Recycled Concrete Guide

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Recycled Concrete Guide


November 23, 2021


What is Recycled Concrete & How is it Made?

Recycled concrete is a type of building material that is made up of old concrete that has started to look run down. Acquiring recycled concrete is quite easy. Typically, whoever seeks to create the material will take old, decrepit concrete, and crush it down into specific shapes and sizes to suit whatever project they plan to use it for. Then, these now tiny, crushed pieces of concrete are cleaned off to remove any unwanted pieces of debris that you wouldn’t want to show up in the new job they are being used for. Creating crushed concrete is a very simple process, and it yields a ton of the material in a short amount of time. Contact Twisted Nail to haul recycled concrete today.

Interested in Using Recycled Concrete for Your Next Commercial Job?


History of Crushed Concrete in Construction

Believe it or not, crushed concrete actually has a long history in construction and has been involved in a number of jobs. Most often the material is employed by construction companies who are seeking to expand on major roads. The most major event in which this took place was the expansion of Route 66 in Illinois. The highway needed to be expanded from 2 lanes to 4, and thus the construction company, instead of just laying a whole bunch of new concrete decided that the best decision was instead to recycle the concrete that was already there to ensure that the whole highway looked good, instead of just the two new lanes. Now, since crushed concrete is already a common material, most of the buzz surrounding it is about how it positively impacts the environment in comparison to other building techniques and materials. In the 1970s there was a big push for reducing landfills, and crushed concrete has served as an important deterrent for the creation of new concrete. We’ll get to more on the environmental impact of recycled concrete later on.

Projects that call for Recycled Concrete

As I mentioned before, recycled concrete has proven to be a versatile material and is used in a variety of jobs. The most common commercial job in which it is often used is for the creation, or the expansion of highways, like what happened with Route 66. This is mainly because projects like this that involve roadways often already have a pre-existing layer of concrete down, giving ample concrete to work with to turn into recycled concrete, which will then be used to either expand the current road, or create a new one. Recycled concrete is also often used for parking lots and the like. This is because, just like for roads, recycled concrete can be used to make aggregates that are able to withstand things like cars moving on top of them all of the time. Finally, on the residential side of things, recycled concrete can be used for driveways. Again, recycled concrete is great for anything vehicle related. It helps create a strong, durable base that won’t fold under the weight of vehicles.

Environmental Impact of Recycled Concrete

I mentioned above that recycled concrete has had a great effect on the environment, and it’s not really because of what it does per say, but because of what it prevents. Concrete can’t be broken down naturally. Once it is made and then ultimately discarded for whatever reason, it will be thrown into a landfall where it will never break down. It will simply sit there, taking up space and having awful effects on the environment. Recycled concrete takes old concrete and gives it more use. It doesn’t allow it to be thrown into a landfall to sit, it puts it back into work operations. Recycling concrete ensures that exorbitant amounts of new concrete will not have to be made to make up for the loss of old concrete, as most of the time recycled concrete can work with new concrete, meaning less new concrete has to be made to perform a given job. Overall, recycled concrete has continued to be a great way to help the environment by keeping the cycle of concrete being made and disposed of from getting out of hand.

How to Order Recycled Concrete in Texas

Finding a reliable source to deliver recycled concrete to you in Texas can be a tough job. We at Twisted Nail however are committed to doing every job perfectly every time. We can haul any amount of recycled concrete that you could possibly need for your job site from wherever you purchased it from. If you’re operating in the Waco, Bryan, or Austin areas, Twisted Nail is the best choice for hauling materials to you. Don’t let your job suffer from a lazy, late shipment, and let Twisted Nail handle your hauling needs, and put your mind at ease.


An end dumps carry weight depends heavily on the specific road regulations, the power unit weight, and the composition of the trailer. A steel trailer, typically referred to as a Round Bottom, will be heavier and will have a payload of approximately 21 to 23 tons. By contrast, an aluminum end dump is much lighter and can carry anywhere from 23-28 tons, with some set-ups being able to approach 30-ton payloads. 

End dumps are typically loaded by heavy machinery, such as a front-end loader or excavator, or by a series of conveyor belts. End dumps are top load trailers. An owner-operator with an end dump trailer will uncover the trailer via an electric tarp switch in the cab. With the trailer uncovered, the heavy machinery is free to load from the top of the trailer, being careful to evenly distribute the material. Once loaded, the owner-operator flips the tarp switch, covers the load, and continues their run.  

There are several different types of hydraulic lifts that are usually part of dump trailers. These include telescopic, dual-piston, and scissor lifts, among others. Most dump trailers use hydraulics to automatically lift the dump box and unload the materials in a quick, seamless action.

An end dump is an excellent investment for owner operators or construction companies that transport bulk aggregate on a frequent basis. Depending on your needs, a steel or aluminum end dump will ensure that you are able to reliable keep your customers jobsites and stockpiles full. 

Depending on market timing, a typical aluminum end dump will range between $15,000 to $70,000+, with steel round bottoms priced around $10,000-$50,000+. These trailers are also offered for rent or lease, with trailers available for around $850-$2,000 per month. When renting or leasing, it is typical for all repairs to be the responsibility of the renting owner operator. 


Flex base can be an excellent choice for a driveway but is not often used as a primary input in TXDOT construction. Flex base is best suited for farm roads, driveways, RV pads, and for other foundations that will not receive heavy traffic. Flex base is cheaper than most alternative options, such as asphalt or base that meets TXDOT specifications. Additionally, once set and compacted, a flex base road or driveway is cheaper and easier to maintain.

Yes, road base and flex base are the same material family. That said, the differentiating factor is typically the testing results of each material. When shopping for material, it is important to identify exactly what type of material you are buying. Retailers will categorize Base as a broad category and can leave identification to consumers, which is challenging and confusing. In general, if a retailer is selling a Road Base it can be assumed that the material is of higher construction quality than flex base, meaning it will have a wider range of approved uses. However, some vendors will sell Flex Base as a Road Base; this makes it important to understand if the material you are purchasing is a true Flex Base, is ‘Spec 247’, or is TXDOT approved. With each increase in quality comes an increase in cost, so it is important to identify which material will best suit the needs of your project.

Flex Base is a mixture of loose aggregate and coarse aggregate, can be a wide range of color based on source location, and is composed of materials ranging from dirt to rock that are 1”-3” in size. Most Flex Base, particularly around Central Texas, will range from tan to brown, will consist of a dirt material and rocks that range from 1” to 2” in diameter. There are specialty materials that will include rocks up to 3” in size, but these are typically reserved for heavy construction projects.

Any driveway’s depth should be at least 5” to ensure structural integrity and better load capacity. For road base in particular, experts recommend a thickness of 6-8”.

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