Say you need just over 1 yard of concrete to fill a bunch of hellish sonotubes tucked under the structure with about 12" clearance above them (all shovel work to get the crete in the tubes) , would you get a truck in and have it sit while you wheel and shovel or just buy premix bags and get out the trusty old mixer? (there is no place to stock sand and gravel to mix your own)
On something like that you are better of with the bags. 1. You can control the time needed to pour and finish each sonotube. 2. your late charges on having that truck sit will be high(not worth it to me).
Just poured a footer two weeks ago, called for .8 yds. Since I was laying block on top of the footer I had sand and pea gravel delivered along with Portland and everything else I needed (except for the mortar :whistling) We mixed and poured it in about an hour.
I used pea gravel cause any thing bigger is pretty tough on a paddle mixer. If I had a drum mixer, I could have used bigger stone. I don't think it was a problem in this particular situation.
However this situation comes up a lot so here is my logic.
1 cubic yard =42 80lb bags of sackrete. Each bag does 2/3 of one cubic foot. Depends on how much you waste; drop, fail to get out of mixer etc
A bag costs $4.00 in general after tax.
To rent a small mixer costs about $50.00 for me.
Cost to mix 42 bags is $168+50= $218.
My ready mix company will send 1 yard at $100.00 and a short load fee under 5 yds = 125 + environmental and fuel surcharge= $225.00
99% of the time I will get the Ready mix. In the last 3 years I have had 2-3 jobs where I just had to mix by hand.
The last possibility in my area is make your own mix. A truck of rock runs over $300.00 A load of Sand is over 300.00. Just not a possibility here. In Texas it was $6/ton back in the day. Sand was cheap too and you could get small loads delivered or you could pick them up. Similar up North in Washington State.
Site access is always the deciding factor for me.
Getting bags to site takes hours, delivery is 15-60 bucks depending on locale. It takes x minutes to load and mix bags.
If I were you, you might get some retarder added by Ready Mix Company or add it on site. Wheel barrow to a chunk of plywood by each tube; Make a large box and haul it around then get rid of truck and fill your sono tubes. How many men you have with you? You should have about 1hr or more with the retarder depending on temp, humidity wind etc. Sonotube finishing??? Bang and strike off or round top for water drain.
I have even heard some Ready mix has built in pump.
Here pump is seperate and runs $350.00 minimum. Honestly I might have tried to build that in the price.
for anything less than a yard I always went bags. Me and a helper can mix and pour a bag in less than 2 minutes with no spillage and no equipment other than a piece of poly. Works particularly well on a deck with hanging posts. or perhaps in this situation.
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