When thinking about the evolution of concrete pumping, from carrying concrete buckets, to the invention of pump trucks, boom pumps, line pumps and more, one can’t help to marvel at man’s ingenuity when it comes to increasing performance, production and safety! As buildings get taller and more complex, equipment becomes more sophisticated to meet the ever growing demand.
Remote controls are one of these practical devices that can assist concrete operators achieve better concrete placing in a safer way. These handheld device transmitters are now standard on job sites for large equipment like loader cranes, tower cranes, overhead cranes, concrete pumps and other mobile equipment.
Below are some examples where using remote controls will make the whole difference:
Pump trucks often come equipped with both wired and fixed frequency wireless setups. One of the problems with fixed frequency wireless controls is communication interruptions and even drop off when operating in heavy radio traffic areas as it is often the case in large cities. Remote controls powered by cables can also be dangerous and must be handled safely. Cables can get entangled in other cables laying around putting the workers at risk on the job site. Wireless controls can solve both problems.
Placing boom truck:
Operators usually hire a spotter equipped with a two-way radio or hand signals to help them maneuver the boom if they cannot leave the pump.
When operators can’t leave the pump truck and have to place the boom, they are faced with the challenge of properly gaging the depth between the boom and the wires. By using a radio remote control, they can stand perpendicular to the boom and know exactly where to place the boom.
A radio remote offers greater control over the flow of concrete, it provides the ability to turn on/off the pump at any time, and usually comes with an emergency stop too.
What to look for when buying remote controls
Some nice features to have are: weatherproof, impact resistant plastic exterior, antenna for extended wireless range, several configuration modes, good charging time, additional outputs etc.
One thing to keep in mind is that some of the best models support Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) radio technology for the broadest wireless range like the OMNEX products.
Brands of remote controls
There are many models on the market, below are just a few good examples:
Hetronics offers the following models of controls for boom trucks and concrete pumps: With the GL series, GL-3, Nova-S, Nova-L Nova-XL, operators can easily operate booms up to 65 meters (213 feet). All models come equipped with a battery charger and 2 rechargeable batteries.
Comes with two joysticks and rotary push buttons.
Provides direct system feedback to operator
OMNEX Trusted Wireless™ remote control
From Cooper Industries
Some models can even regulate the engine speed to minimize fuel consumption and wear.
Depending on the job, you many only need a simple remote control, so don’t over kill it. More complex remotes require more time to learn all their features, practice
Troubleshooting the remote:
The good news is that only a few things can go wrong with a remote control:
– Most often the battery needs to be recharged and after prolonged use and replaced if the charge is holding less and less over time.
– The antenna may not be functioning. Check the antenna and its connection. It could have come loose or been damaged during a project.
So why not incorporate a remote control in your next job? Are you looking for a good concrete line pump, as plaster pump, a gunite pump? Don’t know which one comes with a remote control? Call us (503/283-2105) and we will tell you all about it so that you get in the power seat.