Choosing the correct concrete pump is a big decision. The bigger the concrete pump, the more expensive it usually is.
It is risky, as a too small concrete pump runs the risk of not being able to complete the job which can cost you more.
It is advisable to do a little research before a concrete pump is booked. There are concrete pump specification graphs available that show exactly the size of a pump, the reach of the pipeline, the pumping output rate and so on. This can more or less indicate which size concrete pump will be suitable for your job.
When choosing the correct concrete pump, it is a good idea to assess the construction site. Obstructions on the site such as trees, electrical cables, excavations, holes, water pipes and tall buildings might create a need for a bigger concrete pump to be able to work around these obstructions. When a concrete pump is not able to reach or there are difficult corners that a concrete pump is not able to navigate around, it might be a good idea to consider a stationary pump. Stationary pumps use pipelines which are manually built to whichever length is needed. The pipeline can also be built around obstructions.
It is possible to extend the pipeline of a concrete pump with additional pipes. Us here at Foxcrete Concrete Pumping never extend our pipelines with more than 10 pipes. That is an additional 30 meters. The reason being, there is greater risk of things that can go wrong such as blockages or damage to the concrete pump’s hydraulic system. Extending a concrete pump’s pipeline also has additional costs involved. Those pipes are super heavy and additional crew members need to be dispatched to attach the pipes. Not always a good idea.
It is sometimes not even necessary to hire a concrete pump for the job. For small jobs it might be more cost effective to mix and place the concrete manually as ready mixed concrete can be costly.
The concrete being used for your slab must be pump able ready mixed concrete. Concrete pumps cannot pump any concrete. The concrete mix must be just right for the concrete pump to be able to pump it smoothly through the lengthy pipeline. There are some concrete mixes which are mixed with polystyrene or additional reinforcements. These mixes cannot be pumped by concrete pumps. It would therefore be better to place this concrete manually.
When large concrete pumps are needed, site preparation for concrete pumps needs to be carefully considered. There needs to be enough space for these concrete pumps to be able to enter and navigate around the construction site easily. This will minimize the risk of injury and damage to the site. It won’t be very productive if someone booked a concrete pump and it cannot enter the site 8|
I know. There are too many aspects to consider! Luckily concrete pump companies generally assess a construction site a day or two before a job to confirm that the correct concrete pump is booked. Phew…
Check out this awesome video by Scott Vere below. It illustrates the whole process of pumping a helicopter landing slab. This video will give you an idea of the preparation involved in pumping a slab, the reach of a concrete pump’s pipeline and why it is important to get it right.