How to spread concrete from truck chute?


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Old 03-13-06, 10:14 AM
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How to spread concrete from truck chute?

I am making a 30' long concrete driveway that ties to the state highway. It is fan shaped, 30' wide at the state highway and 12' wide toward my house. State says it needs to be 6" deep. I am buying 7 yards of concrete for this job.

The concrete company says their truck chute can reach about 15'. That leaves good 10' of distance over which I will have to move concrete. How should I do it? I am planning to build a ramp out of 2x4's and plywood, that I can place under the chute. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-13-06, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by puter
I am making a 30' long concrete driveway that ties to the state highway. It is fan shaped, 30' wide at the state highway and 12' wide toward my house. State says it needs to be 6" deep. I am buying 7 yards of concrete for this job.

The concrete company says their truck chute can reach about 15'. That leaves good 10' of distance over which I will have to move concrete. How should I do it? I am planning to build a ramp out of 2x4's and plywood, that I can place under the chute. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.
I'm curious why they say it needs to be 6" deep, that's awfully thick for a residential driveway, 4" should be fine.

A wheelbarrow is what I've seen most used for moving concrete past the end of the chute.

I hope you have some help with this, or have ordered concrete will a long set time.
 
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Old 03-13-06, 12:30 PM
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In States where I have lived, 6" of concrete is required for the approach due to lawsuits concerning Government vehicles turning into driveways and cracking them. Once the drive is on the homeowners property it could be 4". Guess this goes back to the old saying "check local codes".
 
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Old 03-13-06, 03:53 PM
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If the driveway is 30 feet long and an average of 21 feet wide (12 at the top and 30 at the road leaves about 21' at the midway point), then at just 4 inches thick it figures 7.7 yards of concrete. Since the State's Right of Way needs to be 6 inches thick, it would require even more concrete. You said you're buying 7 yards. Are you certain that you'll have enough? You definitely don't want to run short.
As to the truck chute reaching: Why don't you drive the truck into the formed driveway and pour it that way? The chute would reach all the way to the end, then after you fill that end, the truck moves back toward the highway and pours its way out.
If you want to make a plywood chute as you describe, tack metal flashing or heavy visqueen to it in order to make the concrete slide better. Plywood alone doesn't work very well as the concrete tends to stick to it. Also, possibly use a superplasticizer in the mix to allow for a wetter (easier) pour without compromising strength. Good luck.

Pecos
 
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Old 03-13-06, 04:04 PM
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Concrete will be poured over compacted sand. (I am in Florida.) I am afraid of heavy wheel barrow digging into sand. Will it be okay?

I am getting 4 day laborers. Pouring will start at 10 am. I hope to be done around noon. Am I too optimistic? Should I get more day laborers?

What determines the need of slow curing concrete? 4 hours from start to end? Or 2 hours?

6" is State DOT requirement. I didn't ask why. What the other gentleman said makes perfect sense to me.

Thanks.
 
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Old 03-13-06, 04:30 PM
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There is a ditch between the state highway and my parcel. I buried steel culverts with mitered ends and covered the pipes with sand. I will compact the sand and pour concrete on top of it.

Originally Posted by Pecos
If the driveway is 30 feet long and an average of 21 feet wide (12 at the top and 30 at the road leaves about 21' at the midway point), then at just 4 inches thick it figures 7.7 yards of concrete. Since the State's Right of Way needs to be 6 inches thick, it would require even more concrete. You said you're buying 7 yards. Are you certain that you'll have enough? You definitely don't want to run short.
Thanks for checking my calculation. Exact dimension is: 26' long, 29' wide on the road side and 12' wide on the house side. The curved fan shape comes from the 25' radius requirement for the incoming and 15' radius for the outgoing traffic. So midpoint is much narrower than (29+12)/2. I will redo the calculation. Basically, I scaled the driveway on a graph paper and counted full squares and partial squares. I will check my calculation again.

Basically, how much should I add to my calculation when I order concrete? What safety margin would pros order?

As to the truck chute reaching: Why don't you drive the truck into the formed driveway and pour it that way? The chute would reach all the way to the end, then after you fill that end, the truck moves back toward the highway and pours its way out.
The base of the concrete driveway is sand compacted with slide (plate) compactor. I haven't thought about the truck getting directly on the driveway. I will ask the concrete company about that. If the truck driver can direct concrete by moving the chute sideways as he moves the truck forward , I will be most happy.

