Choosing the right concrete pump for the job

Whether pumping concrete to a high-rise building, bridge or a backyard patio, choosing the right concrete pump to get the mix to the jobsite is a key consideration that greatly impacts project costs and productivity. We asked representatives of two concrete pump manufacturers to share their expertise in selecting the right pump for the job.

Reed concrete pumpThe two most common types of concrete pumps to choose from are truck-mounted concrete pumps and line pumps, often referred to as trailer-mounted concrete pumps. According to Mike Newcomb, sales and marketing Manager for Reed Concrete Pumps & Shotcrete Equipment, truck-mounted pumps are typically used in high-volume applications such as high-rise construction. A truck-mounted concrete pump has a large engine and a remote-controlled articulating arm or boom to place concrete accurately. The cost of these pumps ranges from $375,000 to more than $1 million dollars.

Line pumps or trailer-mounted pumps are commonly used to pump shorter distances. “Trailer-mounted or line pumps are typically used in low to mid-volume applications,” says Newcomb. Within this category there are more specific applications that use line pumps such as auger cast piling and shotcrete work.  They are far less expensive than truck-mounted pumps with costs ranging from $90,000 to $175,000.

According to Newcomb, structural shotcrete walls represent a growing application for trailer-mounted pumps.  They save time and are proving to be a cost-effective alternative to cast-in-place concrete walls. “The walls are perfect,” says Newcomb. “You don’t have to do rework like you do with form and pour work.”

A third type of pump, called a stationary pump, is used in specialized situations. Guilherme Zurita, divisional director of Concrete Technology forLiebherr concrete pump Liebherr says that if the boom reach is not long enough for placing the concrete such as on some high rises, foundation piles, very long length pours, underground, etc., a stationary pump should be used. Liebherr stationary pumps range from 11,464- 12,897 pounds and are capable of pumping from 100- 200 cubic yards per hour. “High powered stationary pumps will be placed at a strategic position at the jobsite, and will remain there for long periods of time pumping concrete, says Zurita. “There are cases when the stationary pump needs to be attached to a foundation machine, like the Liebherr crawler pumps that work attached to a drill rig, pumping concrete simultaneously as the foundation is dug by the drilling machine.”

Below are some questions to help you narrow down your choice of a concrete pump that will work best for the project and for your business.

What is the distance from the concrete delivery area to the placing location?

Zurita says the distance from the concrete delivery area (where the ready-mixed concrete trucks will park) to the placing location, will determine the size of the boom to be used on a truck-mounted concrete pump. “Horizontal distances as well as above or below-ground spots can be reached by a concrete pump boom, making this equipment not only flexible but an essential tool within the construction industry,” he says. The vertical reach of Liebherr truck pumps ranges from 77.8 feet to 161.1 feet.

Review manufacturer spec sheets to find the maximum horizontal and vertical pumping distances for line pumps.

Can the pump handle your concrete mix?

Some types of trailer-mounted pumps are limited in the types of concrete mix they can handle. This is measured by the maximum aggregate size they can handle. “While ball valve style trailer pumps are inexpensive, the maximum rock size they can handle is 3/8 inch pea gravel,” says Newcomb. For this reason, they are used primarily in regions where this is a lot of low-volume, small-rock concrete work, such as California and Florida. Other line pumps can handle concretes containing larger coarse aggregate (3/4- to 1 1/2-inch rock). Applications for heavier concrete include concrete slabs, shotcrete and other concrete structures.

What footprint is needed for setup?

According to Zurita, another important consideration in concrete pump selection is the footprint needed for the equipment set-up. “There are many jobs that are limited in space such as busy urban areas,” says Zurita. “Contractors should look for a pump that uses the least area as possible, yet is still able to reach the desired pouring spots.”

Are there emissions requirements to consider?

Due to stricter emissions requirements on diesel engines, Reed Concrete Pumps is seeing greater interest in electric-driven and gasoline-powered machines. Electric models are common in underground construction or industrial applications. Gasoline-powered concrete pumps are also trending upward. “Customer love the gasoline-powered concrete pumps because they are cheaper to purchase than diesel units,’ says Newcomb.

What are the maintenance costs?

“Ease of maintenance and wear parts prices are a concern for customers,” says Zurita. Some additional features to evaluate are the simplicity of the design, accessibility to components that need to be cleaned or maintained, the quality of materials, warranty and reputation. According to Zurita, cleaning and maintenance of the pump is paramount. “Once the concrete is hardened inside the pipes or any other element of the machine, costs of repairs can easily skyrocket.”

How does the concrete pump improve safety?

Zurita believes that safety will always be important to customers. “Our new products to be released in the USA will have a stability support system named XXA already embedded in the machine,” he says. “This system allows for greater stability while pumping.”

Is the concrete pump easy to operate?

With labor shortages expected to continue, manufacturers are doing what they can to make concrete pumping machines easier to operate. Liebherr uses electronic solutions where they are needed and to make the operation simpler. The control panel is very simple and intuitive, with three operation modes that make easy for the operator to get out of difficult or even fail situations of the machine. At Reed Concrete Pumps, the controls and readouts make it easier to troubleshoot problems with the machine. Take advantage of equipment training offered by the manufacturer and/or dealer. Truck-mounted concrete pump operators need to evaluate whether the ground conditions are stable enough for the machine to operate, need to stay clear of overhead power lines and determine if the mix is suitable for the pour. “There are times when the ready-mix truck should be rejected because the concrete could not be pumped,” adds Zurita.” For the small trailer mounted line pumps that do not have extending outriggers or an articulating boom, the pipeline “line” lays on the ground until the concrete is placed with the placing hose or nozzle.

