Concrete, a popular building material, can be difficult to work with. In response to this difficulty, the industry has come up with multiple ways to pump concrete where it is needed. Sometimes pumping concrete into place is the only way to make the project work, but even if that is not the case, concrete pumping services often represent the most efficient way of placing concrete at a site.
There are several types of concrete pumps. One is the boom pump, a large vehicle with the concrete and pump on board. These boom pumps have a very long ‘reach’, and thus may stay in one place while pumping concrete to various locations on a job site. This enables maximum efficiency, and gets the job done faster.
The next kind of pump is a line pump. This is a portable pump that the user can move around a job site, and can also be used for pumping grout, mortar, sludge, and other building supplies. Because this kind of pump is movable, it is popular where there are a large number of sites to pump concrete to, but it is not a self-contained unit the way a boom pump is, and the concrete must be mixed and stored somewhere else.
Finally, a separate placing boom may be used to pump concrete to areas that are difficult or impossible to reach with a boom truck, or when a boom truck is not available. These are large pumps that need to be mounted on a strong framework, and are often used for pouring large amounts of concrete, such as that which makes up a concrete slab.
Choosing a concrete pumping service depends upon your needs. Some of them own multiple types of equipment, while others may only have access to certain pumps. Concrete pumping services also come in full-service varieties, where they pump the concrete for you, and in rental companies, where they only supply the pump to you for a certain rental rate.
Because pumps can only pump certain types of concrete, it is important to consider what kind of concrete you plan to use on the job. If it isn’t possible to combine your desired concrete and desired pumping method, then you’ll have to reconsider either the concrete or the pump, or both. Using the wrong kind of concrete in the wrong kind of pump can have disastrous results.
Before the job starts, consider how much pump you need. Output rates give a theoretical amount of concrete the pump can deliver in a certain amount of time, but realistic output will vary depending on the situation and the type of concrete used. Don’t use a high output pump for a light detail job, as it might be hard to handle, and don’t choose a low output pump for a big job where that might mean wasting hours or even days.
If you rent the equipment, remember to check if you need a special driver’s license to drive a boom truck, or a vehicle other than the ones you own to tow a line or separate placing boom. If you don’t have these things, you’ll need to look into getting them, or maybe using a more full-service company that will drive the trucks and pump the concrete for you.