The staff at IronPlanet loves a good backstory. Inspired by the selection of mixer trucks on this week's auction, we began thinking, "how did these machines, fascinating to both children and adults, come to be?" To understand the mixers, a little background in cement is helpful.
"I'm so over this."
The original cement haulers were the Egyptians. Around 3000 BC, the Egyptians mixed gypsum and lime to create mortar and immediately got to work on the pyramids.
Romans picked up the technology and improved the it by mixing volcanic ash with slaked lime, enabling cement to harden underwater. The Coliseum, the Parthenon, the baths, and the Basilica of Constantine were built In a flurry of construction from 300 BC to 476 AD.
In the early 1900s, cement was delivered by horse-drawn concrete mixer. Wooden paddles churned the mixture as the cart wheels turned. Which was OK, until . . .
Need a street? No prob, where do you want it? We got your bridge right here, mister. Dam the Colorado River? Hold my coffee.
By the 1940s, engines and truck-frame construction caught up to the need for a rugged vehicle capable of hauling thousands of pounds of unset concrete. As the building boom following World War II went into full swing, mixer trucks came into their own.