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[TowerTalk] Hauling concrete & other topics

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Hauling concrete & other topics
From: (
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999 12:18:31 EST
In a message dated 99-11-04 22:30:37 EST, writes:

> Anybody know a good way to get concrete off of the truck and into my
>  backyard?

     In addition to the manual method (ugh!) and the motorized wheelbarrows, 
I always wind up using a pumper. There are 2 kinds - the snorkel type and the 
truck or trailer mounted pumper. The snorkel is more expensive and is 
designed to pump over something so it's kind of overkill if you've just got 
distance to go. I just pumped 17 yards with one and it cost $363.00. That 
includes travel time and their 3-hour minimum (he wasn't here for 3 hours).

     A trailer-mounted pumper can pump up to 400 feet and runs about $15.00 
per hour less. You can probably figure around $15-20 a yard to pump the 

     A tool I've found to be quite handy for larger holes is a concrete 
vibrator. It's a flexible tube that you drop into the concrete and it 
vibrates. This causes the concrete to spread by itself and results in a real 
uniform pour. You don't have to shovel or push the stuff around yourself. 
Rental is $25-35 and it's well worth it. 

      BTW it's been my experience that by the time you finish with a backhoe 
excavating the hole, you're going to be 25-100% bigger than what was 
originally called for. A crank-up base that called for 9 yards of concrete 
actually took 17 yards. Another that called for 8 took 14. The problem is 
that the backhoe isn't real precise and many times you've got sloughing in 
the hole. The sloughing will bell out the sides and this is totally out of 
your control. This is real common. 

     And BE CAREFUL. OSHA rules don't allow anyone in a hole deeper than 4 
feet without shoring. 

       Installing a base in good, non-sloughing soil on a level grade is 
pretty easy. When you've got a sloping grade and non-stable soil, it might be 
best to bring in some professionals. They are going to charge $75-100 per 
yard for their labor. 

     Another somewhat formidable part of this is the rebar cage. The specs 
for it will be very specific; i.e. rebar size, grade, spacing, etc. For a 
bigger tower, the rebar cage might weigh 2-300 pounds. My sequence is to 
build the rebar cage (a couple of hours) in the morning and have the backhoe 
show up around noon. After he's done excavating the hole, he can lift the 
rebar cage into the hole. And in the case of Trylon Titan self-supporting 
towers, he can also lift and suspend the bottom section with concrete stubs 
in the hole while it gets tied to the rebar cage. 

Cheers,  Steve   K7LXC
Tower Tech 

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