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The delivery and placement of concrete with over-the-road vehicles is accomplished by three types of vehicles; concrete mix trucks, concrete pump trucks and volumetric mixers.
Traditional rear discharge mixers accounted for over 85% of units produced in 2011. Front discharge mixers offer several advantages over rear discharge mixers one-man operation, better view of target, higher discharge rate, longer reach but these vehicles, being built from the ground up, have a considerably higher initial purchase price than rear discharge mixers, thus limiting their popularity.
Concrete boom pump trucks are used in large pour jobs; traditional concrete mixer trucks discharge their loads into the chute of a concrete pump for placement. The market for these units has been restricted in recent years, as large construction projects have been limited by economic considerations. This is the only segment with significant import content.
Volumetric mixer trucks are primarily suitable for small jobs. Truck-mounted bins discharge materials into the vehicle's hopper, allowing the concrete to be mixed on site. The advantages of these units are that there are no production overruns or waste of materials, and custom blends for each pour allow for different deliveries on each run. The demand for volumetric mixers has not been impacted as severely by the economy as the demand for larger units. However the market (and the number of participants) remains small, and the major players do not participate in this segment.
The North American concrete delivery and placement market was valued at nearly
$300 million in 2011 and involved 22 manufacturers. McNeilus continues to dominate the industry, accounting for an estimated 65% of production. It has major advantages in its huge direct distribution network and parent OshKosh's in-house chassis production capability. Smaller players remain viable, however, through regional focus and product customization.
Recent economic events impacting the construction industry have resulted in several consolidations, closures and acquisition activity, most notably the acquisition of European concrete equipment manufacturers by Chinese interests. There have been few innovations in recent years, other than movement to lighter weight materials, such as composites and high-strength lightweight steel, and the continually increasing size of truck-mounted concrete boom pump units.