Tips for Using a Boom Pump to Create a Foundation Slab

Posted on: 17 January 2017

If you are completing an advanced DIY project, like the constructions of a new garage, barn, shed, or deck, then you probably know that you need to start with a solid foundation to build your structure. The foundation is best constructed out of a concrete slab, and you can create the slab in a variety of different ways.

You will need to place the concrete in between forms, and the slab will need to be about four inches thick. To make sure the thickness is correct, you will need to ensure a proper flow rate and consistency of the concrete. Using a concrete pumping boom truck is one of the easiest ways to do this. Keep reading to learn about some beginner tips that will help you use the pump.

If you were planning on mixing, pouring, and leveling your concrete slab on your own, then your plan may have been to use a concrete mixer and a wheelbarrow. This traditional type of concrete pouring can be completed by a single individual working in a quick and methodical way. While a rented concrete boom pump can significantly cut down on the time and effort it takes to mix and pour concrete, it is not a job that can be handled by a single person, especially if the truck sits a long distance from the pour area.

Concrete pumping boom trucks are fitted with large holding areas where the concrete is housed before it moves to the boom. This holding space is called the hopper, and it has an auger that continuously mixes the concrete to keep it from hardening. The concrete is forced through a valve where a pump moves the material up and into the boom. The concrete travels the length of the boom and exists out onto your slab area. 

A typical boom pump truck is capable of releasing around 160 cubic yards of concrete an hour. To make sure the boom can constantly release the mixture, the hopper must be continuously supplied with concrete. This means that you will need a partner who can mix concrete and add it to the hopper as you create your slab. If concrete is supplied in smaller batches, then it can start to harden in the hopper and the boom. This can cause clog issues and significant pour problems. 

If you do not have a partner you can use to help you with the job, then you can arrange for a concrete truck to deliver a pre-mixed batch of concrete to the hopper as you work. Keep in mind that this will likely increase your overall budget significantly, but it can prevent the need for constant clean-outs and inconsistent pours as you work.

There are a variety of things that you need to take into consideration when planning your foundation. The slump is one thing you need to think about and this term refers to the fluidity of the concrete. Slump can be changed by adding more or less water to the mixture. While you do have some options when it comes to slump, you are somewhat limited if you decide to use a pump truck. Most guidelines indicate that you should have a one to three inch slump when creating a foundation. This means that the concrete will contain a relatively low amount of water so the slab is dense, heavy, and strong. 

If you do decide to use a boom pump, you should not use a low slump like you would if you decided to mix your own concrete. More water is needed for the concrete to flow properly through the boom. Without enough fluid, a clog can happen and stop concrete from moving through the truck. In most cases, you should be using a slump that is about four inches. 

Do not worry about your concrete being too thin, some of the fluid will evaporate and stick to the inside of the boom as you work. The concrete will be thicker once it releases and forms to create your slab. 

For more information or assistance, contact companies like Masterlink Concrete Pumping.