boot into a compartment in a steel tank that mounts below the bin. A second compartment holds sand and gravel, which is loaded into the bin by a payloader that drives up a dirt ramp.
  The tank stands on four legs fitted with weigh scales so cement and sand can be weighed as it's dumped into a mixing truck.
  A small shed mounts next to the bin and contains an air compressor and hydraulic pump, as well as the controls for them.
  "It took a lot of thinking and work but we're well satisfied with it," says Waldner. "We made it when we moved to a new location and had to put up 16 buildings. It was the first thing we built. The cement tank holds 5,000 lbs. while the sand and gravel tank holds up to 30,000 lbs., which is equal to 9 to 10 yards. We usually mix in 8-yard batches.
  "Last year we used it to put up the foundation for a new shed and to install cement floors in two 20 by 20-ft. buildings. This year we're putting up a 100-ft. dia. liquid manure storage building with a cement floor. We've also used it to make basements in our houses, to make the foundations for hog and cattle barns and shops and even to make cement walkways. It takes only about eight minutes to make an 8-yard batch of cement.
  "We can pump calcium in with the cement as it goes into the truck in order to keep it from freezing during the winter."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joesl Waldner, ,67 Tudor Crescent, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1K 5C7.

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #4