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When Farmer Jack Needed Concrete …

Each of the four pours consisted of placing about 700 yards of concrete to cover an approximately 45,000-square-foot area at a time.

When Farmer Jack Needed Concrete …

When the Farmer Jack food store chain built a huge subzero freezer warehouse in Livonia, Mich., the contractor was presented with the formidable task of how to efficiently place the floor's concrete on this unique job.

The reason was because six inches of Styrofoam insulation had to placed on the sub-grade. The re-steel had to be set before the concrete could be placed atop it, and that's where the real challenge presented itself.

Tailgating was not feasible, as ready mix trucks would smash the insulation if driven upon. Concrete buggies wouldn't give the contractor the higher production required to justify using a laser screed, which was necessary to provide Farmer Jack the perfectly level floor specified.

Pumping seemed the only logical alternative, yet a rare combination of boom pump features was needed to accomplish this feat. Both a long 140-foot horizontal reach was required to stretch across the floor at its farthest point along with an extremely low unfolding height necessary to accommodate the 40-foot ceiling. Fortunately, Pumpco of Taylor, Mich., was able to turn this potentially problematic job into an opportunity.

Pump's special features utilized
"We realized this was a job made for our 52Z-Meter Putzmeister," said Paul Scott, Pumpco salesman for the Michigan-based pumping company. "Most think of using a large pump strictly for outdoor job sites, where unfolding height and setup is usually not an issue. However, this indoor application really unveiled the unit's special, one-of-a-kind features in both reach and unfolding height."

Yet, Edward L. Sickmiller, the owner of ELS Construction, the concrete contractor, and foreman Ken Neamuth were both skeptical about Pumpco's approach.

Edward said, "It was difficult to believe that such a large boom pump could still provide both the long reach and low unfolding height to handle this job." As a result, Pumpco did a test fit a few days before the pour to assure ELS, that the 52Z Putzmeister would in fact setup, unfold and perform as promised.

And the unit did deliver both during the test run and the four days of pumping. Capable of 157-foot horizontal lengths, the 52Z had more than the required reach needed. Plus, its highly unique five-section boom coupled with special Multi-Z boom configuration allowed easy unfolding of the boom under the low 40-foot height, even with a bit of room to spare.

Outrigger fit within tight confines
The unit's .16H pump cell, capable of achieving up to 210 cubic yards an hour, was more than adequate in putting the high strength 6.5 bag concrete mix out to meet the higher production necessary to justify a laser screed. Plus, the unit's compact outrigger spread fit within the tight confines of the warehouse poles, allowing for convenient setup.

Gerald Donnelly, branch manager of Pumpco noted, "There's just nothing on the market that even comes close to this 52's combination of highly versatile features. Although the job could have been done in shorter "strips" with a smaller sized unit, the overall process would have taken longer and cost more by doing additional pours. It would not have given the contractor the large square footage pours they wanted."

In total, only four pours were required using the 52Z and laser screed in tandem. Each pour consisted of placing about 700 yards of concrete to cover approximately a 45,000 -square-foot area at a time. The only major obstacle was Koenig's ready-mix trucks occasionally got "jammed up" inside the building due to the tight constraints.

Last fall, the $100,000 freezer warehouse project was finished in just two short months, thanks to the efficiency of pumping. And Farmer Jack got its concrete…

Owner: Farmer Jack Food Stores - Livonia, Mich.
General contractor: Tippmann - Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Concrete contractor: ELS Construction - Clarkston, Mich.
Pumping contractor: Pumpco, Inc. - Taylor, Mich.
Ready-mix supplier: Koenig Fuel & Supply - Detroit
Equipment: Putzmeister 52Z-Meter truck-mounted concrete boom pump