The general contractor usually needs many subcontractors to complete his project and it is impossible for him to be an expert in each trade. He hopes that all of his subs will be capable enough to anticipate and correct any jobsite difficulties that might arise. Unfortunately, general contractors sometimes find that concrete pumping managers fail them in a crisis. When plugging or a mix-related problem halts pump placement, the general contractor finds that the concrete pumping company cannot adequately or professionally serve him at the time when he seriously needs their help.
The contractor, pumper and supplier must each take time to learn more about the behavior of plastic concrete as well as the problems of the others. Better understanding could save all concerned thousands of dollars each year. Concrete pumping companies and general contractors often fail to appreciate the basics, let alone the finer points of concrete technology. Professional quality control technicians are too concerned with precise testing to help educate those of us interested in the fundamentals. The result is that most of what we pumpers learn about concrete must come from the local concrete supplier. Who else is in a better position to provide education about the properties of local concrete materials?
Sometimes such information is not provided because the supplier has decided that a little knowledge might be dangerous. For example, why won't a supplier try to educate a pumper or contractor about sand gradations? It may be that the supplier's sand is poorly graded due to various pit and quarry problems. Why go out of the way to run the risk of being implicated in backcharges? Concrete pumpers also fail to educate their renting general contractors in troubleshooting methods and mix design evaluation. Pumping companies could have a tremendous leverage on jobsites if only they would take the time to learn some things about concrete quality control and pass that knowledge along to their customers.