How much time do you think the truck will need to pour 7-8 yards of concrete this way?

One more question. I have to pour concrete on the mitered ends of the steel culverts. This may take another 1 hour. I would like to know how many hours the whole procedure will take and whether or not I should order slow curing concrete.

Thanks a lot.
 
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Old 03-14-06, 02:58 AM
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Do you have anyone on the pour that is experienced at concrete work? The day laborers, if not experienced, are only going to do as they are directed, and probably not very efficiently. Just throwing more manpower at a job is not enough. They must know what they're doing to be effective. 100 six year olds could not balanace a checkbook in a week, but one experienced accountant could do it in a couple of minutes.
If you've got a metal culvert buried in sand, you won't be able to drive the truck over it without crushing it, so that's out. Can you drive the truck into the yard beside the driveway? If not, then maybe you should consider renting a skid loader (the kind with rubber tracks, like a tank). You can leave the truck on the road, and bring the concrete up the driveway bucket by bucket. The tracks float on the sand so should not create ruts, but they will make a mess where you're turning around. The bucket can be used to fill and flatten the ruts between loads. It sounds slow, but believe me, it's faster than pushing a wheelbarrow full of concrete in sand.
As to how long it will take to pour it out, that all depends upon your labor force. I and one other man could pour it all out in less than an hour with the skid loader. Inexperience may make it twice that or more. The truck can pour it out much faster than you or I can place it, so that's not a factor. Tell the concrete company to add a full dose of set retarder to the mix. I think you'll need all the extra time you can get.
To be honest, this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. I'm truly sorry I can't be more helpful or optimistic, but I hate to see someone lose a load of concrete on what would be a simple job for a pro. I wish you good luck.

Pecos
 
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Old 03-14-06, 03:29 AM
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Puter,
I got to reading your post again and maybe I'm making too much out of this. Since it's only 30 feet, and the truck can reach halfway, then it could be poured with wheelbarrows fairly easily. Just lay down 3/4 plywood for them to run on. About 3 guys with wheelbarrows could pour it out relatively quickly, at least until you get far enough back for the chute to reach the rest.
One question: Are the concrete trucks there front or rear discharge? Here they are front discharge and a good driver can make or break a pour. He can sit in the cab and direct the chute with pinpoint accuracy. I hope they have front discharge trucks where you are. I would still order the retarder in the mix though. Good luck.

Pecos
 
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Old 03-15-06, 06:12 PM
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Thanks Pecos for all the advice. I will bring up the issues to the concrete company when I call them tomorrow.

I also underestimated the amount of concrete. I will need about 10 yards. Thanks for checking my calculation. As I find more about chute, front discharge, weight on buried culverts, superplasticizer, etc, I will come back with more questions.

I talked to our State DOT inspector. He told me not to consider wheel barrows for they will make the crew tired very quickly. If the chutes cannot reach the corners, skid loader seems to be the best solution. I have a neighbor who can handle skid loader easily. If a loader can take 1/3 yard in the bucket, it will take only 15 trips to fill the back half. And the front half can be reached by the chute.

I will have a person experienced in concrete pouring. He will be my brain. And I will have 4 day laborers. Please comment if I have adequate manpower.

The State DOT inspector told me that a regular concrete will set in 8 hours. He didn't think I would need to add retarder. Please comment on this, too.
 
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Old 03-15-06, 07:01 PM
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The best way is to leave out the form toward the street and back the truck in to the inner limit. It should take you only a few minutes to set the last form and pull the reinforcing up from the sand, and the less you have to move the concrete the better. If you are really concerned about the base, then it is probably no good for a driveway anyway. You could order 2 trucks with 5 yards each as well to limit rutting.
 
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Old 03-15-06, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Tscarborough
If you are really concerned about the base, then it is probably no good for a driveway anyway. You could order 2 trucks with 5 yards each as well to limit rutting.
The steel culverts are buried under 2 feet of clay sand, compacted with water and several passes of vibratory plate compactor. That's the best compaction we can get in this area with sandy subpad. According to a source I have checked with, it can take concrete truck. I will check with other sources.

As you suggested, I will leave the concrete form open on the house side for truck access. Speed limit on the state highway is 65 mph. I can use my neighbor's driveway to bring in concrete truck to the house side. By the way, no reinforcing steel. 6" thick 3000 psi concrete pad is all is required.

