Cement trucks carrying ready-mix concrete and those carrying bulk concrete need regular cleaning to avoid poor or inhibited performance. Dry cement mixes with rain or humidity and forms scales on the truck, and spillage of ready-mix occurs during transport, which then dries onto the truck. Sometimes smaller messes like these are ignored until the performance of, for example, the loading hatch is affected. More obvious is the buildup inside cement truck drums, which must also be cleaned regularly. Three options exist for those needing to clean dirty cement trucks and/or their drums: high-pressure power washers, chemical cleaners and jackhammers.
Things You'll Need:
High-pressure power washer
Chemical cement cleaner
Use a high-pressure power washer (5 to 6 gallons per minute and 1,200 lbs. per sq. inch) to remove cement that has dried for less than 24 hours. Wear protective eyewear, clothing and gloves, and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Use a more intense high-pressure power washer (12 gallons per minute and 5,000 pounds per square inch) to remove cement that has dried for at least 30 days. You may need to follow this with sandblasting or use a combination power-washer/sand-blaster. Wear protective eyewear, clothing and gloves, and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Apply chemical cleaners (typically acid blends) to dried concrete by following the manufacturer's instructions. The blends are available in a variety of strengths (super concentrate, concentrate, regular strength); finding a cleaner strong enough to clean your concrete truck will depend on how long the concrete has dried and how strong the product is. Always protect your hands with rubber gloves and your eyes with protective eyewear.
Dilute the cleaner with water if necessary, and apply it with a brush; then brush or scrape off the concrete as the chemical cleaner loosens it.
Let other cleaners, such as gels or foams, sit on the concrete for the prescribed period of time before attempting to remove the concrete with a large brush and/or water.
Get inside the truck's drum and use a jackhammer (or hire someone to do so) to chip off the concrete built up there. This is called chipping.