Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Love me some Concrete
Joined
·
1,834 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am always searching for new ways, easier ways and more efficient ways in this business. I always bring in a few extra hands on our day to run wheel barrows and wondering if getting a tow behind concrete pump would be more efficient? If the cost of the rental or even purchase could be made up in 2 less crew members, thought it could be worth it. I know there would be a learning curve but the puddler would not have to move it as much, no making ramps to go over forms and then pulling up rebar because chairs could not be used due to wheel barrows moving.

Has anyone had experience with these machines and can they speed up the pour? I know I will need 1 running the pump, 1 running the house and 2 finishers on the screed board. Just thinking the time the guys spend just moving if we are in a back yard could be substancial.

I don't use buggies and won't, it doesn't make it faster, costs me more and really does not cut down on labor, IMO. I pay them to work, they can wheel is my thought.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
Well, it totally depends on the job.

Pros: Keeps a constant rate, no waiting for barrows to get loaded and moved, much faster, much easier on rakers and laborers.

Cons: A yard or more of waste, price, messy clean up.

Honestly I love the tow behind, a pump and an operator for me is about $800 for a half day. When in a spot where access would be a complete pain in the ass for a buggy or barrows they simply can't be beat. I will actually be using one shortly for a small patio.

The one thing I don't like is the waste. I don't care about the extra cost associated with the concrete, but you need to have a pretty big area for him to clean out, once he pulls the hoses and pumps out what's left it could be up to a yard just laying there on the ground, not something you want to just have in someones front yard.

Ideally you could just put down a massive tarp and have it clean out in there, then skidsteer it into the trailer the next day. I don't have a skidsteer yet though, so that can complicate things.

By far though they are super handy, being able to have a constant flow of concrete makes setting wet pads easier and it goes in much faster. I have had it set up faster on warmer days though, I think that pump can get it a little warmed up from all the extra moving.

I would not rent one either, just pay for the operator to bring it out. He will have all the experience with the machine and how to operate it effectively, last thing you want is someone to use the wrong sized hard line and have it lock up while you have a truck spinning up in the sun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Well, it totally depends on the job.

Pros: Keeps a constant rate, no waiting for barrows to get loaded and moved, much faster, much easier on rakers and laborers.

Cons: A yard or more of waste, price, messy clean up.

Honestly I love the tow behind, a pump and an operator for me is about $800 for a half day. When in a spot where access would be a complete pain in the ass for a buggy or barrows they simply can't be beat. I will actually be using one shortly for a small patio.

The one thing I don't like is the waste. I don't care about the extra cost associated with the concrete, but you need to have a pretty big area for him to clean out, once he pulls the hoses and pumps out what's left it could be up to a yard just laying there on the ground, not something you want to just have in someones front yard.

Ideally you could just put down a massive tarp and have it clean out in there, then skidsteer it into the trailer the next day. I don't have a skidsteer yet though, so that can complicate things.

By far though they are super handy, being able to have a constant flow of concrete makes setting wet pads easier and it goes in much faster. I have had it set up faster on warmer days though, I think that pump can get it a little warmed up from all the extra moving.

I would not rent one either, just pay for the operator to bring it out. He will have all the experience with the machine and how to operate it effectively, last thing you want is someone to use the wrong sized hard line and have it lock up while you have a truck spinning up in the sun.

They should be able to clean out into the the concrete truck, that's what I have mine do all the time. All they need is a clean out hook and it's almost no mess at all. As for a lot of waste, once you start getting down towards the end of the pour have him pump down, meaning he holds the truck from filling his hopper, slows the pump down so he doesn't blow a bunch of air and if done right you have almost nothing left in the hopper. Work smarter, not harder!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
They should be able to clean out into the the concrete truck, that's what I have mine do all the time. All they need is a clean out hook and it's almost no mess at all. As for a lot of waste, once you start getting down towards the end of the pour have him pump down, meaning he holds the truck from filling his hopper, slows the pump down so he doesn't blow a bunch of air and if done right you have almost nothing left in the hopper. Work smarter, not harder!
Interesting.

I will ask them about that next time I call.

So do they fill the hopper with water and use that to clean out the lines into the truck?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
Yep. Not all of them do it, but I don't use those guys. Almost no mess and the only waste is if you over ordered on the concrete.
So will they do the same to purge the lines also?

Say you are right at the end and just need one more shot, will they run the water through the lines to give you the last of the crete?

I have to use a pump on a pour coming up and the whole shot is uphill.

