25 July, 2013

The Circus Came to Town

Bright and early this morning, well, around 8:00 AM, or so, just so you don't get the idea they were up with the sun, a whole bunch of heavy hitters in the world of concrete came to town. In fact, they were headed right next door.
The Circus Rolling In

Of course, they've had to park out on the road, because I don't think there's enough room for them to all be in Dr. Mike's yard all at the same time, and a pretty big 'and' at that, I don't think they all can swing wide enough to clear through the new gateway in the fence.

So, about 8:15 AM, or so, this morning, the circus came to town. All these big white rigs all lined up - two cement mixers, one hopper, a low-boy with the articulated front end loader, a flatbed semi loaded with bags of cement. On our little, narrow roadway, that's quite a crowd, especially when you consider, buses, Fruita Bomba and all their rigs, all manner of delivery trucks, cars, bicycles, pedestrians, and dogs. Wow! A full agenda for our road.

I made it downstairs in time to snap this shot. In it you can see one of the mixers and the hopper, just beyond is the low-boy with the front-end loader.
Cement Mixer and Hopper
And, turning the other way, there's the other mixer. The only other times I've seen these rigs was when we were walking the doggies and the circus was on its way to the Free Zone to do a pour up there. Wonder what it costs for all this, he said rhetorically? More than I'd care to think about, for sure.
Hopper and Another Mixer
Here's the articulated front-end loader. First thing it had to do was reposition several loads of sand and gravel so the mixers could move around after filling at the hopper then back over to the pumper rig that eventually deposited the mix to the roof.
Articulated Front-End Loader
Right around that time, the pumper boom truck (sounds like a mega-sound system, doesn't it?) came in and got itself positioned. This mean't extending jacks all around and all that stabilizing stuff. Then they had to move the boom around to make sure it could reach all the areas it was supposed to.
The Boom Swinging Free
Then, they had to bring in the hopper and conveyer. This actually loads the mixers. But, since a mixer itself was barely able to get through the gate, that meant they had to remove the bucket from the front-end loader and use the loader to haul in the hopper.

Backing the Hopper in
Once they got it positioned, then the bucket could be re-attached to the loader.
Positioning the Hopper
Then after a bit, it was time to begin pumping concrete to the roof. Quite the process to watch. It goes fast, but not incredibly so. It does look like they use quite a stiff mix on the concrete - I suppose so it doesn't slump too much on the roof pitch.
Starting the Pour
They started with the entryway awning. You can see that it moves right along.
The Pour Continues
Periodically, the two mixers alternate loading up ingredients and then heading over to the pumper to unload to the roof.
Loading From the Hopper
Somewhere around 11:00 AM, they started pouring on the backside (I'm guessing it's the backside). The canal-side is the prettier of the two.
Started On the Back Side
As you can see screeding and floating the mix comes right after the pour and before it has much of a chance to set.
Moving Right Along
I just poked my head out the door. It looks to me like they still have about a quarter of the whole thing left to do and that's on the far side of the house, so I doubt I'll get many more pictures. Well, this should give you some idea of the process. Quite entertaining to watch anyway. Definitely easier than hauling a five-gallon bucket on your head up and down a rickety, home-made ladder. Progress.
The Roof is Almost Done
I'll keep paying attention to the work that's going on, but I'll be honest, I'm sweating like a pig, and I'm thirsty. So, I vote that it's pool time and time for a cold one. Hearing no objections, at the sound of the gavel in the East, meeting is adjourned.

Late breaking... I finally got a good shot of the hopper and conveyor belt in action. Look close and you can see the sand and gravel actually dropping off the conveyor into the mixer.
Time for a Refill
And the last shot of the day. Comes a time when the circus has to up-stakes and hit the road - and there they go. A hard day's work for all concerned.
Circus Leaving Town


JRinSC said...

Quite a high tech roof. I didn't expect to see that down there Dave!
It sure looks like Dr. Mike's roof will NOT blow away any time soon. Great job!

Any luck with Xnews?


Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

I suspect we'll be seeing more of this as time goes on. It's definitely faster than the bucket brigades and the consistency of the concrete is probably more uniform. I would guess it's still pretty expensive for most folks.

I've decided to wait a year or so before signing on for my own account. I'll be in touch soon though.


Mr. Pancho said...

What a great posting...enjoyed every bit of it. The title lead me to believe that it was the actual circus but after was! I thought Kansas was the only place with concrete pumpers and circus acts...
Can't wait to drive by and see the progress sometime soon!!


Dave Rider said...

Hi Rodney,

Thanks for the nice comment. Progress on that house has been dramatic and continual since the new crew came on board - especially after so many months of virtual stand-still.

Sounds like you might be on your way back, hmmm?


Mr. Pancho said...

Yes! Hopefully and prayerfully we will be in Corozal late Feb / March. Hoping to dig a well during the dry season with some friends from the church in Copper Bank...sure would love to pop by on our way to copper bank again...

Dave Rider said...

Hi Rodney,

Hand digging a well. Too much work for me. We've got some friends in Santa Rita here in Corozal who're doing just that. Good luck.

Give us a call beforehand, just to make sure we're in.

Have a safe trip.