Long Boom is Over the Top On University Parking Structure
Meyer Materials’ nearly 100-year tenure in the ready-mix industry earned it a lot of work as a concrete producer and placement service for Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Now under new ownership on two fronts, the well-known company has served the University for decades where many of the structures on campus were built literally with Meyer materials. Known for their early adoption of concrete pumps, Meyer utilized the method of pumping in the 1960s with Squeeze Crete pumps, then 80-foot Whiteman booms and various boom pumps in the eighties. Even after the McHenry, IL company was acquired by a national firm in 2009, Meyer continues to be an influence on the University’s growth but under a new name, Meyer Pumping. The placement service was purchased by Mike Popp in 2012. It is headquartered in Des Plaines, IL.
“The placing service will celebrate their 50th Anniversary in 2015,” according to new owner Popp, “When I was a concrete contractor Meyer was an institution in the area with an A-plus reputation.” When the new owners of the ready-mix business wanted to divest themselves from the placement service, Popp decided to sell his contracting business and concentrate on pumping. A new Northwestern University parking structure is just one of the projects that Popp‘s thriving business has undertaken recently. “We acquired quite a few pumps from Meyer Materials including 47 and 52-meter Schwings ,” says Popp, “But this project required a longer boom so I had to make my first concrete pump purchase as the owner of Meyer Pumping.”
Assisting Popp in his new venture is Lou Murray, 35-year veteran with the old Meyer Materials and 30 years experience with the placement division. Popp also brought along many experienced operators from the company. “The University garage project is unusual in that it starts thirty-feet up and climbs six stories from there,” states Murray. The general contractor wanted a boom that could pump it all from the top –no slickline could be placed on the post-tensioned cables. We simply needed more reach.”
The North Campus Parking Structure will contain 1,125 parking spots on six-levels. The new parking spaces will replace the approximately 400 spots that currently exist in the project’s location, as well as 450 spots that will be taken away with other campus expansions. Construction started in February 2013 with site preparation. The L-shaped structure’s footprint measures approximately 150 x 300-feet with limited access for pumping equipment which had to work around the tower crane on the project.
“We needed a boom that could unfold and get close to the structure to reach the entire project from a few set-ups because of the access situation,” Murray notes. The company decided on a Schwing S 58 SX, newly reconditioned from Concrete Pump Repair (CPR), a Schwing company with a 20-year history of returning used concrete pumps to service. “We visited CPR and saw a 61-meter they had reconditioned and it looked like new,” Popp explains. An S 58 SX trade-in was available but needed extensive cab and chassis repairs.“ CPR also performed a boom inspection, made the necessary repairs, rebuilt the hydraulic pumps and installed new material cylinders. The work was started at the end of November 2013 and the pump was working on the project by the end of the year.
“We really needed the tight footprint that Super X outriggers provided,” according to Murray, “We have been placing 5,000 psi concrete in continuous pours ranging from 200 to 400 yards.” The heavy-duty TOR chassis also incorporated Schwing’s rear-steer feature that helps in maneuvering off road. “The rear-steer enables the operator to back out without getting trapped in the ruts caused by the truck mixers – it’s like front wheel drive in reverse,” Popp says, “It has been invaluable in moving on-site and along with the Super X outriggers the speed of set-up is impressive.” The system also reduces the turning radius to an industry leading 55-feet.
The unique four-section Overhead Roll and Fold Boom combines a 180 degree articulating main section with a Z Fold second section. With all five-inch pipeline, the maximum vertical reach of 187’9” has easily reached all areas of the structure. The industry leading 29’2” front outrigger spread allows the S 58 SX to set-up in tight locations. The 2525H-6 pump kit, with 10-inch diameter pumping cylinders and a 98-inch stroke provides up to 213 cubic yards per hour at only 22 strokes per minute. “With the improving economy, we expect to keep the long boom busy on other types of jobs,” explains Popp, “It will definitely get us more work, allow us to keep our customers satisfied.” So this long boom may be the new pump on campus, but it is maintaining the Meyer name as pumping service emeritus.
Owner: Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
General Contractor: Power Construction Company, Schaumburg, IL
Pumping Contractor: Meyer Concrete Pumping, Des Plaines, IL
Pumping Equipment: Schwing S 58 SX concrete pump with placing boom