There was a time in history when cranes were extensively used to lift large buckets full of concrete up to where it was needed at the large construction sites. The major challenge was that the cranes were able to lift only one bucket at a time. So, the need was felt for a machine which pumped concrete effectively. Thus, came into existence concrete pumps.

Today, the market of concrete pump has risen globally mainly due to the need for increased productivity, safety and quality at construction projects including real estate and infrastructural projects. In addition, the increasing labour costs and growing emphasis on minimum construction time has also given a boost to the demand and market share of concrete pumps.

What is a concrete pump?

Typically, concrete pumps are used for transferring/conveying liquid mixed concrete from the containers to where it needs to be filled at the construction site and thus, it is an important part of any construction project. It is a known fact that the concrete pumps deliver high volumes of premixed concrete very fast and this makes them ideal for large construction projects.

There are two basic types of concrete pumps. One is known as a Boom or Truck-mounted Pump which is bigger in size and used on larger sites and for huge road and highway projects. The other one is called a Trailer, Line or Stationary Pump which is used for smaller jobs like preparing ground slabs or sidewalks. At present, it is the Boom Pumps that are very much in demand.

Advantages offered by concrete pumps

Here is the list of advantages of owning a concrete pump...

1. Saves manpower, energy and over-head costs: Concrete pump is one equipment that has the ability to transfer concrete to the exact location using minimal labour and energy. While in the ordinary concrete transfer process, a lot of labour and time is involved, through concrete pumps, works becomes much easier as less handling is required since concrete can be placed directly at the desired location. This can save a lot of manpower, energy and over-head costs.

2. Increases speed: Usage of concrete pumps also increase the speed of work at any construction project. This is because with concrete pumps, concrete pouring becomes simpler and faster, resulting in no project delays.

3. Lays concrete at inaccessible sites easily: Using concrete pump is more convenient than the old mix and pour methods as the boom arms can actually reach over the top of structures to place the concrete in locations where other types of equipment can’t reach. Thus, concrete pumps ensure that the concrete is placed easily at inaccessible sites. So, whether you want to pour concrete on top of a high rise building or in a foundation slab, concrete pumps can deliver concrete mix to almost any area without leaving spills and lumps on the way.

4. Increases pouring accuracy: For complex locations like high-rise buildings or insulated concrete form walls, concrete pumps can increase pouring accuracy. This accurate concrete pumping can effectively result in little or zero material wastage.

5. Leads to less water consumption: Usage of concrete pump leads to less requirement of water as compared to other concrete pouring techniques. Thus, when the concrete is placed, it does not shrink and crack at all and this maintains its strength.

6. No affect of weather conditions: Last but not the least, with concrete pumps, concrete placing is not at all affected by weather conditions.

Thus, overall, concrete pumps are one of the most efficient and cost-effective equipment for concrete placement and offer many benefits to the contractors.

To buy or to rent concrete pumps?

The above question bothers many contractors as well as construction companies. Well the simple answer is if you wish to pump a lot of concrete, then renting cost of concrete pump can hurt your overall operational cost. So, in such a case, it is always better to make an investment and buy a new concrete pump which can be put to use anytime and for as many hours as needed.

Not only the cost of renting is an important factor that needs to be kept in mind but the usage pattern should also be considered. If the volume of work is more and you would often need a concrete pump, then it is better to buy rather than rent. This is because, in case of renting a concrete pump every time, you might have to face loss of time and other renting woes. So, buying can be a good deal and can make your company more efficient.

However, before buying a concrete pump, you have to think about few aspects like...

• Which one to buy—A new or used concrete pump?

• What should be the preference—Boom/truck-mounted pump or Trailer/ line/ stationary pump?

• How often the equipment will be used?

• The cost of maintaining the equipment

• The training cost of the operator of the concrete pump

In a nutshell

Usage of concrete pumps can lead to many advantages at any construction site, be it big or small. Particularly, placement of concrete in inaccessible areas on large construction site has necessitated the use of pumps in today’s construction activities. Hence, it only makes sense to own a concrete pump to reap benefits from it.