Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center Requires Unique Pump Combo
Edwards Concrete Construction, Evansville, IN, is responsible for pumping, placing and finishing over 4,000 cubic yards of concrete into the floor slabs at the new Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center located near the contractor’s headquarters.
General contractor Weddle Bros. Construction Co., Inc., also of Evansville, is responsible for the construction of several educational facilities in Indiana. To meet construction deadlines and avoid potential problems posed by severe winter weather, the center’s project designers elected to build the walls and roof first.
Project designers also planned for the building’s slabs to consist of colored concrete. “The way the facility was constructed actually solved some of our initial finishing concerns,” says Randy Edwards, owner of Edwards Concrete Construction. “Colored concrete is very temperature sensitive. There were concerns about its workability and setting time during the winter, and summer heat poses the same type of issues. We needed moderate temperatures in order to maintain the quality and achieve the look the owners wanted. The enclosed space afforded a more controlled environment for finishing.”
With that solved, Edwards crews were faced with a different type of challenge: finding a way to reach every inch of the facility’s 10,000-square foot diesel engine shop within the confines of the already existing roof and walls.
“A trailer pump with an extensive system would certainly have done the job,” says Edwards. “But the labor involved in that process was something we didn’t even want to consider – not when we had boom pumps that could handle the job that much quicker without the cost of extra workers.”
So, faced with overhead restrictions ranging between 16 and 22 feet and narrow access to the interior of the facility, Edwards found the solution in two of their Schwing concrete pumps, which have been working successfully on the project since the spring of 2004.
Randy Edwards has always been resourceful when it comes to challenges posed by a particular job, or by the market. “We utilized our own trailer pump throughout the early eighties and into the nineties,” says Edwards of their modest beginnings as a concrete contractor. “But at the turn of the decade, I noticed a dramatic void in our area – there was a definite need for a pumping contractor.”
In November of 1993, Edwards purchased their first concrete boom pump, a used KVM 28, from Cross Enterprises, Detroit. “Ever since that purchase, I’ve always turned to Cross and Schwing for equipment and service. They’ve allowed me to pursue a whole different market – pumping is a whole other business in and of itself. My vendors have provided me the tools to grow,” says Edwards.
Since then, Edwards has invested in a variety of boom sizes, including a refurbished KVM 52 from Concrete Pump Repair, North Branch, MN. “We travel a lot with that pump,” says Edwards. “We’ve been everywhere from Indianapolis to Champagne to Kentucky. Contractors are constantly recognizing new uses for that kind of boom reach, and it’s always in high demand.”
But for pumping the slabs of the Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center, the contractor’s KVM 24-4H “is the most easily maneuverable through the doorway,” says Edwards. “The unfolding height is just under most of our overhead restrictions, so we can accurately place most of the concrete with over 60 feet of reach. In areas where the ceiling is a little lower, it takes some serious patience and understanding of the boom’s abilities, but we’ve been able to use the pump very effectively thus far.”
The KVM 24-4H with four-section boom is unique with its extremely low unfolding height of 16’-3”, allowing this pump to pour floors that would otherwise be inaccessible to other booms.
Supplying the pump with the concrete was another challenge that Edwards crews handled with ease. With the pump set up on the interior, the contractor used one of his truck-mounted WP 750-18X trailer pumps set up on the outside of the school. A single hose runs through the interior to the boom pump. Ready mix supplier Irving Materials, Inc. (IMI), with locations throughout Indiana, introduces the coloring additives at the batch plant and transports it to the trailer pump.
Recently, the contractor’s Schwing S 31 EZ was also introduced to the site. Supplied through the same pump and single line system, this 31-meter boom pump needs only 18’-8” of unfolding clearance. With four-section boom and 15’-2” of telescopic action, the 31 EZ covers an additional 3700 square feet on everything from walls to footings to flatwork. The operator simply utilizes the slewing function to swing the boom which retracting or extending the telescopic section.
A new remote box design incorporates twin rotating joysticks, allowing the operator to provide the telescopic action proportionally and simultaneously with boom unfolding to further speed concrete placement.
“It takes some fancy boom configurations in some of the tighter spots on the site,” says Edwards. “Eventually we’ll be able to reach what’s left of the slabs from the exterior so the trucks can dump directly into the hopper.”
The Schwing 750-18X trailer pump has also been utilized on miscellaneous projects throughout the factility. One of Edward’s 32 XL concrete boom pumps has also been pouring exterior columns and walls.
Armed with state-of-the-art pumping equipment and experienced placing and finishing crews, Edwards Concrete Construction covers and estimated 100-mile radius services. “The customer comes first,” says Edwards. “We service everyone from to general contractors to concrete contractors. If there’s ever a scheduling conflict between our own needs for the pump versus the customer’s requests, it’s an easy decision.”