First Octagonal Masts Prove Valuable On Florida Condo Project
In a well coordinated strategy using boom pumps and separate placing booms, Big Johnson, Palm City, FL is applying the first octagonal placing boom masts used in the U.S. on the City Palms condo project in West Palm Beach. The eight-sided masts were introduced to the pumping industry by Schwing at World of Concrete 2007 where it was the centerpiece of a new Schwing display. A KVM 32 separate placing boom was mounted on the new octagonal mast that emerged from the center of the Schwing two story booth in Las Vegas.
As a sign of the times for some pumpers, Big Johnson has reallocated some of their resources to commercial applications from residential pumping. The company grew their fleet of concrete pumps during the single-family home growth of Florida over the past decade and now has modernized it with newer, high utilization equipment numbering approximately 40 boom pumps.
According to Big Johnson president Joseph Bynum, “The octagonal masts were easy to assemble and set-up. We used a vacant lot near the site to bolt together the three 6-meter sections for each mast.” A total of three of the new style masts were assembled for the project and flown into position by one of the project’s tower cranes.“ Everything is universal on these masts which makes it very handy. Brackets are welded on each section for ladders and pipeline holders. Best of all the same mast can be used for all of the Schwing separate placing booms so the initial investment will pay off for future jobs,” Bynum notes. The shorter bolt-together sections are easier to handle and transport than long mast sections.
The City Palms is a U-shaped 10-story building with a five-story parking structure tucked into the opening formed by the U. The three masts were located to provide total coverage of the condominium building decks with KVM 39 separate placing booms each providing 114-feet of horizontal reach. Two masts were positioned on the legs of the U and the third was placed in the center of the arch joining the legs.
The self-climbing masts are secured in the structure with floor frames set into pre-engineered 41” x 41” openings in the decks. Because of the floor spacing on this project, the mast extends through three completed decks with wedges holding it in frames on the lower and upper deck locations.
In order to get the project to the fourth level for mast installation, Big Johnson utilized a variety of pumps including a Schwing 28-meter boom pump to pour footings and a Schwing 61-meter to pour the elevated decks. The S 61 SX features one stage Super X curved front outriggers that telescope out and around obstacles. This was particularly important because boom pumping was limited almost exclusively to positions inside the U of the building. “We could not have placed a long boom so close to the pour area and in the tight confines of the job site without the Super X outriggers,” explains Bynum. The 197-foot vertical reach of the S 61 SX and the ability of the Overhead Roll and Fold boom’s main section to articulate 180 degrees gave the operator unlimited boom configurations to position the end hose on the decks.
The two KVM 39 placing booms used on the project are recent additions to Big Johnson’s fleet. One was purchased as a Generation 2 truck-mounted detachable unit and the other as a separate placing boom. “I can buy a truck pump for the separate placing boom later depending on market demands,” Bynum said. The truck-mounted Schwing KVM 39X with 2023-5 pump kit operates as a versatile and mobile boom pump on a three-axle truck.
For the City Palms project, the boom has been removed from the KVM 39X by simply pulling 4-pins and unhooking eight hydraulic hoses with quick-connects. The powerpack and hydraulic reservoir stay on the truck when the boom is removed keeping boom weight to a very manageable 12,890 pounds – the best weight to reach ratio of any placing boom. A separate powerpack/reservoir assembly is positioned on the mast to supply the placing boom.
Two booms are mounted on masts at all times on the project. As deck pours proceed, the truck-mounted pump with output to 208 cu. yds./hr. shuttles to any one of the three pipelines that feed the mast locations. Five 350 cubic yard pours are required for each deck with the truck pump relocating and attaching to a new pipeline in approximately 20 minutes.
Horizontal pipeline runs to the masts vary from 75 to 150-feet. The pipeline is secured by placing the form jacks on top of the pipe sections. This has eliminated the need for thrust blocks.
The five story parking structure that will sit inside the U was delayed providing a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, the delay allowed the pumper to position boom pumps in a more convenient location for early deck pours. The curse is that the parking structure is now being built concurrently with the condominium building. “It caused us to put our thinking caps on, “explains Bynum, “But the versatility of the octagonal mast saved the day.”
Because the new style modular masts enjoy significant strength advantages over tubular designs, free-standing is a much more viable option allowing free-standing applications to 70-feet for KVM 32 booms and 50-feet for KVM 39 units without counterweight.
Big Johnson, in consultation with Schwing Separate Placing Boom Specialist, Jim Dickerman, decided to move the mast from the center of the condo structure and free-stand it in the center of the U for parking structure construction. The octagonal mast is bolted to an X-frame that was anchored to the slab with embedded bolts and clamps. By simply rerouting the pipeline to the new mast location, they were ready to pump. The company’s 61-meter is stepping up to pour those areas that the third mast serviced when it was on the building.
“We have adapted to the market with out new equipment mix,” Bynum remarked, “The versatility and convenience of the new masts along with our detachables and long booms means we can pump anything.”