- Jul 27, 2018 -
Concrete boom pump safety starts with the proper site selection and outrigger procedures.
The right site
If the pump setup site is near an excavation, follow the one-to-one rule: For every 1 foot of vertical drop, stay back from the base edge at least 1 foot. Take measurements from the edge of the outrigger pad nearest the excavation. Less-than-ideal soil conditions and engineered support walls are treated differently, so check with the pump operator for guidance.
Proper outrigger procedures will drastically reduce the chance of a tip over on the job site. Tip overs are typically caused by either outriggers not having enough cribbing or surface area to properly support the unit, or in instances where the outriggers are not fully extended. Unknown factors, like underground voids, can also cause a tip over.
Cribbing is used to spread the weight of the load. When in doubt, always use more cribbing. Concrete pump manufacturers supply outrigger pads with their equipment, several companies sell after-market cribbing, and contractors often have jobsite materials like wood dunnage or flat steel plates available if additional cribbing is necessary.
Before pumping, the operator should slowly extend the boom over each outrigger. This allows a contractor to see if the outrigger is sinking into the ground, which could cause the unit to tip. Additional cribbing surface area or other adjustments should be made if an issue arises.
When jobsite conditions prevent full extension of the outriggers, shortrigging might be necessary. Shortrigging should only be done on the side of the pump away from the pour. It involves its own set of guidelines and safety requirements. Never try shortrigging unless your operator is educated on the technique and responsible precautions are taken.
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