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The life expectancy of a mixer drum can vary significantly among concrete producers. While an average drum lasts five to seven years, wear depends on a number of factors, including yardage poured, concrete plant type, aggregate hardness and shape, typical mix slump and drum-speed controls. A more accurate life estimate of drum life is about 30,000 cubic yards of concrete. With that in mind and since producers don't replace the truck chassis each time the drum wears out, owners can expect to replace two or three drums within the life of the mixer truck.While initial cost is often the deciding factor in a purchase, the ultimate consideration should be the cost of the drum per year. The producer's question is not how to save one or two hundred dollars on a replacement drum, but rather, how to get one or two more years of drum life.Here are some things that the producer should do when considering a replacement drum:

  • Ask each drum manufacturer if the quoted steel thickness is a true thickness
  • Learn whether the steel is milled in the United States
  • Consider combining steel types or thickness to match drum areas subject to high wear.
  • Consider customizing the blades' steel thickness.
  • Check drums in the late summer and early fall and place orders for replacement drums as early as possible
  • Verify that the replacement drum price includes delivery.
The replacement drum you put on your mixer will probably be the single most expensive maintenance investment you have. Knowing what to look for behind the price tag and what questions to ask can help lower the yearly cost of your mixer drum and save hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Keywords: drum, replacement, thickness