The larger and heavier a trowelling machine is, the faster and more effectively you can cover a concrete slab area. The most common sizes used in the industry are 36”, 40” & 46”. For areas over 750m² ride-on machines are also used as they offer the contractor the ability to cover greater areas.
The key to a reliable machine is in the gearbox base assembly as well as the design of the arm and support brackets. These key elements are vital and ensure the blades stay well balanced. It is also important that all the blades arms remain level and are fitted with tension springs that prevent blades from pivoting and digging in, when lifting the machine onto the concrete.
A heavy duty gearbox provides the key to your end result and will enable you the flexibility to burn finish as well as the use of float pans. Is vital for years of trouble free use and will also determine whether the machine is suitable for float pan use.
Handle bar stem lengths are critical as it will affect the way the machine feels and performs.
Safety features should also be taken into account and include adequate guard rings and a centrifugal safety cut out switch. The throttle level ideally should be at your fingertips to intend to allow for maximum control. Hoist hooks are also recommended to lift your machine as well as assist in the transport of your machine around sites.
The use of a Power Float or Trowelling machine
Timing is crucial in the concrete flat floor business. The quality of the floor is established between the period of placing and curing concrete. Trowelling machines will not level a floor, they are designed to help create a finish that would be difficult to achieve by a manual process. While small indentations and high spots can be corrected by the trowelling machine the floor must be levelled and screeded prior to its use. To produce the best result, several passed over the floor are required.
Floating and Panning
The initial pass or passes are known as floating. This can be achieved with either combination blades or Pan Floats.
Pan floats are circular metal disk attached to the blades of walk behind or non overlapping ride on trowels which achieve productive flat floors.
Power floating achieves three purposes
- To imbed large aggregate just beneath the surface
- To remove humps and voids
- To compact concrete and consolidate mortar at the surface in preparation for finishing
The finish process adds more density and pressure to the floor as it hardens. This is achieved by angling the blade approximately 10-20 degrees. The finishing is normally commenced when concrete has started to dry off and walking on the surface leaves little or no indentations.
It is also critical to take into consideration that the concrete slab will always dry from the outside towards the centre so finishing around the outside edges must be applied first.
Operating your Power Float or Trowelling machine
Using transfer of wait is the key to steering a trowelling machine.
Pushing down on the handlebars moves your machine to the right
To move left you push the handle bars up. Forward movement is achieved by pushing down on the left hand side of the handlebars, while lifting the right hand side. To move back, push down on the right hand side of the handlebars while lifting the left hand side.