A new design from McNeilus Companies Inc., Dodge Center, Minn., has produced a composite ready-mix drum that weighs 2,000 lb less than a comparably sized steel drum. The drum—named Revolution—was dramatically unveiled at CONEXPO-CON/AGG on March 19 as hundreds of attendeesŸ crowded into the McNeilus booth.

This is one revolution that lives up to its name," said McNeilus President Dan Lanzdorf, against a backdrop of the Beatles singing, "We just want to change the world." Because of its reduced weight, the mixer can carry a half cubic yard of concrete more in every load, increasing productivity. The composite material also is corrosion free and deadens sound, reducing noise.

A McNeilus rep at the show said the new drum costs about $12,000 more than a comparable steel drum, but it should pay for itself in two years and last another six years.

McNeilus, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Truck Corp., developed the new technology in conjunction with an Australian partner, investing more than $10 million over the past four years. Interest at the show was "overwhelming and far exceeds the first year's production," says a McNeilus official.