High Tech Tools For Large Concrete Slabs

By Todd Fratzel on Foundations

Concrete construction has been transformed significantly in recent years by the use of laser guided power tools. This week I had the pleasure of watching some really great laser guided equipment used to pour 200 yards of concrete for a large slab. I thought it would be fun to give some examples of these impressive pieces of equipment. When I was a young man I had the “pleasure” of pouring concrete for a summer.

Concrete Laser Power Rake

I REALLY wish we had some of these tools back then!

Laser Power Rake

The laser guided power rake is a serious work horse! This really great piece of equipment is used to rake the concrete to an elevation that’s close to the final elevation. This eliminates a tremendous amount of raking by laborers. As you can see in the photo there is a laser receiver that controls the elevation of the rake blade. The operator just drives through the fresh concrete and rakes it out in preparation for final screeding.

Laser Screed

Concrete Laser ScreedThe laser screed works just like the power rake with a laser receiver which allows the screed surface to constantly adjust to the correct final floor elevation. Again the operator slowly walks behind the screed as it vibrates and screed the concrete to a perfectly flat elevation.

Laser screeds eliminate serious back breaking work. It also allows contractors to pour very flat floors in large buildings. The section that we poured the other day was 300 ft long by 35 ft wide. Without the laser screeds it would be extremely difficult to pour such a flat slab.

Ride On Power Trowels

Ride On Power TrowelLast but certainly not least are the ride on power trowels. Once the concrete has “set” the surface needs to be troweled which gives it a really nice hard smooth surface. In the old days this was done by hand with steel hand trowels. Power trowels were then created which looked like a large floor buffer. Well today you can actually get huge ride on power trowels that you ride over the floor. These machines actually look like hover crafts!

Laser Tools = Quality & Speed

The bottom line is these tools make it possible to increase productivity while also providing better quality slabs. The slab we did this week was almost 200 cubic yards of concrete and it was installed with a 8 man crew. Before these great laser tools it would have easily been a 20 man crew or more. If you’re looking for a great large concrete slab then I suggest you choose a contractor with these high tech tools.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I’m full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I’m also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I’m also the author of Tool Box Buzz and Today’s Green Construction. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you’d like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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1 Comment

  1. Rowland says:

    Pouring 50 yards concret and would like a used god cheap laser to set forms. Any help?

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