Reaching for Greater Return on Investment
Reaching for Greater Return on InvestmentPutzmeister’s big booms help customers stretch their dollars
In 1983, few could imagine the possibilities and impacts of truck-mounted concrete boom pumps with reach over 36 meters. So when Putzmeister America, Inc. introduced its new 46-meter model mounted to a semi-trailer that year at the World of Concrete, it was met with plenty of skepticism from concrete pumpers and general contractors. The 25 subsequent years would prove critics very wrong.
Helping usher in the “Era of Big Booms,” Putzmeister’s 46-meter offered a 151-foot reach and the ability to achieve 200 cubic yards per hour. It redefined the industry's definition of “big” and allowed savvy pumpers the ability to expand their profits, despite worries of contractors’ willingness to pay for this technology. They found that higher rates for the pump could be offset by increased efficiency on the job site.
One man in particular envisioned a number of applications for a 46-meter boom. Los Angeles had the kind of large, high-rise construction jobs that benefited from a pump with significant reach and reliable pump output. Pete Pertschi of Double P Concrete Pumping in Gardena, California figured he could market his 46-meter boom to contractors by selling them on the significant savings in time and labor.
Pertschi had his first Putzmeister 46-meter delivered on February 24, 1983. Before long, the machine had helped propel Double P to the forefront of big boom work in his market.
"It didn't take long for contractors to realize the savings that were possible with this giant boom," Pertschi recalled recently. "Double P kept it very busy."
In fact, when Pertschi sold the pump in 1988, he had put 740,000 cubic yards of concrete through it, wearing out boom pipe on a monthly basis.
Pertschi also found that he could even improve the yardage when supported by particularly good setup and good service from the ready-mix companies. The success of the Putzmeister 46-meter attested to the viability of a market in the United States for even larger and more powerful boom pumps.
Pertschi eventually sold the pump to Rich Campbell, a pumper in the San Diego area, who put over 60,000 cubic yards of concrete through the 46-meter machine in a single year.
George Gastaldo of Gastaldo Concrete bought the pump from Campbell, and when he traded it in he had pumped approximately 1,600,000 cubic yards of concrete with it! He was so impressed with the pump's performance that he subsequently purchased a second 46-meter and many other Putzmeister pumps, as well.
That original 46-meter boom pump has now pumped over 2,430,000 cubic yards of concrete during its life and is still going strong. This is enough concrete to pour a wall around the entire world two feet thick and 48 feet tall.
Each of the machine's three owners report that the 46-meter brought them a nice return on their investment and helped them carve a niche as market leaders in big boom pumping. Today, the 46-meter will continue to provide a return for its new owner in the Russian city of Nizhniy.
As the history of this single pump illustrates so well, the concrete pumping industry has changed a great deal over the past 25 years. We've learned that prices are a reflection of services offered, and that contractors are willing to pay for new technology when its benefits warrant the investment.
Sometimes it seems easier to go with the flow, but the visionary pumpers who bought that first
46-meter pump proved that their determination to succeed and aggressive marketing of their pumps is an unbeatable combination.
With the introduction of 70Z-meter boom pump in 2008, Putzmeister has once again reached ahead of the industry with the world’s longest boom pump. Opportunities abound and it is Putzmeister’s goal to take the lead in educating the construction industry to the exciting future that this new pumping technology offers.