How Many Cubic Yards Does a Concrete Truck Hold?

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When it comes to construction projects, concrete is a vital material used for foundations, driveways, sidewalks, and more. To transport concrete efficiently, special trucks called concrete trucks or cement trucks are used. These trucks are specifically designed to carry and deliver large quantities of concrete to construction sites. One important question that often arises is, “How many cubic yards can a concrete truck hold?” In this article, we will explore this topic in detail, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the capacity of a concrete truck.

Understanding Concrete Trucks

Before diving into the specifics of how many cubic yards a concrete truck can hold, let’s first understand what a concrete truck is and how it functions. A concrete truck, also known as a transit mixer or a cement mixer truck, is a specialized vehicle designed to transport freshly mixed concrete from concrete plants to construction sites. These trucks ensure the concrete remains in its liquid state during transportation, allowing it to be poured and used upon arrival at the destination.

Components of a Concrete Truck

A typical concrete truck consists of several key components:

  1. Mixer Drum: The mixer drum is the main container used to hold the concrete during transportation. It is cylindrical in shape and rotates on its axis to keep the concrete well-mixed and prevent it from hardening.
  2. Water Tank: To maintain the desired consistency of the concrete, a water tank is fitted on the truck. This tank stores water that can be added to the mixture as needed.
  3. Agitator: The agitator is responsible for keeping the concrete constantly moving within the drum, ensuring a uniform consistency.
  4. Chute: The chute is an extendable tube attached to the rear of the truck. It allows the concrete to be poured directly at the construction site.

Calculating the Capacity of a Concrete Truck

The capacity of a concrete truck is typically measured in cubic yards. A cubic yard is a unit of volume that represents the space occupied by a cube measuring one yard on each side. To determine the capacity of a concrete truck, we need to consider the dimensions of its mixer drum.

Mixer Drum Dimensions

The most common mixer drum size for concrete trucks is 8 cubic yards. However, they can vary in size, ranging from 4 to 12 cubic yards. The dimensions of the mixer drum are as follows:

Concrete Truck Model Mixer Drum Diameter (feet) Mixer Drum Length (feet)
Standard 8 Cubic Yard Truck 8 6
12 Cubic Yard Truck 9 8

It’s important to note that these dimensions may vary slightly depending on the manufacturer and specific model of the concrete truck.

Calculating the Capacity

To calculate the capacity of a concrete truck, we can use the following formula:

Capacity (in cubic yards) = π × (Mixer Drum Diameter / 2)^2 × Mixer Drum Length

Let’s calculate the capacities for the standard 8 cubic yard truck and the 12 cubic yard truck:

Standard 8 Cubic Yard Truck:

Capacity = π × (8 / 2)^2 × 6

Capacity ≈ 3.14 × 4^2 × 6

Capacity ≈ 3.14 × 16 × 6

Capacity ≈ 301.44 cubic feet

Since 1 cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet, the capacity of the standard 8 cubic yard truck is approximately 301.44 / 27 = 11.17 cubic yards.

12 Cubic Yard Truck:

Capacity = π × (9 / 2)^2 × 8

Capacity ≈ 3.14 × 4.5^2 × 8

Capacity ≈ 3.14 × 20.25 × 8

Capacity ≈ 508.68 cubic feet

Therefore, the capacity of the 12 cubic yard truck is approximately 508.68 / 27 = 18.84 cubic yards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How many cubic yards does a concrete truck typically hold?

A concrete truck typically holds between 8 to 12 cubic yards of concrete. The exact capacity may vary depending on the specific model of the truck.

2. Can a concrete truck carry more than one type of concrete?

No, a concrete truck is generally designed to carry only one type of concrete mixture at a time. Mixing different types of concrete in the same truck can lead to inconsistencies in the final product.

3. How is the concrete loaded into the truck?

The concrete is loaded into the truck at a concrete plant using a specialized hopper. The hopper is positioned above the mixer drum, allowing the concrete to flow into the drum.

4. How long does it take to pour the concrete from a truck?

The time taken to pour the concrete from a truck depends on various factors, such as the size of the project, accessibility to the construction site, and the number of workers involved. On average, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

5. Can the capacity of a concrete truck be increased?

The capacity of a concrete truck is determined by its mixer drum dimensions. Increasing the capacity would require a larger drum, which may not be feasible for all trucks. It is best to choose a truck with the appropriate capacity for your project’s needs.

6. Are there any weight restrictions for concrete trucks?

Yes, there are weight restrictions for concrete trucks to ensure road safety. The maximum weight allowed varies by jurisdiction and depends on factors such as axle configuration and local regulations.

7. How far can a concrete truck deliver concrete?

The distance a concrete truck can deliver concrete depends on various factors, including the size of the project, road conditions, and local regulations. Generally, concrete trucks can deliver concrete within a radius of 20 to 30 miles.

8. Are there any maintenance requirements for concrete trucks?

Yes, regular maintenance is necessary to ensure the smooth operation of a concrete truck. This includes cleaning the mixer drum, inspecting the engine and hydraulic systems, and lubricating moving parts. Routine maintenance helps prolong the lifespan of the truck and ensures optimal performance.

9. Can a concrete truck mix concrete on-site?

No, a concrete truck is designed to transport pre-mixed concrete from a concrete plant to a construction site. Mixing concrete on-site would require a different type of equipment, such as a mobile concrete mixer or a batching plant.

10. How can I estimate the number of concrete trucks needed for my project?

To estimate the number of concrete trucks needed for your project, you need to know the total volume of concrete required and the capacity of each truck. Divide the total volume by the truck’s capacity to determine the number of trucks needed. It’s advisable to add a buffer to account for any unforeseen delays or changes in the project.


Concrete trucks play a crucial role in the construction industry, enabling the efficient transportation and delivery of concrete to various job sites. The capacity of a concrete truck is determined by its mixer drum dimensions, with most trucks holding between 8 to 12 cubic yards of concrete. By understanding the capacity of these trucks, construction professionals can better plan their projects and ensure an adequate supply of concrete.

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