Every ready mix company must wash out its trucks at the end of the day. Many producers use some kind of reclaiming system. While cost savings motivate most ready mix manufacturers who install washout systems, another driving factor that has led some manufacturers to put in the systems is their benefit to the environment. One ready mix producer estimates that 8% of outgoing materials come back to the plant as reclaimable waste.
Washout systems can be classified into several different categories: reclaimers use settling basins to settle aggregate out of the concrete; washout systems provide aggregate reclaiming and water recycling; washout systems with cement recycling suspend spent cement slurry and reintroduce it into new mixes; and reclaimers with spent cement recycling reclaim aggregate and store leftover slurry.
An effective washout system will also save money for the company that uses it, and could even generate extra revenue. Sand and gravel can either be reused in future mixes or can be cleaned and sold for profit. In a short time, a reclaimer could even pay for itself with the extra cash flow it can generate.