I also have to cover the ends of the steel culverts with 3" of concrete. In total I need 12 yards of concrete. I will have them bring it in 2 loads, 5 and 7 yards. The first one will get on the driveway. That is a great idea. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-15-06, 08:24 PM
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You should at least throw some 6/6 6x6 wire reinforcing in there, as well as some fibermesh. The wire will keep the large chunks from separating, and the fibermesh will help with the shrinkage. Were it me, I would also at least put a #4 bar along each edge, and run a small mat over the culvert (#4, 12" OC, from about 5' before and after the culvert). Cost would be minimal compared to a redo.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 02:52 AM
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Like Tscarborough, I would use some type of reinforcement. I would pour 4,000 psi concrete with Nycon fiber (much finer than fibermesh and invisible in the finished slab). I would also use #4 rebar along the edges at least. As to the set time, I've never seen any concrete remain workable for 8 hours, retarder or not. Initial set will be much faster, although only using 3000 psi will slow it down somewhat. Ask your experienced friend about whether or not he thinks you need retarder in the mix.

In hindsight, it probably would have been better to encase the culvert in crushed stone instead of sand. Rushing water can erode sand from around the pipe fairly quickly, leaving a void. Also, the stone would have made a better base that you could certainly have driven a truck over without damaging the culvert.

If you use the skidsteer, be prepared to fill and compact wheel ruts after the skidsteer disturbs the base, and before concrete is poured in that area. Concerning bringing the concrete truck up your neighbor's driveway: What is it made of? Concrete, asphalt, or is it stone? A concrete truck is very heavy and could damage a concrete or asphalt drive, especially when driving off the edge of it into the yard. Make sure your neighbor is aware of this fact. After the job, please post back with your experiences. They will be valuable to others wishing to do the same thing. Good luck.

Pecos
 
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Old 03-17-06, 07:10 PM
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Based upon your replies, I was able to ask intelligent questions. Here is the summary of what I learned.

1) Concrete truck is the rear discharge type. I will have to assign one person to control the chute, asking the driver to move the truck back and forth.

2) The compacted sand is strong enough to have concrete truck come directly above the buried culverts. I told the concrete company to send 5 yards first which will get above the culverts. The truck will back up all the way so that the chute can reach the street line. No wheel barrows or skid loader. As suggested, the form board is removed from one end for truck access. It will be closed after the first truck leaves.

3) Once signed off by the inspector, maintenance of the driveway (concrete pad, culvert, grass, etc) becomes the responsibility of the State. Inspector said there is no need to use rebars, fibers, or 4000 psi concrete. I was told that 6" 3000 psi concrete pad is strong enough to take commercial vehicles.

4) The only person who had concrete experience cannot come. Instead, he came out and showed me how to pour concrete, step by step. He drove in pegs here and there for screeding points, and how to use them. Wish me many lucks.

5) I am still not familiar with the bull float. Should the front be lifted slightly when I pull it? And lift the rear when push? I rented one from Home Depot. It tilts backward (or forward) as the handle is twisted clockwise (or counterclockwise). Thanks.
 
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Old 03-17-06, 08:01 PM
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Push with the nose up, pull with the nose down. Good luck, you are fixing to learn why it is so expenensive to have concrete poured. Don't forget to cut in control joints every 10' and edge the thing all the way around.

edit- I do not know what kind of inspectors you have there, but with no reinforcing, you will have a bunch of chunks of concrete masquerading as pavement in short order.
 
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Old 03-18-06, 03:55 AM
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The bullfloat is used to flatten any small humps that may be left after screeding, and to close the surface. As Scarborough said, the nose (the edge away from you) should tilt up when pushing, and down when pulling. On the pull back, the bullfloat should be tilted only enough so that it clears the concrete without digging in. In other words, it should be kept as flat to the slab as possible. This will allow it to act as a mini-screed to flatten the humps. The bullfloat should be run parallel to the direction that the screed was run. By that I mean if you run the screed across the two outside edge form boards, you will run the bullfloat starting at one form board and pushing toward the other side of the slab. In this way you flatten humps instead of creating dips.
It's too bad that your friend bugged out. You could really use him. And now one of your laborers has to run the chute too. I hope you've got enough guys, and that the guys you have are worth something. I once contracted a labor company to send me out a few guys to run wheelbarrows of concrete. I noticed one guy was not filling his wheelbarrow nearly to capacity like the other guys were. I found out later that he had a wooden leg under his jeans. No joke, they sent me a one-legged man to run a wheelbarrow!
As I said before, please post back with the results. GOOD LUCK!

