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Love me some Concrete
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We had a 9 yard pour today, had concrete ordered for 10am as they were busy right away in am, not shocking. I have had quite a few later morning and early afternoon pours and they are ALWAYS getting away from me and my crew, WTH?

We got the mud down in under an hour but it was crap! Slump was 4" and was a bit too stiff, had 2 gallons added to 9 yards and we used a screed demon. We barrowed the first 10 feet, then I used screed and we chuted the rest, after the first screed, I noticed it was stiffening quick...real quick. Started with bull float and was having a hell of a time sealing the top right off the bat. I had guys take over screeding and I stayed on finishing, I used a power screed and never really got any cream to the surface, it would not seal for crap either. About 20 feet in, the cream was coming to the surface ok, but the screed was not leaving it smooth. It was like stucco and I was getting pissed as hell!

Adding to the misery, made the mistake over the winter, got a new mag bull float as a gift for doing a concrete job for a friend, he saw my old bull float was looking tired and thought he would be nice and get me another. Well chit, I didn't have enough time to "tune" it properly, tried but ended up chucking it into the yard. Went back to my grandpa's 40 year old 36" that looks rough but dang does it work perfect.

The weather was 45 degrees, slight wind, had visqueen down...what the hell happened? 2 hours into pour and I'm waxing on and off like a big dog with my float to try and smooth things out. I nearly lost the 9 yard pour and it looks good but I'm still pissed and kind of venting, sorry. My problem it doesn't look perfect and that bothers me, I see it and only a "true" finisher will see it as a 4:30 pour but it's MY pour.

So here's my question after the rant, does anyone have any experince with a concrete company coming back with a yard or 2 on, loading back up with the previous mud and sending it out? It's the only thing I can figure how this set so dang fast. I'm kind of pissed and not sure what I should do? There was never any bleed water, at no point, was it my fault for the stiff mix? I broom finished the surface but it has a real sandy like appearance and I know some will sluf off but afraid of the surface being compromised after a few years.

Sorry, alot of questions...thanks all.
 

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Designer/Contractor
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Years ago we suspected the ready mix company we were using was just adding to the trucks when they came back to the plant. The crete was doing stuff like you mentioned above.

We started scheduling all concrete pours for the 1st time slot in the morning and the problem went away which reinforced our suspicions, never did get a definite answer on whether or not they were not washing out between loads and since we had a work around never did pursue it further.
 

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What Rio said.

I had an incident a few years ago where the mix had #2 stone in it, it was either an unwashed truck or a rejected load rerouted to us since the order was only supposed to have #1 stone

It basically exploded.

Other than that the supplier I use has dark green trucks, and in the summertime they get hot, I think I need to switch to the other game in town with the white drums.
 

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Contractor of the Month
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This is a chronic problem with transit mixers, order a couple mobile mix trucks and it's never a problem.

I remember a job with my Grandfather the driver got stuck in traffic and the concrete came down the chute in chunks....what a mess.
 

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Lemonade Salesman
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405 Posts
What mix design were you pouring? What was your fly ash content? Did you try wetting the surface when you were bullfloating?

There are quite a few reasons it could set off. Stack batching is a common problem and I wouldn't be scared to ask the plant if your batch was stacked.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
PPRI, I do not know what design mix it was, I ordered 4,000 limestone and never really thought to know the batch mix honestly. I did not wet while floating, I did not think that you could, I thought it weakens the surface of the concrete. The only time I have sprinkled water on was while edging and it was just too chunky to get a good edge seal.

I think I'm gonna call a manager at the plant. I went pulled forms and was doing some clean up, the top was very sandy, almost grout like. I have a bad feeling on the dried finish and durability of the driveway...not sure what my options are.
 

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Lemonade Salesman
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Structurally it should be ok. You can wet the surface when finishing just use the minimum amount of water to get the job done. You can also look into evaporate retarder. The higher the fly ash content the higher the rate of evaporation. Fly ash does not bond to water the same as portland. I would have poured a little looser than 4" but that is still a workable slump. Did the surface tension cracked when you worked it or was the full profile setting? A number of years ago we had about 120 yards that set way faster than normal. I asked the plant what was up and come to find out they had switched portland suppliers mid season. The new portland was really hot stuff and they switched the mix after our problem.

You have to communicate with the plant otherwise they will not let know how things are going in the field
 

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Love me some Concrete
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will try the water next time. Surface did not crack, was fully set. I had thought calling in would be treated as a complaint and I wasn't sure I wanted that, yet anyway. I had not thought to just explain the quick time to make sure they know, thank you.

I have not used a evaporate retarder before, I learned under an old school finisher. Heck we did a personal pour at my place a few years ago, I had got a screed demon to try and he hated it, complained the entire time, lol. So I talked to him about it last night, he also thought hot batch and apparently 1 of my guys dimed me out about the screed demon. So again he explained the problems with a screed demon over the old tried and true wood screed, lol. I might try the evaporate retarder next time, this happened a few times last year too. I just can never meantion a new product I'm going to use, I'll get the lecture again.
 

