University Reaps Benefits of Putzmeister’s Concrete Boom Pump Technology
University Reaps Benefits of Putzmeister’s Concrete Boom Pump TechnologySTURTEVANT, Wis. (June 4, 2004) – Since entering the concrete pumping business in the summer of 1995, Luther Stem Concrete Pumping has worked on a number of projects at Westark Community College in Fort Smith, Ark.
Among them were the Baldor Science Building, the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center and Student Union, a new campus physical plant and maintenance facility, the Health and Science Building and the Stubblefield Center.
All of these projects involved working with a variety of concrete pumps to construct steel-frame and concrete-floor buildings, but the usefulness of one pump stood out. “None of the pumps have come in as handy as our Putzmeister 28Z-Meter with Z-fold boom,” said Stem, the company’s owner who purchased the pump in the winter of 1999 and took possession of it at World of Concrete 2000.
Once the 28Z-Meter was added to his Fort Smith-based fleet, the machine has been called on repeatedly to help contractors pour in confined spaces. And it has saved finishers countless hours because working with the boom pump meant they did not have to drag heavy hoses in and around job sites. This was especially true when erecting the Stubblefield Center, a new convocation center/basketball arena built to replace a smaller, outdated facility.
Bill Harris, superintendent for the general contractor Ransom Inc., Jonesboro, Ark., contacted Stem to handle pumping the 1,323-cubic-yard project. Harris noted the indoor basketball arena was to be built with the footings poured first, then the steel set and finally the floors poured. This construction method would mean more confined interior work.
However, Stem was confident he could handle the indoor pours because he had been running the 28Z-Meter pump since he purchased it and was familiar with its capabilities. “I kind of pulled rank on my other operators and put myself on the new pump,” said Stem. “Since buying that pump, we have eliminated a tremendous amount of hose work on a lot of projects. We constantly have superintendents requesting the unit.
“When we started the Stubblefield Center, we used all four sizes of my boom pumps at different times. But once we started pouring the upper hallways and corridors, which ran completely around the entire gym, we relied solely on the 28Z-Meter. It was the only pump we could get under the low roof beams, unfold and work.”
The gym floor was poured in two sections. First, a plastic membrane was placed over a gravel base. Then mats of heavy wire mesh were placed over the membrane. Once this work was done, mixer trucks supplied by Arkhola Ready Mix, Fort Smith, could not back up or drive on the floor. So the 28Z-Meter was positioned atop heavy plywood mats near the area to be poured.
“I started on the far end of the gym next to the wall and just worked my way back to the pump,” Stem said. Buckner & Fleming Concrete Contractors, Fort Smith, had hired Concrete Construction Inc., Springdale, Ark., to provide a Somero laser screed. The device was used to obtain the precise measurements needed to pour the arena floor. Men moved the plywood mats along as the laser screed proceeded.
“Moving inside the confines of the arena wasn’t difficult,” Stem said. “With any other boom pump, it would have been almost impossible to complete the pours. I could have taken a roll-and-fold 28 (pump) in there and used the fourth section for a while and then broke a 90 (pump) off and only used three sections and so on.
“But that’s the old days and you sure couldn’t have done it in the time we took. We poured all the way back to the pump, folded up the unit and moved in past the center expansion joint. Then we set the pump back up and finished the pour in a little over four hours while pumping 170 yards of concrete.”
Once the first pour was completed, workmen graded out the second half of the gym floor, placed another membrane and wire mats and were ready to pour again the next day.
“I think back on how we used to do some of the jobs we have done and wonder just how much easier they would have been if we had a Z-fold back then,” Stem said.
Owner: Westark Community College, Fort Smith, Ark.
General Contractor: Ransom’s Inc., Jonesboro, Ark.
Concrete Supplier: Arkhola Ready Mix, Fort Smith, Ark.
Concrete Finishing Contractor: Buckner & Fleming Inc., Fort Smith, Ark.
Pumping Contractor: Luther Stem Concrete Pumping, Fort Smith, Ark.