How to Prepare for a Successful Concrete Pour
Adequate Planning and Risk Control Management Ensures a Smooth Concrete Pour.
From coordinating teams of specialized workers, to ensuring proper pre-pour steps are taken, there is so much that goes into achieving a successful concrete pour.
As the principal contractor or person in control of the pour, many of the pour-day planning responsibilities and tasks fall on your shoulders. With early planning and risk control management, you can ensure your concrete pour goes smoothly from start to finish.
In an effort to help you make sure all your pre-pour planning bases are covered, we’ve outlined the steps you can take to prepare for a successful concrete pour.
Steps to take when preparing for a successful concrete pour:
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”–a saying most who work in the construction industry are familiar with. And it’s true! In the construction industry, planning is critical to avoiding unnecessary costs, lost time, and pushed timelines.
As a contractor or person in control of a concrete pour, you and all other parties involved should plan in a way that ensures the pour is placed quickly, smoothly, and without injury or issue. Concrete is a perishable good, and once batched, it must be placed within a set time. Concrete waits for no man! So be ready for it.
Work together with your crew foreman, ready-mix supplier, ready-mix tech, pump operator, and any others involved in these pre-pour planning tasks.
- Create an agenda outlining how pour day will go.
- Confirm that the agenda works for all parties involved.
- Keep in mind your agenda is subject to weather, accessibility, site limitations, equipment back up, restricted work times, labor capacity, and the concrete supplier’s requirements.
- Schedule meetings with crews to discuss the equipment needed for the job, agenda, labor requirements, mix design, finishing requirements, etc. Make sure everyone is on the same page about the specifics of the job.
- Call your concrete supplier to check in on your order. Confirm that the correct ready-mix and amount of ready-mix has been ordered.
- Make sure ready-mix techs and their trucks have what they need to do their job. This includes:
- A safe and legal entryway onto your site.
- A direct route and safe access to pump units.
- A clear, spacious, and level area of ground with a firm base capable of supporting trucks and their crews.
- A safe exit from the site.
*Consider signs to help guide those who are unfamiliar with your site around without issue.
- Confirm the pour site is pour ready with formwork and reinforcements.
- Make sure all required equipment is (or will be) onsite, properly positioned, and in working condition for the pour.
- If your pour requires a pump, consider these factors during the planning process:
- More and specific labor is required to operate a pump.
- The methods of pumping concrete vary depending on mix and pour type.
- Pump type and capacity varies.
- Location of the pump will need to be planned out so it is accessible to ready-mix concrete delivery trucks, free of power lines, and at a height that allows for concrete to flow into the hopper with gravity which sometimes requires ramps.
- Conduct a job safety analysis and mitigate as many safety risks as possible. Tasks might include:
- Providing or requiring safety gear including helmets, eye protection, hearing protection, high visibility vests, long sleeves and pants, work gloves, sun protection, and safety footwear.
- Clearly marking and defining electrical no-go zones.
- Ensuring workers are properly trained and supervised.
- Eliminating all trip, slip, and fall hazards.
- Providing a map that details the set-up of ramps, bracings, washout bins, etc.
- Keeping up-to-date maintenance, repair, and safety manuals easily accessible.
- Make sure all required labor is onsite, properly positioned, and ready for pour day.
- A Concrete Inspector should be present to monitor and evaluate the construction site and guarantee that the materials are strong enough to withstand the placement of concrete. They will also examine and test concrete batches to ensure that the composition meets construction specifications and industry standards.
- A Spotter or Traffic Controller is present to direct the movement of trucks while considering the safety of each worker in the area. A Traffic Controller is especially important for jobs with multiple trucks coming and going.
- A Pump Operator and their crew must be competent and present at the pump at all times to ensure the pump works correctly. In case of an emergency, they should be able to enact the pump’s emergency shutdown system.
- On the day of your pour, equipment maintenance inspections should be performed to further ensure equipment will perform properly and safely.
All of your pre-pour planning is sure to pay off come pour day. But if you want to further ensure a great pour day, find a supplier who can provide you with a quality ready-mix. Because when it comes down to it, a great pour day plan is nothing without a quality ready-mix.
See our Contractor’s Guide to Pre-Qualifying Suppliers meant to help you and your team develop or fine-tune your pre-qualifying process.
As one of the largest concrete suppliers in the Carolinas, we’ve provided concrete for every type of project from skyscrapers, to parking decks, multi-family housing complexes and everything in between.
Our team will work with you to not only guarantee a quality ready-mix but that everything on the supplier side of pour day goes as planned. At the end of the day, we know your priority is getting the job done right, on budget, and on time.