We can’t stress this enough: if you want your shotcrete equipment to function optimally, you’re going to have to devote a little time and effort to it. And by little, we mean little. Because in just 10 minutes, you can carry out a quick inspection of your equipment, to make sure all is in proper working order. Do this prior to each task, and you’re looking at ample benefits, both in terms of time and money.
Are you tired of long delays due to equipment stoppages? Are your repair bills piling up uncontrollably? Follow our checklist, which looks at the parts requiring inspection, and see how those unexpected (and unwanted) breaks become few and far between.
1. Concrete pump
In the concrete pump you’ll find the water box. This box must always be filled with clean water, as it contains the cylinder rod, which must be kept cold.
Besides this, the box performs other important functions. For example, if you see that there are remnants of concrete present, this indicates that the concrete cylinder pistons have leaked and that you need to replace them. If you see that there’s oil, however, it means the leak is coming from the hydraulic cylinders. Hence the need to keep the water box clean – doing so means you will be made aware should problems arise in the pump’s cylinders.
To fill the water box, symple use a hose. In situations of extreme cold, antifreeze may need to be added to the water.
2. Greasing system
This system is responsible for ensuring that both your pump and spraying arm are greased properly – with a little help from you, of course.
Regardless of whether your pump boasts an automatic or manual greasing system, you will need to make sure that all nipples have been greased. Because you know it: a well-greased pump is of vital importance to the proper functioning of the pumping system.
As for the spraying arm, it may be greased manually or automatically, depending on your equipment. This gesture will extend the lifespan of your spraying arm, as well as allow for smoother movements.
3. Remote control
Mechanized equipment without a properly functioning remote control leaves a lot to be desired. With this inspection, you’re out to make sure that the various functionalities of the remote (radio/cable) are up and running.
The important thing here is to make sure that the grill and hopper are clean, and that the vibrator is in working order, as the latter allows the concrete to flow when poured. It is equally important that the hopper is kept clean, given that, when remnants of concrete stick to the S tube and the wear plate, the machine can fall victim to premature wear and tear – something that should be avoided at all costs.
5. Air and additive system
With this inspection, you’re out to make sure that the diffuser holes, the nozzle, and the air and accelerator lines are free of obstructions, as this negatively impacts the quality of the concrete. As we saw not long ago in this post, a comprehensive cleaning of your mechanized shotcrete equipment is vital after each spray, in order to ensure its proper functioning.
6. Delivery pipes and hoses
Before each spraying job, it is imperative that you lubricate the concrete circuit, which is made up of delivery pipes and hoses. If this lubrication process is omitted, the pipes and hoses end up absorbing part of the grout as the concrete passes through, which can alter the quality of the mix and produce blockages. The longer the delivery pipes and hoses, the greater the need to lubricate.
So now you know it – maintenance is key to ensuring a properly functioning mechanized shotcrete machine. Use this checklist as a general guide and, for more information, sign up for our maintenance course.