Schuster Concrete delivers ready-mixed concrete to jobsites in the following geographical areas:
Please contact an account representative at one of our seven concrete plant locations to confirm that concrete delivery is available to your specific jobsite.
Cement and concrete are not the same thing, but concrete does have cement as a primary ingredient.
In its most basic form concrete is made of cement, water, sand, and stone. Cement is a very fine powder made from limestone, sand, clay, and iron ore. In the right proportions these ingredients are crushed and super-heated in a kiln to form "clinker". The clinker is crushed again with the correct amount of gypsum and other ingredients and the result is a fine powder that we call cement.The strength of concrete comes from the reaction between water and the chemical compounds in cement referred to as hydration. The aggregates in concrete (sand and stone both coarse and fine) serve to add volume only and are not active ingredients in the hydration process.
Schuster Concrete ships what we call Ready-Mixed Concrete. When you place an order for concrete we match your requirements with a specific mix design from our database. The mix constituents are sent to batch panels that load all the raw materials into a drum which mixes the concrete. By the time the truck arrives at your job the product is sufficiently mixed and ready to pour. Each load is custom made for your application according to a specific mix design only moments before the truck leaves for your home or job. The batching of the raw materials in their specific quantities is done by computer, guaranteeing accurate products and reproducible mixes.
Concrete is one of the most versatile building materials used in construction today. In the 1960’s concrete construction challenged steel structure construction in the United States. Rather than large steel girders and steel decking, reinforced concrete was used to make building columns and decks in high rises. This economical building method is used more than ever today.
Part of the versatility of concrete is its wide availability and wide range of applications. In addition to large building construction, concrete is often used in residential applications for driveways, house foundations and walls, as well as many others. Concrete is often used for paving and curb and gutter applications. Precast concrete refers to the process of filling pre-made molds with concrete to produce a variety of things such as drainage piping or underground vaults. Tilt-up concrete construction is a building process often used in large warehouses with a large flat floor and semi-identical wall sections. Construction crews pour a large flat floor then spray a non-stick film onto the floor. The wall sections are actually formed on top of the floors and "tilted up" into place using a crane.
The reaction between water and cement gives concrete its strength. The important water-to-cement ratio is responsible for the strength of the finished product. Concrete strength is usually measured by its compressive and flexural strength in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). When you order a "Bag" mix you’re really ordering a specific quantity of cement per cubic yard of concrete. Using some conversion factors you can translate between the two.
It takes time for concrete to achieve its full strength. They say that the innermost concrete poured in the Hoover Dam is still hardening to this day! Often concrete is measured for strength at intervals of 7 days, 14 days, 28 days, and sometimes 56 days. We assume that the 28 day strength test will be an accurate measurement of the final strength of the product.
Your account representative can help you determine what strength of concrete you need. As you can imagine, cement is a costly material in the production of concrete. We tailor specific mixes to specific applications so that you can successfully accomplish the goals of your project in an economical way.
Weather conditions are often the enemy of concrete. Extremely hot dry weather causes concrete to set up very quickly, making it difficult to place and finish. Extremely cold weather can cause the top layer of concrete to freeze and flake off, often ruining hours of hard work and thousands of dollars worth of material. Rain can make concrete difficult to finish as the rain washes away the smooth creamy layer that finishing trowels bring to the surface, exposing the aggregate. That’s a lot to worry about. Thankfully, extra products can help.
During the summer months you can also substitute ice for a percentage of water in the mix in order to lower the core temperature of the concrete and slow the hydration rate. This helps counteract the effects of the air temperature and the heat contained in the raw materials. Ask your account representative about adding ice to your mix.
During the winter months we substitute regular water with heated water to increase the core temperature of the concrete to prevent freezing and allow more time for the hydration process to take place.
Concrete inherently contains entrapped air of less than 3% by volume as a result of the mixing process. Air Entraining Admixtures are used to entrain air contents of 4-8% by volume of concrete. Entrained air is necessary to protect concrete that is exposed to freeze/thaw cycles in a saturated state. These microscopic entrained air bubbles capture water and allow it to freeze and thaw without deteriorating the concrete.
