Ian Hay one of the most knowledgeable people in history of Concrete Pumping
Todd 12-20-2016 comment profile send pm notify

I have a friend, one of the most knowledgeable people in the Concrete Pumping Industry and one of the top 10 most influential people in the Concrete Pumping history. Ian Hay of Transcrete such a good guy and so well respected. I asked him to give me a short little write up of his part in the Concrete Pumping history so I could share it with you all.

I designed and built my first concrete pump in 1968, a trailer mounted 60 cyd/hr output with a 120 HP Cummins diesel. The concrete valve system was 4 rubber sleeves fitted inside a steel body with a hydraulic bullet to squeeze the sleeve open or shut...the system worked well however the rubber sleeves would wear quickly. So I just ended up using steel bullets "Plug Valves" direct into the concrete. On a trip to the USA in 1975 I was introduced to Duane Perrin and to my surprise...Duane had also built bullet "plug valve" pumps.

By 1975 I had also built a small "S-Tube" pump and on a tour of Marvin Whiteman's factoryI was shown their "S-tube" pumps using the Schwing patent. I could see that their S'tube was more complex than mine. As Australia was so far away from the USA, I had only seenThomsen, Squeeze Crete, Case and Whiteman pumps and did not know about the Schwing design or patent. Transcrete had been the leading brand in Australia and we were exportingto South East Asia. I could see that the S'east Asia market was 80% problems / 20% sales.

I also realised that on the USA Market, there was a large gap in the market for a 40 cubic yard large rock pump, so I re-designed our small S-tube model for the USA Market which I could see would be 20% problems / 80% sales. Our S-tube trailer was branded "Sidewinder" and I based our manufacturing costs on large future volume sales. A Sidewinder sold on the Australian market for A$ 20K (US$ 25K) and we introduced the Sidewinder at a US$20K list price.

The first Sidewinder was sold over the phone to a guy in New York State on the basis that if it did not perform as promised the buyer did not have to pay for it. The pump was air freighted to the customer, performed great and I was paid.

After that success, I flew back to Los Angeles and approached Thomsen, seeking an Agent / Dealer...they did not appear interested, so I was told by a friend to seek out Dick and Marvin Bennett as they had set up a repair shop on Firestone Blvd, Southgate. Dick was "over the moon" when I gave him a run down on the Sidewinder "Mr Hay (Dick always the gentleman" This pump of yours is exactly what I had tried Thomsen to develop when I was President" Dick drew up a single sheet agreement, we both signed and I air freighted Sidewinders on consignment for US$12k landed in Los Angeles. 5 units per week, payment when sold. That single page agreement and a handshake was all we needed for the many years of our association.

SHOTCRETE
Australia was a leader in wet shotcrete design and we were selling Sidewinders to the shotcrete companies. The USA at the time was going through a gasoline and cement shortage and 90% of the market was DRY GUN GUNITE...a huge waste of cement powder and messy. Dick Bennett had two customers, Haines Gunite and Superior Gunite, they were having a problem pumping wet shotcrete using Thomsen flapper valve and Mayco ball valve pumps. I was sitting in the office when Dick was discussing how best to solve their problems, I listened for a while then piped up "all the shotcrete guys in Australia use Sidewinders.

SHOTCRETE SUCCESS
The next day we were on our way down to San Clemente with a Sidewinder on the back of Marvin Bennett's pick up truck. The smart arse shotcrete boss was going to show this smug "Aussie" a thing or two. He laid out 200 foot of 2 inch hose to spray "V" ditches, Concrete turned up, Smart arse to driver "let's see the slump? Looks like 2 inch there...add some water" Hold on I said, no need to add water it will be fine. In goes the mud, flies out the
nozzle and another successful day.

ARIZONA
Dick Bennett had this old fart salesman Marion Ryder, this guy knew everyone in the pumping industry and they respected his opinion. He started working the phone and next ...we had Action Equipment wanting a Sidewinder demo. Over we go to Phoenix and do
a test pool for Al Connors. He could not believe his luck, he would have a Mayco ball valve on the job and a backup on site and anther in the workshop being repaired. Not only that the Sidewinder performed, it also ran on diesel so the operators would fill up
using the concrete mixer diesel siphoned as they turned up.

Dick Bennett sold out to Pacific Alloy Foundry and a deal was done to manufacture for Thomsen, this deal continued until Putzmeister took over Thomsen, employed Dick Bennett and using the Sidewinder build the Putzmeister Thomkatt.

Reed offered to buy Sidewinder in 1984 and I also sold a license to Suguie in Japan at the same time. In 1989 Dave Stoner the President of Reed approached Transcrete to design and build a new smaller 30cyd trailer to compete with Mayco. We designed the Trojan, ordered components for 50 pumps on the basis of Stoner's word. We air freighted a Trojan to Reed's office and Stoner did not even come out of his office to check out the Trojan . The Trojan is now well accepted in the USA.


REEDPumps 12-20-2016 reply profile send pm notify

Thank you very much for posting that Todd - it filled in some of the line pump history gaps I've always wondered about! (I started here in 1997)

(One of these days I'll put the rest of the pieces of the puzzle together...about exactly what date Transcrete and REED started to split, and why. (I've got the 1984 Sidewinder License agreement right next to me on my desk - Ian signed it). Maybe I'll buy Ian a few beers at the next show to get the lowdown...)

Thanks again Todd - and Ian!

- Mike @ REEDpumps