The only staging area is a blacktop driveway, so I am scared about him unhooking that last line and having stuff all over the place, no amount of plastic can catch a cubic yard of brightly colored slurry running all over the place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Pumping is the only way to go if its more than a yard or you cant tailgate it Here pumping is really easy 150 for set up and 7 a yard and the pump hooks up to the mixer and washes out into the drum also if you need a little extra and your out pump it down and fill the hopper with water and push the rest out ( about 1/2 a yard with 150' of 2 " hose ) I used to be a pumper myself
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Butcher of wood and metal
Joined
·
7,005 Posts
Pumping is the only way to go if its more than a yard or you cant tailgate it Here pumping is really easy 150 for set up and 7 a yard and the pump hooks up to the mixer and washes out into the drum also if you need a little extra and your out pump it down and fill the hopper with water and push the rest out ( about 1/2 a yard with 150' of 2 " hose ) I used to be a pumper myself
Nice looking outfit there. How much reach does a unit like that have. We pretty much just have pumper trucks around here. I don't do alot of concrete work , but have use a truck on a couple of jobs. Was worth the 500.00 it cost not to have to wheel it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Randy Bush said:
Nice looking outfit there. How much reach does a unit like that have. We pretty much just have pumper trucks around here. I don't do alot of concrete work , but have use a truck on a couple of jobs. Was worth the 500.00 it cost not to have to wheel it.
most pumpers have 300' of hoses on the truck but most tract home use 150 ft small tock pumps are very popular out here there are also big line rock pumps and the boom pumps
 

·
Registered
Butcher of wood and metal
Joined
·
7,005 Posts
most pumpers have 300' of hoses on the truck but most tract home use 150 ft small tock pumps are very popular out here there are also big line rock pumps and the boom pumps
LOL was not thinking of them having hoses, but makes sense. Am so use to seeing just booms here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
Pumping is the only way to go if its more than a yard or you cant tailgate it Here pumping is really easy 150 for set up and 7 a yard and the pump hooks up to the mixer and washes out into the drum also if you need a little extra and your out pump it down and fill the hopper with water and push the rest out ( about 1/2 a yard with 150' of 2 " hose ) I used to be a pumper myself
That thing looks like a money maker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I've always worried about the high slump and small aggregate you need in order to pump. I worked with a guy a couple years ago that pumped every job and he seemed to have an unusual amount of shinkage cracking (not from overworking the surface etc.). I thought maybe it was because of the higher slump. Is it normal to use a water reducer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
843 said:
I've always worried about the high slump and small aggregate you need in order to pump. I worked with a guy a couple years ago that pumped every job and he seemed to have an unusual amount of shinkage cracking (not from overworking the surface etc.). I thought maybe it was because of the higher slump. Is it normal to use a water reducer?
yes the ready mix company i am very familiar with puts water reducer in every load including 3/4 rock mixes but more so in pea gravel , honestly there isnt a big problem with pea gravel mix for most non structural flatwork at my house i have poured over 25 yards of pea gravel no rebar :) and have driven mini excavators and larger bobcats over than with no issue . When you can its always better to use big rock , when i pour without a pump its usually 50/50 mix or 3/4 if it needs to be a bit stronger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
I've always worried about the high slump and small aggregate you need in order to pump. I worked with a guy a couple years ago that pumped every job and he seemed to have an unusual amount of shinkage cracking (not from overworking the surface etc.). I thought maybe it was because of the higher slump. Is it normal to use a water reducer?
The pump guy last week told us he could move it as low as 2.5. I couldn't imagine trying to rake and screed a 2.5

I usually ask for a wet 5 or a 6 and it pumps great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
I don't use buggies and won't, it doesn't make it faster, costs me more and really does not cut down on labor, IMO. I pay them to work, they can wheel is my thought.

Thanks
I didn't see that part before.

I am going to have to disagree with it though. One guy and a buggy can do the work of two guys with a wheelbarrow any time, provided he has a clear path and actually knows how to drive the thing.

If you want to see some real productivity though, get on a job with two buggies and try to keep up.

It also saves your guys from getting worn out, especially if you put them on the edges after they get done cleaning up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
sitdwnandhngon said:
The pump guy last week told us he could move it as low as 2.5. I couldn't imagine trying to rake and screed a 2.5 I usually ask for a wet 5 or a 6 and it pumps great.
thats usually the slump we pour at im not a pumper any more but sometimes the mixer would pull up and the contractor would say "50 gallons" and by the end of the pour there would be 75-80 onsite gallons added ( to 10 yards , hey i wasnt complaining ) pumped like warm butter haha
 

·
Registered
Butcher of wood and metal
Joined
·
7,005 Posts
I've always worried about the high slump and small aggregate you need in order to pump. I worked with a guy a couple years ago that pumped every job and he seemed to have an unusual amount of shinkage cracking (not from overworking the surface etc.). I thought maybe it was because of the higher slump. Is it normal to use a water reducer?
The regular pump truck with a boom pump normal concrete. Talking maybe a 4" line or better. Unless it is for block style foam blocks then P mix.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top