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I live in a pretty small town, and back in the day there was a little 2 truck batch plant and that's where we got our mud from. I went to high school with both of the drivers, that kind of place. But once in a great while, I'd get a load that no amount of water could put out the fire. It was absolutly brutal, every time it happened, and those guys never said a word. Years later, after that plant was bought out and shut down by one of the larger companies from Salt Lake, I was drinking with one of those drivers at the bar and the subject came up and he finally admitted why. You see, they didn't have much in the way of powder bins, so a bulk truck would have to come about every other day. Holcin's Devil's Slide cement plant is on the way, so the bulk truck would stop on it's way and pick up the cement powder. More often than I knew, that powder was still hot out of the kiln and I was unlucky enough to have my orders in at just the right time to get that hot powder in my batch. There was a couple other guys pouring around here back then, too, and I asked them when I would see them and they all said that once in a great while it would bite them, too.

I guess what I'm saying, maybe you got a true "hot load"!:laughing:
 
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Love me some Concrete
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I checked the pour today, top didn't seal as good as I would like in a few spots, knocked all the "turds" off, scrubbed some spots to match with a rub brick and it looks ok. I'm not happy with it, really thought about jackhammering it out but homeowner came home and was ecstatic about it. She and her husband took a picture from the second floor and found that I had matched the radius perfectly. It was a quarter round large driveway and they wanted it half round so they weren't backing out anymore, male homeowner said wife couldn't back to save her life, LOL. To the un-trained eye it might look good but...

Here's my dilemma, if it was my house, I would either cover it someway or jackhammer it out. I REALLY don't have the funds to repour, I would seriously eat the job on that. The homeowners love it, do I explain that I'm not satisified with the finished product, telling them it should be better, fix it even at my big loss? Or take the check, as long as they are happy and walk away?

Morally I know whats right, but that would seriously hurt.
 

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Making the customers happy is what is important.

Sometimes with concrete things don't go the way you plan, but as long as the customer is satisfied with the finished product that is all that matters.

Take the check and be prepared to stand by your warranty later just incase. You say you can't eat it now, but once summer gets rolling if there is a problem with it you might be able to eat it after the coffers fill up, only if needed though.

I know what it feels like though. I had a pour last year that I did in 4 chunks, on the 3rd I had to match to a really tricky swale in the middle and even though I asked for a 5 slump it came out of the truck at about an 8, it was soup.

As expected the area where I wanted the swale dove out as I screeded it, the next day there was a puddle right where there shouldn't have been one. The HO told me to leave it, but I had the guys and enough room on the next truck coming so we cut out about 2 yards and tossed it and I added it to my last pour and re-did it.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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Making the customers happy is what is important.

Sometimes with concrete things don't go the way you plan, but as long as the customer is satisfied with the finished product that is all that matters.

Take the check and be prepared to stand by your warranty later just incase. You say you can't eat it now, but once summer gets rolling if there is a problem with it you might be able to eat it after the coffers fill up, only if needed though.
I know what it feels like though. I had a pour last year that I did in 4 chunks, on the 3rd I had to match to a really tricky swale in the middle and even though I asked for a 5 slump it came out of the truck at about an 8, it was soup.

As expected the area where I wanted the swale dove out as I screeded it, the next day there was a puddle right where there shouldn't have been one. The HO told me to leave it, but I had the guys and enough room on the next truck coming so we cut out about 2 yards and tossed it and I added it to my last pour and re-did it.
Thanks,
I was going to stand behind it but had not thought of that, later in the summer it would hurt alot less, unless we are over on dead lines and behind everywhere, if it isn't one thing it's another, lol.

Thanks
 

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Love me some Concrete
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You can't really tell it's a hot mix when first checking the crete, it wasn't til a few feet in and then it's go time. I guess I could have stopped there, sent them away and jackhammered it out. Then start over, but they would not appreciate that and I need crete more than they need me.

We have a large commerical project for a new CF Industries plant and a major Interstate redo in our area, just getting a truck to the small guys on any given day is hard enough. I heard a obscene number like 3 million yards needed over the next year, all plants in this area are invovled, so going to another supplier doesn't help.
 

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Here's a load that bothered me for some time, it was about an hour and a half hot. But this can't be confirmed, the driver got a flat tire and told me the mix was fine because he stuck a thermometer in it. It actually turned out fine in the end but it stressed me out for months after that.

Asphalt Concrete mixer Transport Mode of transport Road surface

Asphalt Automotive tire Tire Vehicle Lane

Street dog Floor Soil Concrete Home

His truck limped to my job and phucked up the city street. I never was contacted for it. I got my final inspection about a year ago.
 

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A few years back pouring a 40' x 20' x 8" slab for a workshop, we had not only one truck come in too hot, but three.

One of them actually solidified before it even arrived. The other two, one was essentially chunky gravel with the other not even having a 2" slump.

Never saw a group of guys so pissed off in our lives.
 

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The next time you guys get a load of hot mud, just send it back. Tell them you are not paying for it. Same goes for a load that is too wet. Just send it back. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT THE CONCRETE if it is not delivered as per order or spec.

Please tell me you do at least look at the concrete before you start pouring it out. You should be able to tell wtf is going on before you start dumping it out. If you have to keep adding water and it does not seem to accept it, or stays dry. Send that S**t back.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here is the hot pour, I had to work it pretty hard after drying but it looks ok. The HO loves it, so they paid and I told them if they have any problems to give me a call. Have a bad feeling the top will spal in a few years, we will see and will fix if it does.
 

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