angie 09-22-2012 comment profile send pm notify

I have spent most of my summer pouring at a new gas plant here in Texas, the contractor needs to put a dry 3 in his forms. We are using a 7 sack mix with a H2O reducer, the 2 mixer drivers are on a hour turn around so there is absolutely no circulating this mix, I have tried everything with disastrous results, so I'm left to wash out after every truck and yet I am still left chipping in the yard everyday! My new paint job is destroyed! Oiling the hopper is pointless as its done NO good an tiring hydraulic oil left my new white paint yellow. My boss is going to flip when he sees this mess, there has to be a better way........HELP :(

yard whore 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Spray down lightly with oil and tarp the crap out of your truck. As for the chipping the hopper try smearing grease all over the inside of the hopper where it likes to build up. Pam cooking spray works good I hear for oiling down and won't stain the paint. Good luck!

yard whore 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

And you could hold a yard or two on the mixer and pump a little every so often until your next load arrives on site if your not allowed to recirculate.

angie 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Thank you, yard whore, Pam? well I never would of thought of that but thats sounds like a cheap doable solution, Im gonna try it. :)

Many 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

There is an operator in this forum named OE3 and suffers from OCD.This young man uses alot of plasic/tarps to cover deck and back end,the result was a spotless pump after years of service.Inside the hopper is a crapshoot,however,at the end of the day we all had to chip.Todd should have a pic or two,to see what I am saying.A clean pump is a happy pump but a toasted operator.

yard whore 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Im a tarp fan myself. 5 extra min of tarping will save you alot of grief in the long run. And keep your truck looking good alot longer too. I'll post some pics.

angie 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Thank you gentlemen for your advice. I have yet to see anyone tarp their truck, but that sounds like a good idea, I’m willing to try anything at this point! I AM BEYOUND SPENT by the end of the day, between the extreme heat, fighting this nasty mix, a minimum of 7 washouts and chipping for at least an hour at the end of a 14-18 hour day, I’m ready to tell this contractor exactly where they can shove this job!~ Many; tell OE3 he can go OCD on my pump anytime lol!

Dipstick 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Ask the mixerdriver to keep the level of concrete in the hopper as low as posible at all times. Like about at the level of the agrigators axel.. A full hopper creates much more pressure in the bottom of the hopper..

Also stop the engine while you wait. The fibrations will make the concrete setle in the bottom of the hopper.. 

Maybe agree with them that when you stop pumping you sound your horn first and then wait 3 sec before stopping the pump. Thatway they can stop the mixer at once when you stop the pump..

And try to pump slower so you use longer time to empty the truck??

Is there realy nothing they can do with the mix to improve the situation?

Many 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

anyone that has not pumped in south Texas couldn't fathem what she's going throgh   Kiss

angie 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

I signal a few seconds before stopping an starting the pump to keep the mixer driver from over flowing the hopper on every job, most drivers from every mix company out here know me an know I will flip a lid if they leave a mess so I have them cleaning up after themselves at all times but the mix flashes on the pipe before they are done pouring each truck, I have tried circulating the mix after watering it down to very thin an bony but it would still flash half way thru the wait due to extreme weather conditions. There are only 2 trucks on the turn a round so I cant hold one back. Unfortunately here in Texas the natural gas plants and oil refiners are being held to very strict guidelines when it comes to concrete strength.  There is an inspector on every site, taking cylinders off every truck-checking slump. The contractor on this job is required to pour a mix that breaks above 6,000 psi in 7 days not an easy task. Fortunately my little putz will throw bricks all days so I’ve only been plugged once out there, however the hopper has been a hopeless mess!

Many 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

a pumps best friend,get them to use it and dial in a set time.

pumpjockey 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Oil the hopper and then throw some sand into the corners that collect concrete and oil again.  Only 2 trucks?  More trucks would be the ultimate answer, I can't believe the contractor would accept a pour taking that long and wasting that much concrete washing out.


Another trick for the outside of the hopper is to smear straight dish soap on the paint and let it dry and 'harden'.   Then concrete can haden on top of it and wash right off with a shot of water.  Might not be so good for this situation with all the washouts.

southtexas 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

cheep grease has worked on long pours ?

dlee7729 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

The stress on keeping a pump clean goes away with time. As the stress drops so does the blood preasure. 



angie 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

I am going to try all of your suggestions guys, Thank you.

pumpjockey;  Texas is in a “ Hugh Oil Boom” these companies are spending and making money hand over fist. I am wasting at least 8 yards a day for washout @ $147.00 a yard on this particular job, the contractor went thru 3 different mix companies just to get a mix they liked, it’s crazy the money they waste. I see this all the time out here, I go out at lest once a week to a different drill rig, where I sit on stand by for hours sometimes 8-10 hours to eventually pump ten yards into a drill shaft, sometimes the hole ends up being dry and I don’t pump at all, these drill companies are paying my company a HIGH hourly rate to sit there with a 4 hour minimum just show up! 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Maybe get a couple 2 liters of Coke or bag of sugar...dump some in hopper and circulate, just pump all the concrete with coke in it out on ground before pouring again so they don't have issues with it setting up. Also, while you're circulating you may be able to direct your tip hose into corners off hopper and around s-tube to knock off some of the harder stuff. Toss a bit of sand or dirt on top of dump gate before pouring so it don't crust over so bad and it'll dump out a little easier.  If all else fails, maybe a telebelt?!

