Choosing the Right Mixer, Pump or Delivery System

Words: Dan Kamys

By Steve Wheeler

When you begin the process of looking for a new mixer, pump or delivery system, do you know what you are looking for? Many mason contractors will look at the upfront price instead of the quality, features and benefits of the piece of equipment. However, studies show that only 30 percent of the cost of equipment is incurred the day it is purchased. The other 70 percent of the cost is incurred through ease of use, reliability, maintenance and life cycle. So, is it better to save money the day you purchase the piece of equipment, or every day during ownership? [caption id="attachment_13475" align="alignnone" width="513"]Uphill Grout Hog Uphill Grout Hog — EZ Grout Corp. Photo courtesy of EZ Grout Corp.[/caption] EZG Manufacturing has been thinking outside the box with their line of mixers, pumps and delivery systems. Since EZG is a sister company to a large masonry contracting company, chief executive officer and majority owner Damian Lang and his team ensure that all equipment is designed to the standards their masons and laborers demand to have every day in the field. According to EZG Manufacturing, here are some of the differences in their designs from other manufacturers: Mixers for commercial or high volume jobs: EZG offers the Mud Hog line of mixers, which have the ability to mix large volumes in each batch. Over 50 percent of your mortar is mixed in only two hours of each day. That is the first hour in the morning and the first hour after lunch. Using larger-capacity mixers will ensure your bricklayers have the mortar they need during these two hours. EZG Manufacturing’s Mud Hog Mixers have several features and benefits that can keep you rolling. Some of those features are:
  • The mixers have up to 20 cubic feet of capacity, which allows mixing up to six batches of mortar in one mix.
  • Unlike traditional mixers, which have an all-or-nothing dumping mechanism, the Mud Hog’s hydraulic dump feature allows you to adjust the amount you dump so you can fill two separate mud pans with one batch, keeping your bricklayers from waiting while another batch is mixed. This feature also allows for use under a silo, with easy dumping into a Grout Hog.
  • They use electric-start motors, so there is no worry of breaking the pull cord, then losing valuable time trying to find a replacement while your bricklayers wait on mortar.
  • The low-load and high-dump feature reduces the chances for back injuries, as the mixer is loaded at waist height instead of chest height.
  • These mixers are also built with thick drums and specialized rubber wipers to keep the Mud Hog going for years with a lower level of maintenance than required for other products.
Towable mixers: Most mixer companies build their mixers to sit low and dump low. Therefore, the first thing you must do when you get to the jobsite is put the mixer up on blocks so it sits high enough to dump into a wheelbarrow or high mud pan. EZG Mixers are built high during the manufacturing process, so they are jobsite ready to dump mortar into your wheelbarrow or high mud pan without having to set the mixer up on blocks. The heavy-duty drums and drive chains — standard in the EZG Mixer — add years to the life of your mixer. EZG Manufacturing has also thought of the forklift operator. Instead of having the operator get out and walk around the lift or mixer to dump the material, he/she can dump the EZG Mixer from the operator’s side. This small feature will save time, as it is now a few steps away to dump and transport the material to the next area. Grout pumps: Grout pumps can be an effective tool in grouting walls as well as other applications. EZG Manufacturing’s grout pump is of hydraulically operated S-tube design. This allows you to reverse the flow of material back into the hopper, which can relieve clogs and de-pressurizes the hose line for safe clean-out. As is the case with EZG Manufacturing’s product line, the grout pump is a triple-use machine. You can pump mortar, grout and concrete up to 3/4-inch aggregate. The pump comes with a clean-out at the bottom of the hopper, as well as a hinge that allows you to access the back of the S-tube for easy cleaning and maintenance. Delivery systems have made huge strides in the last few years. In the past, contractors would often grout using 5-gallon buckets. This left bricklayers and laborers exhausted after grouting, reducing their productivity the remainder of the day. EZG Manufacturing’s original claim to fame, the Grout Hog, eliminated those issues when it was introduced to the market in 1999. According to EZG, the Grout Hog can replace several workers during the grouting process who would otherwise be bucketing. The Grout Hog features a unique swivel base system in conjunction with an 8-foot reinforced dispensing hose that allows a worker to reach up to 17 feet of wall without moving the forklift. The gas-powered version of the Grout Hog can be operated by one man on the scaffold and one operator. The controller and coil cord allow the worker to control the flow of grout. The Uphill Grout Hog has some unique features, as well. The extended auger tube saves several feet of boom extension on a forklift, while making it easier to grout from either the scaffold or the other side of the wall. Like the original Grout Hog, the Uphill Grout Hog has a removable auger. The hopper also tilts forward to make clean-up a 15-minute process. Both the Grout Hog and Uphill Grout Hog can unload 3/4 yard of grout in 2 1/2 minutes. The features of the Grout Hogs will save you time and decrease the number of back injuries, since you no longer have to muscle a bucket of grout into the wall.
Steve Wheeler is head of EZ Grout sales for EZG Manufacturing. He can be reached at swheeler@ezgrout.com.
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