Concrete mixers, pumps and other attachments are enabling contractors to get more out of the skid steers in their fleets, while reducing equipment and labor costs. Following is a look at several available attachments and how they can be used to improve efficiency in a variety of concrete-handling tasks.
Loegering Mud Bucket
Transporting concrete with wheelbarrows is not only difficult and time-consuming, but it involves substantial hand labor.
However, an attachment such as the Loegering Mud Bucket can virtually eliminate the need to manually move material.
This attachment enables a skid steer to transport up to a 1/2 yd. of concrete or other flowable material directly to the jobsite. Its extension/reduction chute reduces to a 9-in.-wide opening for precise material placement, while a hydraulic gate allows for easy unloading.
"The Mud Bucket is most useful in situations where cement or flowable material needs to be transported into confined areas," says Tim Martin, marketing manager, Loegering Mfg. "These areas are found in all ranges of construction. However, they are most common in residential applications, such as pouring sidewalks or slabs in a limited space, which usually requires the use of wheelbarrows and extra labor costs."
The attachment is powered by standard auxiliary hydraulics, so it can be mounted to a variety of skid steers. Because it enables you to increase equipment utilization while simultaneously cutting labor requirements, it offers the potential for a quick ROI.
"We've received feedback from a customer that used the Mud Bucket to pour 1,600 yds. of concrete," says Martin. "Our product not only performed flawlessly — saving him many hours of back-breaking labor — it actually paid for itself in cost savings by the end of the job."
Toro Cement Bowl
The 3.5-cu.-ft. capacity Toro cement bowl attachment is designed to mount on the Dingo compact utility loader using the same high-torque or universal swivel auger power head used to run auger bits. Power is supplied by the loader auxiliary hydraulic system.
Specially designed auger flighting inside the cement bowl keeps material in the bowl during mixing. When the cement bowl rotation is reversed, this design also permits concrete to be poured without tipping the bowl forward.
The cement bowl attachment costs slightly more than a comparably sized dedicated mixer, yet offers several advantages that a stand-alone unit can't provide. The most obvious is versatility.
"If you're using a Dingo to auger holes for a deck or a fence, you can easily put the cement bowl attachment on," notes Greg Lawrence at Toro. "You don't need to haul in new equipment to fill that need."
And because it's mounted on the Dingo, you have added mobility. "It has the ability to get to places you probably couldn't with a traditional hand mixer or concrete mixer," says Lawrence. The Dingo's compact size enables it to pass through 36-in. gates or doorways. "You may or may not have that option with a dedicated cement mixer."
A lighter footprint also means lower restoration costs. "You won't cause any jobsite damage like you would if you were bringing in a bigger machine or pulling a trailer," says Lawrence. "It may take a little longer, but it beats using a wheelbarrow and a shovel."
Bobcat Concrete Pump Attachment
If you already have a skid steer on-site, a concrete pump attachment can be a cost-effective alternative to bringing in a dedicated pump.
For example, Bobcat's concrete pump attachment delivers concrete up to a maximum 28 cu. yds. per hour (with high-flow loader), and pumps up to 250 ft. horizontally and two stories vertically. This is comparable to a trailer-mounted pump, but at roughly half the purchase price.
"Compared to trailer pumps of equal performance, the loader/concrete pump attachment combination will be much easier to maneuver and get situated," adds Justin Odegaard, a Bobcat attachment product specialist. "With the concrete pump attachment, the hopper can be placed on either the left or right side of the loader to help get into tight spots."