Guthrie Center, Io. – For more than 10 years, AJ’s Concrete Pumping, a division of Sutherland Concrete, Vancouver, B.C., has been using SafetyTech Outrigger Pads and, more recently, FiberMax Outrigger Pads, to solve setup challenges presented when working in poor ground conditions.
“Much of the region is on a river delta, it’s flat, but the ground conditions are terrible,” said Scott Sutherland, operations manager. “It’s hard to overstate how tough and durable DICA’s FiberMax Pads are. They’re basically bulletproof, and more than meet our needs for rigidity and performance.”
However, Sutherland was also looking for an engineered cribbing solution to add height when operating in unlevel conditions, and one that would stand up to the company’s stringent safety standards. They found the answer in DICA’s interlocking ProStack Cribbing blocks, which provide 6 inches of height per stacked level, and were the perfect solution for adding the height AJ’s Concrete Pumping needed.
According to Sutherland, the mountainous terrain means frequently setting up on some “nasty slopes” which require cribbing to level their pumps. Working in downtown Vancouver is a completely different scenario.“ The terrain is flat, but because of the crowded conditions, we often have to setup right at the edge of the excavation.”
ProStack cribbing can be safely stacked to create a stable and uniform solution in situations where the ground is not level and additional height is needed. ProStack cribbing blocks are designed for equipment with outrigger loads up to 110,000 pounds, such as concrete pumps, boom trucks, digger derricks, and aerial devices.
The more load you exert, the tighter the blocks lock together.
“We use ProStack on eight out of 10 jobs in the mountainous regions. My operators love the cribbing blocks, and the wedges. They are so efficient for levelling the cribbing stack on a slope.
“In Vancouver, ProStack has more than paid for itself. Working near an excavated foundation requires equipment to be set back and the ground to be prepped with gravel. However, operating in confined spaces makes this a tricky business. The further back from the foundation you go, the more expensive the ground prep for the customer, and many times a bigger pump is required,” said Sutherland.
With ProStack providing the height and support needed, AJ’s operators can set up directly in the excavated area.
“With ProStack set-up in the excavated area, there is no more guesswork by the operator as to the appropriate set back needed. It cuts setup time, it’s safer, and it creates a revenue opportunity for us,” said Sutherland. “Customers don’t question the solution because its professional, promotes safety, and it saves them money by eliminating the need to bring in back fill and larger more expensive equipment.”
Before purchasing ProStack Cribbing, operators grabbed timbers from the yard to use for cribbing. “We had to trust the crews to use good stuff, not timbers that were rotten. With ProStack we have zero fail rate, zero wear and tear, and we take the liability off the shoulders of the operator,” said Sutherland.
The Return on the Investment
“Concrete pumping is very competitive in our market. Products like ProStack help us stay ahead of the curve, and it gives us a professional appearance,” said Sutherland. Not only does ProStack deliver productivity and efficiency for AJ’s crews, they have peace of mind in a fully engineered solution. “DICA’s published load ratings and usage guidelines give us the confidence we need and the documentation the authorities and customers are looking for. Having engineering documents to show local safety regulatory inspectors is important. Documentation is key.”
Since buying an initial set of ProStack Cribbing to try out, AJ’s Concrete Pumping has added ProStack to another eight pumps. “It’s actually a money maker for us,” Sutherland explains. “Cribbing usage fees are typically included in setup charges to customers. And customers are happy, because it’s less expensive than the alternative in most cases. After using it 10 times, it is paid for and we start making money on it.”
“We invest in the best tools and training to ensure not only an efficient concrete pour every time, but also a safe concrete pour. DICA’s engineered products help to ensure safe, and consistent setups of our equipment wherever we are working,” said Sutherland.