Boom pumps offer amazing reach capabilities versus a standard ready-mix truck. How do you know you are choosing the right boom for your application and project?
How close to the pour site can you place the pump? KCP Pumps, for example, offers boom pumps in ranges from 20 metres to 70 metres.
Then, you should consider the application. “Your application will determine which unit is the one you want,” says Jason Almeida, Almeida Concrete Pumping, a dealer for KCP Pumps based out of Jamaica, New York.
“When building a single-family house, contractors place a concrete foundation on which a wooden structure will be built, so they will use a lighter mix,” says Stuart Galloway, President, Canadian Concrete Expo. “A high-rise is a much heavier structure so, in order to support its weight, a much heavier mix is needed.
“We see contractors use a mix with a PSI of about 3500 for single-family housing and a mix with a PSI of about 14,000 for large high rises,” says Almeida.
A heavier mix requires more hydraulic power to push it, so larger machines come equipped with larger chasses and therefore larger engines. For example, the larger KCP Pumps come equipped with a 450-hp Mack MRU model truck. The smaller units come with a 250-hp Mack MRU model truck. Also, in order to move heavier mixes, larger pump units usually come equipped with two pumps instead of just one.
“Although more power means faster concrete placement, you have to consider machine footprint,” says Galloway.
The larger the boom, the larger the outriggers. Construction sites can be congested areas and finding a location to set up the machine can sometimes be difficult.
Concrete contractors also have to consider height restrictions. The first section of the boom on the pump raises quite high in order to let the rest of the sections unfold. “When working in an environment with height restrictions, such as in a warehouse, you will want a machine with a low unfolding height,” says Almeida.
“There is a skills gap between the labour needs of contractors and the labour force,” says Galloway. “Advancements in technology are making it easier to operate construction equipment.”
“Pumps were previously hard to operate,” says Almeida. “They used to be operated by engineers but introductions such as proportional boom control and joysticks allow equipment operators to operate them safely and efficiently. KCP Pumps has really led the way in making these machines more operator-friendly and therefore more popular on construction sites.”
1. This blog is courtesy of the Canadian Concrete Expo, Toronto, Jan. 22-23, 2020. For more, visit: https://canadianconcreteexpo.com/.