Piling Construction: How to Pour Concrete Piles for a Foundation

concrete piles

Concrete piles are commonly used to support building foundations, securing the foundation to the bedrock below. The equipment and process used for piling construction can vary depending on the size of the piles and the building location. The length, diameter, and number of piles determines the volume of concrete needed, and the concrete pump that works best for the job. Location matters too; pumping concrete through water requires the use of a tremie pipe.

Here’s a job that was completed using a trailer-mounted concrete pump, a crane and tremie pipe, and 2.5 inch ID hose.

THE PROJECT: Pouring a series of concrete piles for a parking garage foundation

This contractor was building a parking garage for the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack, NJ. The location was close to the Hackensack River so there was a high water table. To pour concrete to fill the piles, the contractor needed to use a tremie pipe to displace the water inside the piles. A crane held the tremie pipe with two 90 degree bends, and raised the tremie pipe as concrete filled the piles.

pouring concrete piles

Building a concrete pile foundation: pouring concrete piles using a trailer mounted concrete pump and a crane lifting a tremie pipe.

piling construction

A concrete redi-mix truck supplies a trailer concrete pump for piling construction.

The equipment: Putzmeister THOM-KATT TK 50 trailer concrete pump

This concrete pile foundation consisted of piles that were 18 inches wide and 200 feet deep. The contractor needed concrete pumping equipment that could pump the required volume of 5000 psi concrete. The best choice was a Putzmeister Thom-Katt TK 50, a mid-volume trailer mounted concrete pump designed for pumping structural concrete, along with a small ID hose.

The outside diameter of the pipe needed to be small enough to fit inside the pile, which is why 2.5 inch ID pipe and hoses were used. This smaller diameter system was perfect because each pile took a small amount of concrete, and the smaller line size kept the wet concrete fresh so it would not begin to set up in the 2.5 inch system.

The number of hoses was an important consideration, because the contractor wanted to be able to fill as many concrete piles as possible, using the concrete trailer pump and the crane holding the tremie pipe, before having to move all of the equipment.

The 200 foot length of the tremie was another reason why a great many hoses were required. The hoses needed to be long enough to be able to be raised up along with the tremie pipe while always keeping the end of the tremie in the wet concrete. The tremie pipe had to remain in the wet concrete until all water was pushed out of the pile, and the entire pile was filled to the top with wet concrete.

Tips for concrete piling construction

  • Use a crane and tremie pipe to pour deep concrete piles through water.
  • A mid-volume trailer concrete pump is typically the ideal equipment choice, although a small volume pump may be adequate for filling smaller concrete piles.
  • Use a smaller ID hose that fits inside the piles and is easy to maneuver from one pile to the next.
  • Ideally, use a hose that’s long enough to reach all or most of the piles without having to keep moving the concrete pump and crane.


Here at Alexander Wagner Company, we have been providing concrete pumping equipment, supplies and service to contractors in the New York metro area for decades. We’re happy to answer your questions and share our expertise. Feel free to reach out to us anytime!