In any construction process, the weakest element is the subcontractors. As the primary contractor, you know what you can expect of your personnel, equipment, and techniques. But when you are dealing with an outside firm, your confidence can drop. This is even truer of subcontractors for specialized work. You know what plumbing, electrical, and HVAC subs you can count on, but you may only need some types once or twice a year. Concrete pumping is a good example; you may not need this service done for months or years, but when you do, it must be done right. Here are four ways to find the best subcontractor for this work.
Satisfied Private Customers
Many big jobs go to low bidders when it comes to government work, but private customers have more flexibility. Focus on these references and see which pumping outfit has done the best work for them. Developers who have used the same firm repeatedly–or found one that outperformed their previous subcontractor–will be able to give you a good idea of which contractor to choose.
Flexible Skill Sets
Not all concrete pumping work is created equal. Some jobs require some serious skills and the ability to improvise. When you talk to one of these contractors, find out what kinds of unique situations they have been able to work through. A skilled crew will be proud of how they handled it. A less experienced group may have simply farmed it out to another sub, and that sub just might be who you need to hire directly.
Reasonable Wait Times
Construction projects fight the schedule from the time the first stake is driven until the keys go to the owner. Run away from any subcontractor who is ready to go to work tomorrow. Unless some project has fallen through (and that does happen), there’s probably a good reason that they don’t have any work lined up. At the same time, an excessive wait time could mean they are understaffed or poorly equipped.
New firms often pop up with an opportunity, such as to bid on a large municipal job. They may lack the experience to handle your job correctly. Look for a diversified concrete company that does pumping and other forms of pouring work, and has been in the field for many years.
A project that requires concrete pumping is susceptible to all the usual disruptions as well as the added slowdowns resulting from an added specialty. As a result, it is vital that your concrete pumping contractor is providing satisfactory work in a variety of situations, and always as close as possible to the promised time frame.