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Tough Spots… No Problem for Clothes Washers and Boom Pumps

The finishing crew places approximately 200 yards (153m3) of concrete in half the time compared to other methods - thanks to the special Multi-Z boom features of the Putzmeister pump and the quick setup by the experienced operator from Luther Stem Concrete Pumping.

Luther Stem Concrete Pumping takes full advantage of the unique Multi-Z folding boom design of its 28Z-Meter Putzmeister to unfold under low 22-foot (6.7m) ceiling heights.

Tough Spots… No Problem for Clothes Washers and Boom Pumps

Whirlpool, brand-name makers of home appliances such as washers, can boast about getting tough spots out of clothing; and ironically, they can now also describe how a boom pump handles tough spots.

Over the past year, Whirlpool has continually expanded its manufacturing operation in Fort Smith, Ark., on an as-needed basis. To access its difficult-to-reach second floor mezzanine and place concrete at distances over 450 feet (137m), Whirlpool has called upon Luther Stem Concrete Pumping for assistance. This is because of the company's highly versatile 28Z-Meter concrete pump, which features a unique Putzmeister Multi-Z boom for setup and pumping in tight spots.

Although only 200-yard (153m) concrete pours, a boom pump proved to be the most logical and efficient placement method. Because of the second floor location, a wheelbarrow was out of the question, and a trailer pump would have required almost double the setup time and limited the output of the mix.

"A roll and fold boom pump just couldn't be unfolded in the tight confines provided by this particular manufacturing facility," according to Ed Miller, General Manager for Luther Stem Concrete Pumping. "Our Putzmeister Z boom was the only logical answer."

Challenges associated with the project included driving the boom pump into the congested building during normal weekday hours while the production plant was in full operation. Also, small door openings, narrow aisles and low hanging ceiling beams all had to be addressed. The low overall height of the 28Z, its compact width and tight turning radius were essential to even get to the setup area about half a block away from the entrance.

Once in place, the compact outriggers proved their worth in the small area afforded them, fully deploying at a 20-foot 4-inch (6.2m) outrigger spread in the front and only 8 feet 2 inches (2.5m) in the rear. Because of the unit's four-section boom, a low 21-foot 4-inch (6.5m) unfolding height allowed opening the boom mere inches from the ceiling.

Reaching over the 18-foot (5.5m) high railing of the second floor mezzanine with the first arm, the boom then horizontally extended out another 55 feet (16.8m) to full extension. From the tip boom opening, over 370 feet (113m) of system was connected, curving around obstacles to reach the 100x125-foot (30x38m) area under construction.

One at a time, rear discharge mixer trucks from Arkhola's Fort Smith ready-mix plant were dispatched. Upon arrival, they were forced to carefully snake through congested aisles - backing up the entire way to reach the pump's hopper and discharge the 4000# mix design.

Commenting on the overall job, owner Luther Stem noted, "We specifically bought a Putzmeister Multi-Z boom to make jobs like these quicker and easier. With the exclusive Z boom, we can quickly access sites and easily pump concrete where others simply cannot. Because of this unmatched versatility, we've solved a number of special access problems for our customers and they remember us for that."

Luther added, "The Putzmeister Z boom also has fewer bends and more straight sections for reduced parts replacement costs. This is a substantial savings factor most don't consider or realize, but we've compared and it adds up."

The ongoing Whirlpool expansion project will continue for the next few years, as space, budget and production demands dictate. To date, Luther Stem Concrete Pumping has handled five pours at the Fort Smith-based Whirlpool facility, all of which have been done, of course, "while in a tough spot."

Owner: Whirlpool Home Appliances, Fort Smith, Ark.
General contractor: Cooke Construction, Fort Smith, Ark.
Pumping contractor: Luther Stem Concrete Pumping, Fort Smith, Ark.
Finishing contractor: Buckner and Fleming, Fort Smith, Ark.
Ready-mix supplier: Arkhola, Fort Smith, Ark.
Equipment: Putzmeister 28Z-Meter