Cement will be provided by either hand-mixing or from a ready-mix concrete truck. While working around portland, you should be wearing safety glasses and a respirator. After contact with your skin, please make sure that you wash your skin as to remove the materials. Portland is a chemical that can damage your lungs, eyes and skin.
If hand mixing cement in an engine powered mechanical mixer, a standard mix is 10:1. So, ten scoops of gravel to one scoop of portland. Allow the materials to fully blend together and then slowly add water as to form a consistency firmer than a milk shake. A one yard mixer drum will hold approximately 30 scoops of gravel from a flat edge shovel (not a grain shovel). Shovel the cement into the fence hole as to avoid any overspill and unnecessary cement slag on the post. Wipe the post clean before the cement hardens. If you fail to do this, you will find your self chiseling the cement from the posts at a later date.
If using cement from a concrete truck, there are several steps in preparing to pour.
- Always pour from the highest elevation down. This will present less jolting of the truck while the driver slips his clutch. Going downhill, the driver will use his brakes with less fatigue and smoother control.
- Always pour from the driver side. This provides for better vision on behalf of the driver, assuring better accuracy and watchfulness.
- Place as many chutes on the truck as possible. This allows the cement to pour less aggressively down and allows for more control. Furthermore, you will be able to keep cement on the chute while traveling from hole to hole.
- When the truck arrives, request to take a look at the cement. Again, it should be a little firmer than a milk shake. The driver carries over fifty gallons of water that can be added to make the cement more runny and travel down the chute easier.
- Communicate with the driver and discuss what hand signals he uses to release/engage the chute, spin the barrow to discharge concrete, slow the barrow, and stop the barrow. There are a series of hand signals that should be used in communicating with the driver.
- Align the truck so that the chute is almost perpendicular to the truck and ends just short of the fence line. This will give you some latitude in moving the chute from hole to hole and maintain easy visibility with the driver.
- Using a paddle, slowly allow the cement to fill the hole. You will want to move the string line away from the hole to avoid cement from popping-up and hitting you in the face. Once filled, wedge the paddle as to prevent any cement from sliding off the chute between holes.
- If you find yourself having to shovel the portland off the chute, add water. One gallon of water per one yard of concrete will increase the slump by approximately one inch.
- If you find concrete coming-out of the chute too fast and creating cow pies between the holes. Stop the truck and ask the driver if he can slow the barrow. Or if he has another idea. Most of these drivers have poured thousand of yards of concrete and can provide some valuable assistance.
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© 2024 The American Fence Company. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial use, copying or distribution is prohibited without express written permission from The American Fence Company.