Hope you're able to find a solution.

Mudslinger 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Angie: I'm a tarper myself, and it works BEST! I also spray a mix if dishwashing soap and water on the back of my truck before I tarp! It really helps keep things clean! But the # 1 thing I recommend is oiling your hopper at the END of the day, as well as the beginning! The oil soaks in a little, and coats anything you might of missed, making your clean-up much easier! #2 is to STRIP the paint from the inside of your hopper!! Concrete doesn"t stick well to bare metal! #3 is to buy coarse sanding sponges and use them along with your scraper! Reason being rule #2!!

Mudslinger 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

ALSO! DON"T wash the oil off during the day! And don't let the mixerdrivers wash off your pump. They don't know the little nooks and crannys concrete hides! If you're going to sneak water in your hopper, spray it behing the rubber flap sealing the hopper lid. It'll keep you from washing the oil off the hopper sides! As for my qualifications, go to You Tube, type in Heartridge ICF pour, and draw your own conclusions!

Mudslinger 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

There are two : also look for fumping fly ash concrete in basement walls!

angie 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Mudslinger; I am very grateful for the advise, hell I am grateful for any advise a seasoned operator is willing to share, as I still consider myself a rookie ( one bad ass boom jockey) but a rookie operator all the same. So qualification verification is unnecessary ( big grin Laughing) however, I am interested in checking out the you tube video, thanks

16 CELL 09-22-2012 reply profile send pm notify

try misting the inside of your hopper with water, dust the entire inside with a few handfuls of bentonite, then mist the bentonite with water. It will leave the hopper nicely coated with mud.

Mister_Perkins 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

I think that circulating with sugar is the best idea, then pumping the old material out. Your probably going to have to chip out a little bit at the end of the day anyways... even with sugar, but 3-4 handfuls of sugar will kill the concrete and allow you time to wait for the next truck to arrive. I've done jobs like this before, and sugar is the best way to save the pumping components, and concrete from flashing on you.

I always have an airline and air chisel on the truck with me so when i get on jobs like that, that I know i am going to have to chip out the hopper at the end of the day, It isn't that bad of a job and only adds 5 minutes onto the cleanout time for making sure the hopper is completely clean.

b-alto 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

If you get any extra sugar accidently mixed with your concrete there will be a law suite. It wrecks the concrete. Leaking mud cups will let you down, it makes the mud hard to pump because it lets un mixed water into your system which segregates the mud and takes the slip out of it. I mounted a power washer on my pump last spring and (yes Many i don't use it all the time :), but when i get a long hot day of residue it comes in very handy.

biloximike 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Use of a delay set or sugar is all well and good but should be done with the absolute permission of the contractor.  Best way is to use delay set and then pump it out when new mud arrives.  Delay set will not hurt the integrity of the concrete like sugar but most contractors still do not want it in the concrete - you can take with you the instructions and description of it to show them the specs. 

Of more importance is worn cups or barrels.  Any pump owner that sends out equipment that can not perform to specs should be thrown off the job.  The owners of these projects pay a lot of money to design them to meet certain speciifcs.  They have a right to expect and demand equipment that will not alter the ridgid specs their engineers have determined are needed for safety and long life.  

What happens when a few years after a pour where excess water was pumped into the concrete in a critical area that secures a bolt.  The bolt pulls out and either someone is hurt or killed or equipment is damaged.  Any operator that knowingly operates a pump that changes the concrete should be fired.  This includes worn cups, barrels or seals on an agitator leaking oil into the hopper.  The same goes for adding water to the mix.  If your pump will not pump the designed mix without adding water - then any operator who on his own adds water should be fired.  The customer is not paying for 3rd class work and equipment.  This is not a video game people.  It is hard work that should be done by Professional Operators and Professional Owners!

angie 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Damn! Biloximike; easy now sir please, it’s to early for that harsh a scolding Cry

The water from my box is nowhere near enough to affect the strength integrity, I know better an would never do that nor have I ever added anything to the mix. I vehemently agree with everything you have said but please remember I am a worker bee (no cop out) just fact! I do a pre/post trip inspection and turn it into the mechanic everyday, I am also a pump jumper, so I get my dispatch and get on whatever pump they deem fit for the job. I do voice my concerns but USUALLY do as I’m told unless I truly believe it is unsafe. (Witch I believe my company would back me on 100%) all I wanted was ideas on how to avoid as much chipping a possible, fact is I’m not as young as I use to be lol…I apologize if these posting got you worked up Innocent

Mister_Perkins 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Yes, delay set will work as well. Just giving my suggestion because sugar is cheaper. Biggest thing is getting all the sugar pumped out of the system. If you can tell the difference between a 10 inch slump and a 4 inch slump, sugar is okay to use in my opinion. If you can't tell the difference in a slump, then sugar may not be the best option for you