Retarder is used to decrease the hydration rate of cement, thus giving you or your contractor more time to place and finish our products before the concrete begins to set. Retarder can be well worth your additional investment. It provides an added measure of workability and reduces the rate of heat increase produced by the hydration process. Consider adding retarder on hot, dry days to slow the set rate, allowing for a better finish. Also consider adding retarder if you need more than 30 minutes to unload the truck (i.e. if you’re going to be using buckets or wheelbarrows to transport the concrete from the truck to your work area). By adding retarder to your mix you can expect to retard the set time by 1.5 hours to 8 hours depending on the dosage that you order. You can use retarder for just about any concrete application.
Water reducers are often used to increase the workability and the strength of concrete. It makes concrete "wetter" without adding water. If you’re pouring plain concrete and find that it’s difficult to place or pump, you may be tempted to ask the driver to add additional water to the mix. Beware that by adding water you could be reducing the compressive strength of the finished product. If, however, you choose to add a water reducer, you can expect a more workable product with the benefit of needing less water to make it "wet". The result is a high-strength mix that can be pumped at a 4"-6" slump. You can also achieve a strength gain over traditional concrete when poured at the same slump.
Your account rep can suggest an appropriate dosage if you’re interested in adding water reducer to your mix.
Accelerators are often used in cold weather to speed up the setting time of concrete. In cold weather it’s often helpful to add accelerators to speed up the cement hydration therefore increasing the initial set of the concrete. Always take great care when pouring concrete in cold temperatures. You’re account rep or salesperson can help you determine the appropriate amount of accelerator for your application.
Accelerators can also be used in high-early mixes, or mixes that require high strength in a short amount of time. Concrete contractors on high rise projects often use high-early mixes when pouring columns and decks to produce enough strength in 7 days to pour the next elevated deck and columns rather than waiting for 14 or 28 day compressive strength. This facilitates the rapid building schedules that general contractors often require.
Concrete itself is a relatively safe material with which to work, however, the delivery and placement of concrete can have some inherent dangers. You can mitigate most risk by taking a few simple precautions:
We know that business is all about value and we strive to make sure that our products and services add value to your project. From the first phone call to the final invoice we want your experience with us to be outstanding. That means accuracy in placing your order, honest and up front pricing, quality raw materials, on time delivery, and accurate billing.We never cut costs or boost profits by cutting corners in any aspect of production, from raw materials to the finished product. We insist on quality materials to produce quality products that are industry-proven. Our focus is on outstanding customer service paired with a quality product at a competitive price point. We think you’ll be impressed!
We have multiple locations in Maryland that service the greater Baltimore and western Maryland regions as well as selected areas of southern Pennsylvania and West Virginia. To ensure superior service, please schedule your order as soon as possible. Schedules often fill quickly so the earlier you call the more likely you’ll get the time slot that fits your project. Contact Us to place your order.
When you call, your customer service representative will want to know a few things including:
Your customer service representative will confirm the details of your order and give you a final price. You can also request an order number which will expedite any future calls about your order.
If you placed a will call order, please be sure to call and confirm that you wish to change your order to active. We will not ship a will call order until we hear from you first. If inclement weather or extenuating circumstances require you to cancel an active or will call order, please notify us immediately, preferably at least 2 hours before your scheduled delivery time.
We locate the shipping address that you provide and pair that with the delivery time you have requested. Our systems then pin point the exact time that we need to load your order to ensure timely delivery. The order details are sent to a batch panel which interacts with the physical plant to weigh all the materials in correct proportion and empty them into the truck. The driver cleans the truck one final time, inspects the load, and is on his way to your job.
As the truck leaves any of our plant locations our satellite tracking system continually monitors its position en route to your job. Your dispatcher can find the exact location of the truck at your request. He or she can also preemptively deal with issues en route to you job before they impact the delivery of your material based on the real-time data provide by our tracking system.
We offer various billing and payment options including Cash, Check, Visa® or Master Card®, or you can contact our Sales department to setup credit terms. For larger projects your salesperson can provide a customized quote with project pricing.
If you choose to pay by Check please be aware that we will ask you for a telephone number that is linked to the account so that we can verify that the required funds are available. We will NOT ask you for the bank account number or routing number on the phone.
If you order by business line of credit you will usually receive an invoice within one week of your concrete delivery as all completed orders are billed within two days of the delivery date.
Should you have other questions about concrete, or buying concrete, or how much to order, or how to select the correct mix, or anything else related to concrete that might help you with your project, you are most welcome to send us a message or call your local Schuster Concrete dispatcher.
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