With the answers to these questions and more detail about your concrete pumping applications, your manufacturer or dealer can guide you to make the best decision for your business.

Concrete Pump Suppliers to Consider

Truck-Mounted Boom Pumps

 

Range

Vertical Reach

DY Concrete Pumps

10 models

33X-5ZZ: 105 feet 7 inches

37X-4R: 119 feet 9 inches

38X-5ZR: 123 feet 4 inches

40X-5ZR: 130 feet 2 inches

42X-5RZ: 136 feet 2 inches

43X-5RZ: 138 feet 9 inches

48X-5RZ: 155 feet 10 inches

52X-5RZ: 167 feet 11 inches

57S-6RZ: 184 feet 5 inches

57X-6RZ: 184 feet 5 inches

 

Liebherr

6 models

36 XXT: 117.5 feet

37 XXT: 120.7 feet

38 XXT: 121.7 feet

42 XXT: 135.2 feet

47 XXT: 151.6 feet

50 XXT: 161.1 feet

Putzmeister-Member of Sany Group

14 models

20Z-Meter: 63 feet 10 inches

28Z-Meter:  89 feet 7 inches

31Z-Meter: 101 feet 8 inches

33Z-Meter: 105 feet 2 inches

36Z-Meter: 116 feet 10 inches

38Z-Meter: 121-feet 9-inches

38Z-5-Meter: 123 feet

39Z-Meter: 125 feet 8 inches

40Z-Meter: 128 feet 3 inches

42Z-Meter: 131 feet 3 inches

47Z-Meter: 151 feet 3 inches

51Z-Meter: 164 feet

56Z-Meter: 180 feet 10 inches

63Z-Meter: 203 feet 9 inches

Sany

4 models

SY38 Z5: 124 feet 6 inches 

SY47 RZ5: 154 feet 2 inches

SY56 RZ6-200: 183 feet 7 inches

SY66 RZ6: 215 feet 2 inches

 

Schwing

17 models

S 20: 63 feet 9 inches

S 28 X: 90 feet 11 inches

S 31 XT: 99 feet 11 inches

S 32 X: 104 feet 11 inches

S 36 X: 115 feet 6 inches

S 36 Rev: 115 feet 2 inches

S 38 SX: 122 feet 5 inches

S 38 SXG:122 feet 5 inches

S 39 SX: 127 feet

S 43 SX: 149 feet 7 inches
S 46 SX: 45.6 meters

S 47 SX III: 151 feet 3 inches

S 52 SX: 170 feet 7 inches

S 55 SX: 178 feet 8 inches

S 58 SX: 187 feet 9 inches

S 61 SX: 197 feet 1 inch

S 65 SXF: 210 feet 8 inches

 

Trailer-Mounted Line Pumps

Manufacturer

Range

Maximum Output-Rod Side
 cubic yards per hour

DY Concrete Pumps

2 models

TP 50: 54
TP 70:73

Putzmeister  member of Sany Group

15 models of Thom-Katt Trailer Mounted pumps

P 715 TE – SE: 18

P 715 TS – SD: 18

P 718 TE – SE: n/a

P 718 TD – SD: n/a

SPM 715 Synchro” n/a

TK 7: 7

TK 20: 17

TK 40 TIER 4I: 40

TK 40 Tier4f: 40

TK 50 Tier3: 54
TK 50 Tier4F: 54

TK 60 HP Tier3: 60

TK 60 HP Tier4F:60

TK 70 Tier3: 74

TK 70 Tier4F: 74

Reed Concrete Pumps

3 series :

Series A “Rockmeister”

Series B

Series C

A-30: 30

A-30HP: 30
Mine 30: 30

A-40HP: 40

B-20:20
B-20HP:20

B-50:50

B-50HP:50

B-50HPS:50

B-60:60

B-60HP:60

B-70:70

B-70HPS:70
C-50S: 50

C-50SS: 54

C-70S:70

C-70SS:74

C-90 H.V.: 90

C-90 H.P. 74

Schwing

 

SP 305: 30

SP 500: 45

SP 750-15: 50

SP 750-18: 70
SP 1000: 70

SP 1000 HP: 35

 

Stationary Concrete Pumps

 

Range

Maximum Output -Rod Side

cubic yards per hour

Liebherr

5 models

70E: 86

80DH: 95

110D: 133

110DK: 133

140DK: 177

 

Putzmeister member of Sany Group

BSA Series includes 8 models including both electric and diesel

BSA 2111 HP E: 124

BSA 2109 H D5: 133

BSA 2109 H D5: 124

BSA 2110 HP D5: 133

BSA 14000 HP D4 7”: 110

BSA 14000 HP D4 8”: 133

BSA 14000 HP E: 116

BSA 14000 SHP D5: 94

 

Schwing

8 models over 10,000 pounds

SP 1250: 95

SP 2000: 118

SPTM 1000: 119

SPTM 1250:118

SP 7000: 148

SP 7500: 88

SP 9000: 149

SP 9500: 118