Pecos
 
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Old 03-19-06, 05:18 AM
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Here is the post-project report.

1) I had to do the driveway myself because I could not hire a pro. I called several concrete contractors but they refused to take my project. One gave me a quote, but it was too high according to my neighbor. He said he would help me and encouraged me to do it myself. And he really did.

As recent as last week after form boards were up, I still wanted to hire a pro for the pouring. He did not call me back. The area is still recovering from the hurricanes from 2 years back. And new construction is everywhere. I wonder if central Florida is one of the fastest growing areas. There are plenty projects lined up and mine was just too small to take.

2) I found many internet articles on "how to pour concrete" for home owners. After reading many, I thought I was prepared. How wrong I was! Looking back, I realize they were not quite written for first timers. For instance, bull floating left marks along the edges of the float in the middle of the driveway where I could not reach. I didn't know what to do. I wish some articles had a phrase like this:

Don't be concerned about the edge marks at this stage. You will remove them after the concrete is somewhat hardened. You can place 2 boards on the pad and move yourself to the middle of the pad and smoothen the edge marks.

3) What made the matter worse was that the day laborers wore short rubber boots and were not prepared for 6" pad. Two guys made all the excuses to work from outside the formboard. I could not blame them.

4) I was just fortunate that one older man had experience in concrete work. His skill level was not up to a pro but he knew the steps involved. I ended up asking him for everything. He was also the hardest worker of all. After initial pouring, which took only 2 1/2 hours, I sent 3 guys home and kept him and his buddy. They finished the pad and the 2 culvert caps. They were sent by God. I paid them extra. I am going to hire them for other projects.

5) One of the most difficult part of the project was the width of the pad on the street side. It was 50 feet wide. Screeding was difficult. Luckily, my neighbor mentioned he had a 30' long aluminum I beam "just in case." I am glad I brought it to my place "just in case." We used it well.

6) Concrete truck backed up all the way without a problem. We aked the first truck have only 5 yards. (The second had 7) Extra chutes were attached and we were able to pour almost to the corner of the fan shaped corners. Again, nobody coudd connect the size of a cincrete pile to the height of the form board. In some places we poured too little, and in others too much. The older "somewhat skilled" man again help a lot. He was the only one who could eyeball the pour to the form board.

7) 6" 3000 psi is specified in the permit drawing. Only the culvert caps are 4" with reinforcement.

I thank both T and P for their helpful suggestions. I suggest no one without experience or an experienced friend to take on a 10 yard project.

Last note: I didn't do edging! I even bought edgers but simply forgot. Now I am going to have a driveway with sharp edges. I will have to chip them as much as I can and hide them under sod, hopefully.
 

Last edited by puter; 03-19-06 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 03-19-06, 05:41 AM
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I'm happy that everything worked out for you. You can take great satisfaction from having done it yourself. Also, the running commentary on this thread should help others to decide if they want to tackle a job like this or not. Good job.

Pecos
 
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Old 03-19-06, 10:01 AM
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Glad it worked. It is hard labor, but it is fun as well. I wouldn't worry about the edges too much, but in the places where someone may drive off the edge it would be worth grinding them to a bullnose. The issue is that the sharp square edge will break off in a larger piece than an edged one would.
 
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Old 03-19-06, 06:49 PM
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I would like to reply to T's and P's congratulatory remarks. You said I could take pride in the final product. The only feeling I now have is that I am just glad it's finally over. A feeling of relief rather than pride.

You also said that it is fun to pour concrete. I will not be able to enjoy a major project like this for a long while. After the first truck left, I eyeballed the area. It seemed less than half of the driveway was covered. The second truck had only 7 yards for both the driveway and end caps. I could almost see the end cap being half filled. I panicked and called the concrete company. They said flat no. It was Saturday and there was no way they could do anything. They close at noon on Saturdays and it was already past 11. Luckily, by the time both end caps were covered, I had only half to 1 cubic feet sitting on the chute. It was not an enjoyable experience from the beginning till the end.

So, T and P,
Enjoy your work. Next time I need a 10 yard project, I will hire pros like you however long I may have to wait. If someone like me calls you to take on his small project, please don't refuse. At least, provide partial assistance.

Thank you both for the congratulatory notes.
 

Last edited by puter; 03-19-06 at 07:03 PM.
 

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