Concrete pumps are an important part of any construction project because they are extensively used in transferring liquid concrete by pumping it to the jobsite. The main advantage of using concrete pumps is that they help in placing concrete at a faster rate even in areas that have limited access.

There are two basic types of concrete pumps i.e., boom pumps and stationary pumps and both of which have their own unique qualities. Even a third variant exists i.e., specialised pumps which are used for specialised jobsites. So, when the construction project involves pumping concrete, it’s very important to gauge which concrete pump is most suited for the job.

We outline the different types of concrete pumps and throw light on their selection process...

1. Boom or truck-mounted pump: Bigger in size and suitable for huge road and highway projects, this type of concrete pump is usually mounted on a truck or a semi-trailer and features a remotely controlled automatic robotic arm also known as boom to accurately place the concrete as required. This type of pump is even able to navigate any obstacles as it moves. It is also known as trunk-mounted boom pump. These pumps are generally recommended for large construction projects or where there is limited space around the pouring area because of its added manoeuvrability and capability of pumping high volume of concrete in less time. These pumps are also able to save substantial labour costs because of the multi-purpose robotic arm.

2. Trailer, line or stationary pump: Smaller in size and used for smaller jobs like preparing ground slabs or sidewalks, this type of concrete pump is commonly mounted on a trailer or attached to a truck, but pump concrete through flexible rubber or steel hoses attached to the outlet of the machine. These hoses are linked together and can also be joined to another extension hoses to reach the place where the concrete needs to be placed but has less manoeuvrability than a boom pump. Since these pumps pump concrete at a rate lower than the boom pump, they are best suited for projects that require a smaller amount of concrete to be poured.

3. Specialised usage pump: Used for specialised job sites such as mines and tunnels, this type of pump is not used often because of its very high cost and extra specialised mechanism. These pumps can also be skid-mounted or rail-mounted.

Similarities between boom and stationary pump

Though, the boom and stationary pumps are different, they share similar functionality and can be used in the same configurations:

1. Both the type of pumps can be truck-mounted, i.e., placed upon the back of a truck to be utilised for higher elevated areas.

2. Both the type of pumps can be trailer-mounted, thereby, providing a flexible solution for placing the concrete in restricted areas.

3. Both types of pumps can be used as stationary pumps with no wheels attached. They can be useful in situations where concrete needs to be delivered over long distances and upwards through concrete pipelines.

In nutshell

Placement of concrete in inaccessible areas on a construction site has necessitated the use of pumps in today’s construction activities. Especially, with the growth of ready mixed concrete across the country, the need for pumping has increased manifold. In fact, there is no denying of the fact that concrete pumps are one of the most efficient and cost-effective equipment for concrete placement that we have in present times.

So, companies can either buy a new machine or even look at buying second-hand concrete pump. Even concrete pumps can be rented out. So, to select the best concrete pump, understanding the requirement and checking all the available options properly is needed to make a wise decision.