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Customized Concrete Mixer
"We operate a business installing residential fencing so we often mix dozens of batches of sakrete per day. The modifications we made to our concrete mixer save us a lot of time," says John Bontrager, East Earl, Penn.
  He added a hose reel under the mixer that has 350 ft. of hose on it. "After we add sakrete to the mixer drum, we pull the hose out and hook it up to a faucet on the house," says Bontrager. "It fills a 5-gal. bucket on top of the mixer until a cattle trough float shuts it off. Then we pull a chain to release a toilet tank flusher valve in the bottom of the bucket, which releases the right amount of water into the mixer's drum. The water flows through a hollow vinyl 2 by 6 that extends from the bucket and over the drum. The bucket automatically refills for the next batch."
  Four bags of sack crete are added to the drum, and then a 6-ft. long hose is used to add just enough water to get the final correct consistency in the mixer. The material is then dumped into a self-propelled, stand-behind, home-built concrete buggy.
  The mixer is operated by a small Honda gas engine. They remounted the mixer's choke and starter rope to the dumping end of the mixer so they can start and stop the mixer without having to walk around to the other side of it. A pressure washer mounted under the mixer is plumbed in for cleanup afterward.
  "This setup eliminates having to use separate hoses for everything. We make 20 to 30 batches of concrete every day, so if we can cut a minute off each batch that adds up pretty fast," says Bontrager.
  To wind up the hose he pushes a lever to tighten a belt off the mixer pulley, which turns the reel.
  The concrete buggy was made out of an old mower. The mower's sheet metal and mower deck were removed and the frame shortened 13 in. The steering wheel and controls were then reversed so the entire unit runs "backward". A dumpable wheelbarrow tub was added to haul concrete.
  "It can carry four bags, or 320 lbs., of concrete," says Bontrager. "I paid $150 for the mower and $75 for another engine. It has hauled well over 1 1/2 million lbs. of concrete in the past 3 1/2 years. Sure beats pushing a wheelbarrow."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Bontrager, 218 Reading Rd., East Earl, Penn. 17519 (ph 717 445-9484; johnbon @frontiernet.net).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1