Towering Performance on the Gulf

Five years ago, in the pages of this very publication, readers were introduced to Allen Concrete and Masonry, Inc. (ACM), a family-owned, full-service concrete contractor based out of Naples, Florida. At that time, the company was just embarking on a massive gulf coast development called Kalea Bay that, when complete, would complement upscale condominium living with a wealth of available amenities. Read more


Mountain Project Anything but Rocky

The importance of a good relationship between the concrete contractor and the pumping contractor cannot be overstated. Everything from pump type selection, to scheduling, to equipment positioning and movement is predicated on cooperation and collaboration between these two key parties. Nowhere is that more evident than on a project called Drivetrain currently taking place in the River North (RiNo) district of Denver. There, faced with a number of unforeseen circumstances, representatives from McClone Construction and the Denver branch of Brundage-Bone Concrete Pumping worked together to formulate a plan that flew in the face of conventional pumping logic. The net result of doing so, however, was a minimizing of costs, a streamlined overall workflow and a successful outcome. Communication — it’s a beautiful thing. Read more


From a Lot, to “A Lot!”

As it is in most major U.S. cities today, real estate in downtown Minneapolis is at a premium and is generally developed as quickly as an existing structure can be cleared. However, in the heart of the city, two blocks from the fabled Mississippi River, a full city block plot of land relegated to service as an at-grade parking lot since the early 1990s is getting its just due. There, work has begun on a 37-story tower that, when complete, will house the world headquarters of RBC Wealth Management, a Four Seasons hotel (the city’s first 5-Star hotel), several companies, 33 private residences, street-level retail and a public outdoor plaza. To accommodate the Twin Cities’ notoriously-tough winters, the new development will also be incorporated into the city’s 11 mile-long skyway system. Using truck-mounted boom pumps as well as a pair of Schwing 35-meter and 37-meter detached placing booms on self-rising forms, locally-based general construction firm McGough Construction is helping turn this once mundane site into what’s sure to be one of the city’s premier mixed-use developments. Read more


Capping Off a Problem

It was one of those projects where size — or the lack of it — really mattered. And ultimately proved to be a case in which good things really did come in small packages. Tired adages aside, on a project to repair a 55 year-old bridge in South Carolina, general contractor TIC -The Industrial Company (Savannah, Ga.), needed a pump that would meet newly-instituted bridge weight restrictions, fit into a setup profile that was little more than a car-lane wide, and yet be versatile and compact enough to reach down below the decks to the pier caps where the repairs were taking place. Enter Cherokee Concrete Pumping and a Schwing S 20 pump which met all the challenging criteria above, turning what could have been a nightmare project into a study in efficiency. At the risk of citing yet one more axiom: it truly was “the right tool for the right job.” Read more


Pumps “Go to Eleven”

There’s little denying that concrete pumps are adept at delivering massive volumes of concrete to huge, sprawling projects — it’s in their DNA. However, a pump’s value is perhaps even more keenly felt on job sites in which size constraints, difficult access and ongoing trades work regularly conspire to make a contractor’s life miserable. It is in that latter scenario that Ryan Companies US, Inc. has found itself, as it heads up construction of a project called “Eleven,” a high-rise condominium in downtown Minneapolis. Wedged between three existing structures and a parkway, the project has thrown Ryan its share of concrete delivery challenges, most of which were answered with equally innovative pump solutions. Approaches that, on a scale of one to ten, might rate . . . an eleven. Read more


Lowering the Boom

Almost everyone in concrete pumping today has their share of captivating stories about their most challenging projects: the biggest pour, the highest pour, the longest pour, the most intense mix design, their most demanding client, and so on. Thanks to a project just south of St. Paul, Minn., Cemstone, working as a concrete pumping subcontractor to Northland Concrete and Masonry (NCM), will now be able to add “lowest overhead clearance pumped” to their list of bragging rights. On a plant expansion project in Cottage Grove, Minn., the company pumped beneath structural steel beams a mere 10’ overhead. To put that in perspective, 10’ is also the regulation height of an NBA basketball hoop, it’s the ceiling height of most new homes, it is shorter than a vintage VW Beetle standing on end — you get the picture. They did so through the use of a pair of Schwing pumps with four/five-section Double-Z booms and were able to deliver an impressive 1,000 cubic yards in less than six hours. Obviously, when these companies get down — they get down. Read more


Austin Tower: Plan of Mystery

To paraphrase a time-worn adage: there are three things in life that are certain: death, taxes and development in Texas. The latest proof of that is a 35-story, nearly 800,000 square foot architectural gem taking shape in downtown Austin’s blossoming Waterfront District. When complete, the Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed structure will house more than 5,000 office workers, ground floor retail space, and enough parking to accommodate it all. Bringing the concrete and steel structure to life is the focus of general contractor DPR Construction (Redwood City, Calif.) and its pumping subcontractor, the Austin branch of Western Concrete Pumping (Vista, Calif.). Utilizing truck-mounted boom pumps in the project’s initial phase, then shifting gears to a Schwing S 39 SX pump with detachable placing boom powered by a Schwing SP 8800 stationary pump, the new structure is well on its way to dramatically altering the Capital City skyline. Read more


Trailer Pump Provides “X-cellent” Results

Brad Jensen founder and owner of , Jensen Concrete Pumping & Services, sees himself as a traditional concrete pumping professional. And the tagline of his company: “Serving All 10,000 Minnesota Lakes’ Concrete Pumping Needs,” reflects that. However, during one particular week — one full seven-day period — Jensen puts on his specialty concrete pumping hat and does so in a huge way. During that challenging week, Jensen CPS becomes the concrete pumping company of choice for the X Games which, for the last three years, have originated from US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. Shotcreting with a Schwing SP 1000 trailer pump and using a skill set that continues to grow with each annual session, the company played a key role in transforming the Minnesota Vikings’ home turf into what, for four days, became the center of the skateboarding, BMX and Moto-X world. Jensen’s work helped bring the event to life — and score big points for “cool” with the teenage children of some of his employees. A medal-winning performance, indeed.

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Peak Performance

Every owner of a concrete pump expects that machine to perform as designed. Even when confronted with moderately adverse conditions such as high or low temps or extreme bouts of heavy rain or snow, expectations are that the pump will do its job. But when the job it is being asked to do is at 14,115 feet above sea level, where it snows year round, temperatures can plunge to as low as -39° and there is a steady 20-30 mph wind nine months of the year, all bets might seem to be off. So, when Southwest Concrete Pumping took on a job to help construct the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex, a major replacement of the current info center/gift shop, it knew it was entering relatively uncharted territory. But today, better than a year into the project, the company says the Schwing S 38 SX pump it has taken up and down the mountain now for more than a year, has performed admirably. Expectations were high — and met. Read more