A Step-by-Step Guide to Mixing Concrete with Your Hired Cement Mixer

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In the past, a long time ago, contractors had to mix concrete by hand. While hand mixing is still a thing, the standard practice these days is to use a cement mixer. This machine does not just save you time and energy, it also ensures that you get a homogeneous and consistent mix that’s just perfect for your project. Depending on the nature of your project and how often you’ll be needing it, you can either buy your cement mixer or find a company offering a cement mixer for hire. 

Regardless of your approach, it is important that you know how to mix concrete properly and achieve the desired results using a cement mixer. This post is a step-by-step guide that explains the process of using a cement mixer for hire to mix concrete on your job site: 

Step 1: Select the Right Mixer 

Cement mixers are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and even power sources. While some models are powered by electricity, others run on fuel. The first step in working with a cement mixer is to select the right one for your project. If you’re renting a mixer from easyToolhire, our experts will assist you with the process of selecting the right mixer for you based on the type and scope of the project you’re working on. 

Step 2: Get the Necessary Materials

Before you start mixing concrete, you need to make sure you have all the required materials ready. You’ll need cement, aggregates (such as sand and gravel), water, and of course, your hired cement mixer. 

Ensure that you have the correct proportions of each material based on your concrete mix design. If you’re working on harder concrete, then you’ll need more cement. Rough-application concrete, on the other hand, will need more aggregate than cement. You’ll also need other equipment like a measuring bucket, a concrete wheelbarrow, and a shovel. 

Step 3: Set Up the Cement Mixer

Next, position your cement mixer in a suitable location, preferably on a level surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up the mixer and ensure it’s stable and secure before proceeding.

The position of the mixer on your job site matters too. Typically, you want it close to where you’ll be applying the concrete mix. It should also be near your water source and in an area free from obstructions. Proximity to a power source is important in the case of an electric mixer.

Inspect the mixer to ensure it’s in good condition before use. You should also make sure it is clean and free of debris from previous use, as these can affect the quality of your mix. 

Step 4:Add Water to the Mixer

To make this easy, the mixer drum should be set up at a 45-degree angle with the drum facing upward. Turn the mixer on and add water to the machine. On average, you’ll need to add about  0.2 to 0.6 gallons of water for every 50-pound bag of cement. However, you may need more or less, depending on the type of mixture. 

Step 5: Add Aggregates and Cement to the Drum

After adding water, gradually introduce the aggregates (sand and gravel) to the mixer. The exact amounts will depend on your mix. It’s generally recommended to add half of the total amount of aggregates initially, allowing them to mix with the water. Adding the aggregate first before the cement helps keep the cement from sticking to the drum. 

Once the aggregates and water are thoroughly mixed, gradually add the cement to the mixer. This is best done in small batches. You should allow each batch to mix well with the mixture in the drum before adding more cement. Doing this ensures an even distribution of the cement throughout the concrete. 

Step 6: Continue Mixing

Allow the mixer to run for a sufficient amount of time to achieve a homogeneous mixture. The mixing time will vary depending on the size of the mixer, the amount of concrete you’re mixing, and the specific type of cement being used. Typically, mixing for around 5 to 10 minutes is recommended.

Step 7: Check the Consistency

While the mixer is running, observe the consistency of the concrete mixture. It should have a uniform texture and be neither too dry nor too wet. To determine if the consistency is right, observe the mix as the drum goes through its 360-degree cycle. The mixture should travel about halfway up the side of the drum each time before falling off. If the mixture goes all the way to the top of the drum, it means it is too dry and you need to add more water. Conversely, if it does not reach the halfway mark, then the mix is too wet and you need to add more base materials. 

Adjust the amount of water or aggregates as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Be cautious not to add excessive water, as it can weaken the final concrete.

Step 8: Empty the Mixer

Once you have achieved the desired consistency, stop the mixer and carefully pour out the concrete into a wheelbarrow or other appropriate containers for transportation to the site where it is needed. 


Repeat the process highlighted above as many times as needed for the quantity of concrete mix that you need. Be sure to follow safety precautions when operating the cement mixer. This includes wearing protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses and avoiding loose-fitting clothing that could get caught in the machinery. You should also be mindful of the mixer’s capacity and avoid overloading it, as this can affect the quality of the concrete mix. 

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