Easily one of the coolest “big trucks” on the road today, as well as a childhood favorite of mine, has to be the humble cement truck. It was and still is fun to see these giant trucks with a spinning drum resting on their back like they’re some strange mechanical cement camel. They have evolved a bit since my childhood, but not by leaps and bounds.
Cement trucks have always been an important tool for commercial paving contractors and since their inception have helped create the modern world that we live in today. The mixers have gotten bigger and more capable mostly with the advancements in combustion engines to move more weight and spin more material than in the past. In commercial paving, cement trucks just hauled around the boring old gray mix that looked like mud when poured. Now though, there are exciting new varieties of decorative concrete that can be mixed in a cement truck.
I always wanted to be one of the guys on a commercial paving crew back there pouring the cement when I was young. It looked like great fun, then I grew up and learned how hard it can be to pour concrete. Then again, the job would be a whole lot more difficult without these wondrous trucks.
Another interesting change is that there are some of these trucks where the drum is reversed. That is, it’s facing forward and not backward. It comes down to personal preference of the commercial paving contractor as to which they favor more, but it seems that it would be easier to maneuver the truck into difficult spots with the reversed drums.
Whether you’re a fan of cement trucks or not, you can’t deny their usefulness to commercial paving contractors and the contribution that they’ve had in creating the modern world.