Worth Engineering found that when it comes to getting concrete work done fast, sometimes it's not how many workers you have on-site but the type of equipment you use.
That happened to be the case when the contractor was faced with the difficult task of reinforcing the foundation of a $4 million home in Pasadena, Calif. As part of constructing a room addition onto the ranch-style house nestled in the hills overlooking the Rose Bowl, Worth Engineering had to strengthen the home's weakening foundation.
In order to place the concrete under the home's existing floors, the contractor had only a few options: have workers with buckets crawl under the home's flooring, hook up a hose to an concrete pumper truck or trailer pump, or use a Bobcat concrete pump attachment with a skid-steer loader. Worth Engineering chose the last option.
Instead of hiring a concrete pumper truck, Worth Engineering saved money by using the Bobcat skid-steer loader they owned and renting a concrete pump attachment. The pump attachment could better access the areas of the home where the concrete had to be placed.
Using wheelbarrows and buckets seemed to be the least efficient option because of the tight area underneath the house that allowed workers only a few feet of space to place the concrete. By using the Bobcat concrete pump attachment, crews could easily place the concrete where they needed it without much effort.
So a Bobcat S250 skid-steer loader equipped with a 30.9-gpm high-flow auxiliary hydraulic system was used to power the concrete pump. A 3-inch-wide hose, long enough to reach the three pouring holes the crews had cut out in the home's main floor, was then attached to the concrete pump.
Typically, the key to successful pumping is proper mix design, says Greg Rostberg, Bobcat Company marketing manager. In order to keep the concrete flowing through the 3-inch-wide hose, Worth Engineering crews opted for a 3000-psi, ¾-inch concrete mix.
When it came time to pour the concrete, crews parked the skid-steer loader in front of the house and ran the concrete pump hose through the front door to the pouring holes, starting with the pouring hole farthest away. It took the four-member crew about two hours to pour the 15 cubic yards of concrete needed to reinforce the foundation. The concrete pump, which can place concrete up to a maximum of 28 cubic yards per hour, was also used to pour a new patio outside the home.
“The unusual aspect of this project was that the concrete had to be poured underneath the existing house,” Rostberg says. “It would be a hard job if someone had to do it with buckets because of the cramped conditions. The concrete pump made it easy to attach the hose and drag it underneath.”
Not only did Worth Engineering save money by not hiring an expensive concrete pumper truck, it also saved money by not using buckets to place the concrete. The job likely would have taken twice as many workers a full day to complete had they used buckets. “Probably the biggest savings of the concrete pump is time. And on the jobsite, time saved means dollars saved,” Rostberg says.
Provided By: Bobcat Company, West Fargo, N.D.