Old School Equipment: The Mixermobile and Scoopmobile
After two years in the concrete industry, Ed Wagner of Portland, Oregon, realized the need for a more efficient way to handle the heavy building material. The contractor designed the Mixermobile, a truck-mounted concrete mixing and pouring system that could be transported on highways up to 50 miles per hour.
The Mixermobile consisted of a cement-mixing drum mounted on a truck with a 35-foot pivot tower and adjustable chute to deliver the concrete ready-mix to the desired height. The mixing drum could produce 50 yards of concrete per hour and pour this into a hopper on the tower. The hopper could climb the tower in 10-foot sections up to a height of 165 feet.
The machine improved concrete handling, and Wagner’s seven sons founded Mixermobile Manufactures to build the equipment, according to constructionequipment.com.
Mixermobile then developed one of the first articulated wheel loaders, dubbed the Scoopmobile, in the early 1950s. “The loader had an unusual tricycle arrangement with driver tires in the front and a steering bogey with paired tires on a swivel at the back,” according to constructionequipment.com. “It steered by means of a tiller handle, much like a sailboat, and could be towed at highway speeds behind a truck.” This basic loader design continued into the 1970s and was popular with highway departments and ready-mix companies, especially in the Western states, because of its superior maneuverability.
The Scoopmobile offered 1-yard and 2-yard buckets. The articulation allowed for up to 20 degrees “bucket swing,” according to sales literature. Not only was the steering articulated, but the pivot point also provided left and right oscillation from horizontal.
Equipment Sales Co. (ESCO) at 720 South 19th Avenue in Phoenix and Neil B. McGinnis at 500 South Central Avenue became the Arizona distributors for the Mixermobile in the mid-1940s. Several Arizona contractors purchased the Mixermobile to use on their projects, including Arizona Sand & Rock, Del Webb Construction, and Womack Construction. The machine proved valuable for long concrete pours like the foundation of the Phoenix Central Library and floors at St. Joseph's Hospital, both in 1952, and for the Luhrs Parking Garage in 1957.
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This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Jul/Aug 2021 issue, Vol. 10, No. 4.