What is a Concrete Pump?

Mary Lougee

A concrete pump is an extremely useful item in the construction business as it can distribute large volumes of concrete in a short amount of time. Concrete trucks could deposit their entire load into the concrete pumping equipment at once. A hydraulic pump draws the concrete inside the machine to be distributed at a fast pace. There are two main types of pumps used by a concrete pumping service: boom pump and line pump.

Wet concrete being poured.
Wet concrete being poured.

The most common type of a concrete pump is a boom pump. It usually is mounted onto a truck and has a robotic arm that is controlled by a remote control in order to accurately eject the concrete into forms. Boom pumps may be on a truck that has anywhere from two to six axles. The booms are in sections which unfold to supply additional length and may have up to six sections. The maximum unfolding length can reach up to 200 feet (about 61 m).

Concrete pumps are commonly used in the process of spreading concrete at construction sites.
Concrete pumps are commonly used in the process of spreading concrete at construction sites.

Line concrete pumps typically consist of a separate piece of equipment that is mounted on either a trailer or truck. They work on the same principle as the boom pump except that this concrete pump uses manual labor to distribute the materials through long placing hoses into the form. Line pumps dispense concrete at a slower rate than boom pumps, so they commonly are used for smaller jobs.

There are several benefits in using a concrete pump on a jobsite. When a commercial slab or even a large slab for a home is poured, a concrete truck with its distribution chute can only reach so far into the middle. A pump for concrete can extend the reach by up to 20 feet (about 6.1 meters) and enable the form to be filled in the middle. This can save hours of manual labor of raking the concrete into the middle and in turn, save substantial labor costs associated with a job. Concrete pumping services also use boom trucks to disperse concrete onto high-rise building tops with ease due to the versatility and height that is obtained with a concrete pump.

Another advantage of using a concrete pumping service is to pour a slab quickly so that it takes less time to cure. If uncured concrete freezes, it can become unstable and loose its strength. Concrete pumps frequently are used in cold months during the warmest part of the day to speed up the process so that it is smooth and dry before the evening turns to temperatures in the freezing range.

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