Concrete boom pumps with enormous reach are typically attributed to enormous projects posing near-impossible challenges. In truth, concrete pumps equipped with long booms have a place on every project requiring a little extra reach. For example, since March Allen Concrete Pumping, Naples, FL, has utilized an extraordinary boom pump on a seemingly ordinary project. The pumper’s new Schwing S 61 SX – the longest boom in North America at nearly 200-feet, will work through the summer to complete work on two all-concrete mid-rises as part of the new Grand Isles condo community in Naples, FL.

The development is located on the Gulf of Mexico coastline and features four residential towers and two amenity buildings. Project owner WCI develops high-end communities on the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic shores of Florida, and the new community will be the eighth of its kind in the Naples area. Just before site preparation began in November of 2002, the project was split up into four separate phases for bidding and logistical purposes.

Phases One and Two involved erecting two residential towers and one amenity building. Hunter Leake, Vice President of Operations for Allen Concrete Pumping, says the first two condominiums posed little challenge for the pumper’s KVM 52. All angles of the all-concrete mid-rises were easily reachable with the boom pump’s 170 feet of vertical reach. “We had adequate job site access and set up room to reach all the way around the buildings with our 52-meter,” said Leake. “We were able to stay on schedule and pump around 9,500 yards into each residential tower with one pump.”

Internal build-out on the first two condominiums was completed on May 1, and general contractor BBL Florida, a southeastern division of the Albany, NY-based firm, says the towers will be ready for occupation by the end of the year.

Work on Phases Three and Four began in October of 2003, consisting of two 8-story residential structures and one amenity building, a mirror image of the first two phases of construction.

Despite their familiarity with the specifications, Allen Concrete Pumping was faced with logistical challenges for the residential towers of Phases Three and Four. Tight job site conditions restricted concrete pump set-up to one area. Two sides of the condominiums are occupied with pre-existing structures, including an older residential neighborhood and the already completed structures from Phases One and Two. The shores of the Gulf of Mexico almost immediately meet the backsides of the new mid-rises. The only set-up area available to the pumper is the buildings’ front entrance area.

In order to complete pours up to the fourth floors of the towers, Allen once again brought in their KVM 52 concrete boom pump. “The 52 worked well up to a certain point from the only set-up spot available to us. But we couldn’t set up on the opposite side of the structures and the 52-meter just didn’t quite have the reach we needed. The only way to complete the back sides of the towers was to bring in the 61-meter,” said Leake.

The S 61 SX is a custom carrier mounted concrete pump with a 4-section placing boom providing 197 feet of reach and 106,945 square feet of boom coverage. Overhead Roll and Fold boom technology and the shortest tip section of any long boom allowed operators to angle the first section back to feed the boom into elevated decks. The digital proportional wireless remote box provided fingertip control for smooth boom movements.

The S 61 SX is dispatched with the ease of smaller pumps. With tri-axle steering in front, Allen’s S 61 SX maneuvers like a smaller pump. Leake says the S 61 SX poses no problems on the tight job site. “This simply had to work,” said Leake. “We had no other option. We are able to maneuver it in, do the job and get out of there with no hassles.”

“The smaller footprint was essential on this job site,” said Leake. Super X curved outriggers set up quickly and smoothly and provided a compact footprint of 29’-2”. Allen’s operator reported a noticeably tighter set-up than long boom models from competitors. With less space dedicated to equipment set-up, Schwab Ready Mix, Inc., Fort Meyers, had no trouble routing trucks in and out of the site.

Schwab Sales Manager Bill Tarka says the firm’s quality control representative was at the site for all pours of 50 yards or more. “Thanks to the compact footprint of the pump, accessibility for our trucks was surprisingly good. Each pour went off without a hitch and we’ve remained on schedule.” The project site was approximately 10 miles from Schwab’s nearest production plant.

Allen’s Hunter Leake reported the mix design was initially a concern, but the 61-meter’s 2525H-6 pump kit with 98-inch pump cylinder stroke length provided consistent pumping of the tough mix. “It’s a 4,000 psi straight cement design, but a rust inhibitor additive greatly reduced the slump. In theory, the additive would make it difficult mix to pump. We had absolutely no problems.”

General contractor BBL Florida estimates the residential towers of Phases Three and Four will be ready for occupation in January 2005.