Pouring concrete just got a lot safer, less time consuming and more efficient, thanks to an innovative new product that has captured the attention of contractors across the UK and Ireland, and further afield.
The hydraulic bucket skip is the brainchild of Tom Delany and John Keane who have formed a new company, Delkeane & Keane Ltd, to market the product range which is being manufactured by Cunningham Engineering in County Carlow.
More than two years in the planning, the fully automatic hydraulic bucket skip can be safely and precisely operated from the comfort of an excavator cab; unlike traditional concrete skips, no manual involvement is needed.
“The original idea for the hydraulic skip is the result of an accident I was involved in a few years ago while a foundation was being poured. A chain attached to a manual skip swung round and hit me in the face, breaking my nose and jaw,” says Tom Delaney. “That type of accident cannot happen while using the hydraulic skip as the excavator driver is in full control and has full sight of the skip from the safety of his cab.”
With a design patent pending, the skips are CE approved and come with a 12-month guarantee. They are offered in different sizes and capacities, with interchangeable pins, making them suitable for excavators in the eight to 20 tonne range.
“There is an attachment that can also be fitted for shuttering pours or hard to reach areas just by attaching a hose,” adds Tom. “Using the hydraulic skip is also more productive as it saves contractors much valuable time compared to a manual skip. Traditionally, it takes on average 20 minutes to empty a load of six metres of concrete, but with the hydraulic skip the task can be accomplished in around 12 minutes, as we have proven. The process is also much cleaner; it leaves no mess.”
So, what has been the reaction so far in the marketplace? “It’s been very encouraging with a lot of positive comments when we put it on some social online platforms. When we originally put out the prototype for trial, the customer, who put it through its paces over an 18 month period, was really impressed with it and invested in a couple of the skips.”
The range is now in full production at Cunningham Engineering and having seen the skips in action it is clear they have great potential across the building and construction industries.