We’ve all driven around country roads when there has been road construction going on in the past decades and seen water cards with “dribble bars” as part of the road construction plant. Today, those old tankers with dribble bars are a thing of the past! Dust suppression is mandatory on every site!
That means the demand for water carts, the unsung heroes of the construction industry, is even more important than they ever were before.
Australian Pump Industry saw councils buying their Honda-powered transfer pumps, not only because of their reliability and performance but because Aussie Pumps offers electric start as a standard option. Health & Safety is a big issue, not only to councils but contractors as well.
“When we launched the Aussie QP402, a 4” self-priming pump, it was a revolution. People hadn’t seen a big 4” pump that could be driven by an 8hp Honda petrol engine and produce a whopping 1,800 lpm flow. Waiting time filling tankers became a thing of the past”, said Aussie Pumps’ Chief Engineer, John Hales.
The big 4” pump, with huge ‘shoulders’, surprised the market with an ability to draft water through a vertical lift of 8.4 meters. “The shoulders in the pump, revolutionary in design at the time, meant fast self-priming, first time, every time”, said Hales”. The shoulders hold a water tank which allows the pump to prime like no other.
Along came diesel driven pumps
Aussie Pumps started making the same 3” and 4” pumps in diesel drive, after a deal was struck with Yanmar and then later with Kubota. Both engines, Japanese companies of absolute integrity and engine expertise perform beautifully, even in the toughest conditions.
Being air-cooled engines, they are compact, lightweight and in the range of 4.8hp, through to 10hp, provide reliable power. Coates Hire, for example, has operated a number of these 4” Aussies with Kubota engines over the years in their fleet with excellent results!
Engine drive pumps, both petrol and diesel drive, come into their own with requirements moving from just fast filling the water cart to run a dribble bar, to the need for spray bars, spray heads, and the ability to spread water over a wide distance.
One issue can be the dry running of the pump. Sometimes the tanker operator unknowingly continues to run the pump mounted on the back of the unit, even though the tank is empty. The result is cavitation which can make the impeller not only vibrate but, become pockmarked. Cavitation is a pump killer and tanker operators need to be warned about allowing a pump to run without an adequate water supply!” said Hales.
So whats latest with tanker pumps?
“Putting a big 25 hp diesel engine on the back of a tanker is space inefficient,” said Hales. We then looked at the hydraulic drive and … bingo! We struck the exact right combination”, he said.
Now, having started out with low pressure 4” cast iron pumps, the company gravitated to a 3” Aussie GMP, model B3XR-A/ST that is a trash pump, a medium to high-pressure pump and a high flow pump all in one. “Not only that but by running it off a 22cc motor, we don’t make huge demands for oil or the motor supply load to get the job done”, said Hales.
Other breakthrough products in the range include a big 4” hydraulic drive pump, also used by the army, available in cast iron or 316 stainless steel. The big pumps will deliver a whopping 2,300 lpm, emptying a 20,000-liter tanker in ten minutes. The best news is that those same pumps are capable of heads as high as 35 meters, close to 50 psi. So they can also double as spray pumps.
Hydraulic drive pumps mean no drivelines, no shafts, just hydraulic hoses as flexible as the imagination of the installer or engineer. The pump can be located virtually anywhere that it suits the manufacturer.
And what’s the most advanced?
Aussie Pumps’ new G3TMK-A hydraulic drive is a 3” high pressure, high flow, self-priming pump with front opening port and an open impeller that will pass small solids in suspension. Yes, itself primes! Although it’s a 22cc motor, it’s built like a tank. The pump internals comes with a stainless steel wear plate and a silicon carbide mechanical seal for long, trouble-free life.
“Of course, they don’t like running dry”, said Hales. “That’s one weakness we haven’t got over yet. But otherwise, these pumps are designed for the toughest applications on the planet in mines, construction sites, or quarries”, he said.
Australian Pump has an affinity to the industry. They believe in the country, the capability of the construction industry, and work for hand in glove with customers as diverse as hire companies to quarries and earthmovers, Bobcat owners to the biggest in the industry.
“We know they’d want what we’d want”, said Hales. “Products that work, that do what they claim to do and, the people who support it. We want to know if there’s a problem, and never run from it. “Some of the best advances we’ve made in engineering have been based on problems found in the field. Our customers tell us about issues and site conditions that we could never imagine”, he said.