Dont need one 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

 My personal belief is that if the contractor cant or wont order the concrete in a resonable time, that concrete belongs to me while I'm waiting unless he wants to pay for the  time to chip or buy new boom pipe. Thats the way I do it.

angie 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

I have used sugar and coke a cola to retard the concrete in my hopper when I believe folding up and moving to a designated washout area will take some time, an it has proven to save my butt Tongue out, I also tried “Dawn” dish soap once on the pipes for easier clean up, however the sun baked it and it left a green stain (next time Ill choose a clear soap lol) all good ideas, this particular mix has proven the most challenging for me so far. Please allow me to reiterate gentlemen, that anyone who is willing to take time out of their day to offer their advice, suggestion, experience or option is very much appreciated & welcomed to do so! It was not my intention to spark any kind of debate, although as interesting and informative as that can be! Wink

Mister_Perkins 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

I agree with Dont Need One though totally. He is spot on when he is saying

"that concrete belongs to me while I'm waiting unless he wants to pay for the  time to chip or buy new boom pipe."

Pumps are super expensive, so make sure you cover your own butt and make sure you can still use the pump at the end of the day Cool

Many 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify


It is in fact the contractors concrete,however,the owner/manager of pump company needs to be made aware of the hazards.It is there responsibility to work with contractor to amend the mix (ie delvo).We have been doing this with the corp of engineers,power plants for years.If a resalution is not in the cards there is little one can do but wash out as Angie is doing,it sucks,but a job.I stand behind my prior statement


a pumps best friend,get them to use it and dial in a set time.


biloximike 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

No worries Angie - my rant is not against you LOL  If you are having the probems you are on the job and you have expressed them to the owners or managers of your pump then you have taken the right action.  Document it.   Each and every situation can be corrected IF the manager or owner gets away from their cocktail hour where they tell themselves how great they are and actually manage the situation.  LOL  Keep Smiling don't let them get you down!


Dont need one 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Yes you can use retaders or what ever you choose. You should notify management, but still in the end I inform the contractor that I will not lose the boom or any part of the pump. If thats not exceptable when I get the new load the concrete that I have added water to or whatever goes on the ground or a ecopan. there is no discussion over this because not only am I there to do a job for him but also take care of the pump. I have worked with a lot of different contractors and dont have a problem, and what they dont know wont hurt them or you.

Dont need one 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

 I also run most of our placing boom work and the same rules and more apply, Knock on wood I dont think Ive ever lost a pipe.

angie 09-23-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Unfortunately, It was my input that caused this contractor to get rid of the last mix company we had (at least they had more trucks on the turn a round) and as karma would have it, we got worse mix lol, I have a very good working relationship with this contractor an they have tried to be very accommodating while sticking to there guidelines, making sure there is a full water truck, assigning men to carry my pads and help me wash out if needed. I guess I really shouldn’t complain to much considering dispatch has tried to give me a break by switching me out with another operator from time to time, however this is one of my requests and the contractor was not happy to say the lest, besides they always have my coffee ready when I show, buy me lunch and make sure there is *red* gatorade~  on site just for me. Having said all that (OUT LOUD) I’m feeling a little embarrassed at how spoiled I actually am, so ill shut up now lol Embarassed




cp 09-24-2012 reply profile send pm notify

I agree with the rest of the guys about the sugar, dont do it, especially if you say there is someone there watching your every move. But what i would suggest is something that has already been said....Form release oil. I know i know, you are already are using hydraulic oil right? Well stop using it, it discolors your paint, it stinks, and most importantly its not degradeable and the concrete will show it in extreme cases. WR Meadows has a product called "Duogard Citrus". It dosent stink, dosent hurt your paint, and most importantly its not bad for the enviroment.  Its kind of similar to the water soluble oil we run in our waterboxes. if it gets into the hopper its no big deal.  As the saying goes: a little bit goes a long way. Just spray it all over, You dont need to use a lot to get results. and you wont smell like a hydraulic shop at the end of the day! Hope this helps.Tongue out

angie 09-24-2012 reply profile send pm notify

Thank you everyone for your input Kiss

Dont need one 09-24-2012 reply profile send pm notify

 Many was right to a point. If your working for the corp. you have to follow thier guidelines, but there are ways to make it work better. Water truck to you is the first. If you dont have to move, you can have them bring you a eco pan on a forklift. If it dosen't fit under jack the rear outriggers 6" to slide it under the hopper then you wont have to move. If the contractor dosn't want you to wash then my way is the right way. Remember no matter which way you do it, dont let them push you, you will forget something and some one could get hurt. SAFETY FIRST PERIOD.

pink panther 10-06-2012 reply profile send pm notify

We have a few pumps down there and it is hard to keep them looking new with all that salt water. Good luck on that part. As far as the mix, washing out and all that hoopla. Do whatever it takes to get the job done safely and take care of the equipment the best you can. That is all you can do, and the positive attitude goes a long way also.Smile

AnthonyManuel Dos Santos 10-15-2017 reply profile send pm notify

Easy solution keep your pump at home and have a few beers so you won’t dirty your pump lol I just got a new concrete truck and same situation blady pump operator no respect for other people stuff