Owner Builder Oddities
I was driving down the freeway today and I noticed a small truck carrying a bag that would have measured about 1100mm x 1100mm x 1100 mm.
It had sling type handles on it to allow it to be lifted by a forklift, bobcat or small backhoe.
Although I could not see the contents, I think it was most likely a course sand for use in bricklaying mortar.
I can hear all of my owner builder course students saying "so what?"
Well it got me thinking, the use of bags like this for loose materials such as soils, sand, gravel and concrete mix are a relatively new innovation.
But what is innovative about it?
To me it means a small truck which is not a tipper, can go to the landscape suppliers, pick up a small quantity of product and not have to manually handle it when it gets back to site.
Not only that, in the past, this small load would most likely have been simply dumped on site, causing the contractor (read owner builder), issues in respect to storage, containment, loss of product and potentially sediment control (run off entering stormwater etc.
Now, I have grown up in this industry and now have 40 plus years experience in considering the benefits and use of material handling improvements in the building industry.
As an owner builder, without the benefit of many years experience, how many advantages can you identify in handling loose materials in this way?
Moreover, how often do you see things on a building site that you do not fully understand or appreciate.
So through this post, I want to open it up to you, our owner builder course students, to respond and ask questions about products, processes or techniques you have come across but do not fully understand.
I will try to respond to your questions and explain use, advantage or legislative requirements by way of explanation to your enquiries.
Basically In want our owner builder students to have the opportunity to understand why we do some of the things we do in completing a typical domestic construction project.
I hope this generates some real activity and enquiry and look forward to demystifying some of the 'trade secrets'.
To kick this off, I will place a post on the Learning Management System website directing our owner builder course students to the post.
For now, best regards and,
Happy Owner Building,
Those bags are a godsend!!
The manual handling benefits are great but for an OCD like me the tidiness of storage and reduction of waste is a godsend
This is a great idea. Being the first time Owner Builder just knowing this option is available will be a huge benefit for us as we are on a battle axe block and cannot get a tipper up to our block. Thanks for this info,
We used one of those bags a few months ago for a small job and they were great, no wastage and virtually no mess or runoff. Great if you get a refund of the bags and they get reused!
This is another great tool that reduces waste and stops sand and cement from getting into the environment, and getting all over my car when driving behind it. Finding newer and better controls for a variety of problems and risks is one of the positives, that bringing new people in to the owner building scene from different backgrounds and educations. Sometimes a great idea is just looking at the controls through a different perspective.
Doing my own project so working part time and I used this for the first time at the weekend. As Richard said, it's a total godsend.
I first noticed this practice taking place in the mining industry to improve material handling into hoppers. The bags are made of a geo-textile fabric and typically weigh 1 ton or 3/4m^3 aggregate . I will certainly consider using them in my upcoming project.
the introduction of such bags have evolved in direct correlation with the introduction of new machinery onsite for eg a Manitou. thus relieving the manual handling constraints which have plagued the industry since it all started
These bags have made material handling onsite safer, more convenient, eco friendly and time saving. The suppliers also have the added benefit of being able to easily supply multiple materials per delivery without the hassle of load dividers or multiple drops.
As a landscaper those bag were great for to lift sands and soils onto the top of high rise buildings with safety.
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Rick Heaton is a Building and Construction Industry professional with formal tertiary qualifications in management and training.