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Thu 14 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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Standing stone

Al Bakhit Machinery director Paul Austin-Price shows us the new mobile-static concrete pumps, and explains the role of placing booms and of Dubai in the modern world.

Al Bakhit Machinery director Paul Austin-Price shows us the new mobile-static concrete pumps, and explains the role of placing booms and of Dubai in the modern world.

This new machine is what is known as a Mobile-Static pump.

It is a Japanese chassis-cab with a specially designed machine from the Chinese manufacture Sany mounted on the back.

Although it is a very powerful pump, it is really maneuverable because of its size.

The machine doesn't need space wasting outriggers, it just has straight legs so extra room at the side isn't needed.

This pump is going down very, well across the UAE. The flexibility is fantastic.

Say a construction site has four towers together; one pillar can be filled and then it's a quick disconnection and the driver jumps the cab, moves away and goes to the next pillar, pumps the concrete and so on.

You can't do that with a traditional static pump.

The traditional pump doesn't reach very high either, but this is much better than that.

Plus, the operator of a trailer-mounted machine is doubly disadvantaged because the tyres fitted to those devices are generally only suitable for moving the pump around the site at low speed.

They can't go over 50kmh, whereas this truck-mounted tool can go anywhere.

"Our placing booms are also popular at the moment."

"Sany are the biggest manufacturer of concrete pumps in the world and are the one of the biggest general construction machine builders in China."

The firm's placing booms are really big out here at the moment.

"We probably sell about thirty to forty of them in the region each year."

This is why buildings go up so quickly out here.

"We actually pump the concrete straight into it."

The machine's thirty-two meters of arm actually goes around the building, that's why they can build so quickly out here.

The old way of doing it was to put a bucket on the end of a crane and hoist it up and pour it in, but with a vertical height of nearly 66 meters on the largest model, there is no need for this practice any more.
Not being able to take concrete on the road during the day does interfere with trafficking of it.

"I don't know what the answer is though."

"As somebody who uses the roads, the last thing that I want is to be stuck behind a big line of trucks."

However, as somebody who sells the equipment, the law is restrictive.

However, saying that, everything has to go by road as there isn't a rail system across the UAE.

It really depends on the concrete mix, but every batch lasts around two hours, and then it's no use.

We're OK at the moment because the temperature has remained constant at around twenty degrees and all we can do is add chilled water which retards the setting process, which gives us enough time to get to site.

When we get to site, a lot of foremen will check if the concrete is in the correct temperature range.

Temperature controlled concrete is very important now, especially for tall buildings because if it is already pre-setting by the time you set it, there will be cracks or air holes and all sorts of other things.

"The Emirates are an exiting place to be at the moment."

"The main thing about Dubai, though isn't the glitz, or the glamour, or even Dubailand."

"Rather, it is the ingenuity of the people that engineer and build the place."

Take the mobile-static concrete pump.

"It is an obvious idea, but you just don't get that kind of thinking in Europe any more."

"It's the unsung people who are designing and building things like this who make the city what it is right now."

So what's on your site?Do you use or sell a new, innovative or unusual machine?

Are you working on a particularly exciting or complex building project that uses heavy or lots of equipment?

If so then tell us all about it.

Email greg.whitaker@itp.com and you could see your big iron immortalised in print forever.

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