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I'm The BOSS
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I tried that once, and only once.
Thought, if he can do it, I can do it.

Big learning curve, For what it's worth,
Have a backup plan, Someone to bail you out if needed.
That will be a big oops if it comes out bad.

Yours or a customers ?

If I have to do one for me, I'd try again, NOT:no::no::no::no::no::no::no:
 

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Some work better than others. Worked for a company that built cell tower huts. Little ones 14x28-48. Fab'd in shop and shipped out. Everyone started with a slab.... all power screed'd, all hands on deck. Trick is finding the right pull rate and keeping the pile in front. Not a 2-3 man job for sure. we ran 5-6 and basically as fast as it came off the truck we could get it done.

Used 3 different screeds there. Forgot the brands... best one was red, if that helps. One we test drove and the vibration was too violent. Pulled up too much aggregate on the rails. That one sucked had to go slow and keep going back after a pass.
 

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Have someone there (preferably a crew) that has experience with that particular screed.

Take your time in setting it up.

Did I mention to have some one there with experience with that screed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
poured 38x30 five inch today by myself. It was 86 degrees so I did have to hustle.
Wow! Very impressive! :thumbsup:

We have done a bunch of floors for 30x40 pole barns with a 4 man crew up to 40x80 with 8 man crew with no issues. This is our first time with the power screed though.

We have been taking on more and more concrete and the barns are getting bigger and bigger so we have to move to the big boy toys.

Bending over sucks. Bending over to screed really sucks.

Brand is wacker. Blade is L shape.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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I have used one quite a few times, been renting to see if i really like it. I have had problems with the screed coming up off the form and it doesnt lay it as level as hand screed. I was told on this site that one of the keys is keeping the screed off the forms, hand hit the edges and then use the screed to level the rest. I had been having a guy on each end holding the edges down and then I am fighting that force, its weird too, because my puddlers usually have it damn close.

Moving the screed is a phucking bear! There is a suction action when you power down and if you have to put back a few feet, hold youre butthole cause it takes a bit of strength to break that bond.

Problem I have found is the guy the running the screed should be experienced (I'm always on the screed and still learning) and you're crew has to be dead nuts on. 2 puddlers that work their nuts off, never stop moving and have the concrete almost dead on. I do like the way the screeed brings the cream up, really like that part, makes it alot easier to finish IMO.

I would do 2 pours also, I understand the labor of it, cheaper as owner to make 1 pour, as far a labor goes but interior slabs take more time. what is the floor finish going to be? Power trowel? The retarder will help but have a wood screed ready to go to if needed. I am not good enough to use power screed interior, only for exterior for me yet and I haven't used one on the last few pours. I get a much better level pad with the old school wood screed. I even tried a jitterbug (shaker attached to wood board) and hated it, shook WAY too much!

I need to invent something that won't shake youre teeth out, just somehing to assist in the screeding.

I sure wish I could give you more, looks easy as heel but I assure you it is not. I am also pouring tomorrow and have alot of wet screed edges plus formed stairs, so good luck. I hope you love it and can come back with more pointers.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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Sorry to triple post,

We poured a 48' x 9' x 5" the other day with wood screed, truck arrival to truck leaving washed down was 1 hour and 5 minutes. I sent everyone to another job and just had to wait to edge and brush (exterior). That was mopped and clean up, I had my 4 core guys with me and we were rocking! I know there are some crews that would whoop us on time but that pad was dead nuts level and perfect.

7.5 yards down in an hour was great in my book.
 

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Lemonade Salesman
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When it comes to striking off form to form or form to pipe you need to look critically at the shape of your strike off. The wacker L has a 90° front face. It is a wet screed it won't push itself down to your form. You need something that has more of a wedge up front. There are several brands but I only have vibrastrike so that's what I know the best. The bevel on the front will help force the strike off down against your form or pipe. I have a wacker L but it never gets used except rarely when wet screeding in a tight space. When you bull float do it perpendicular to the direction you struck off. Run a steep angle at first to push any ridges down from the strike off then flatten out. It's pretty flat off the strike but the float will make it dead nuts.

We try to use grade pipes whenever possible. It'll ensure an accurate pad whereas wet screeding is purely operator skill. When the pours get over 20 ft try to use a truss screed whenever it fits. I haven't pulled a board in about 10 years and don't plan to again. You can build a pretty good mule strike out of an old lawn mower deck. We did that clear back in the 80s, people thought snapper made concrete tools. You need the deck and handle and some round pieces of steel to replace the blade. Weld on some angle iron on the front and back where the wheels were and C clamp your strike boards on. 2x6 work best. I still get out the mule on long sidewalk pours. If we have a couple hundred feet to do that old girl lays it down fast and flat. Ours is modified so we can attach a bull float right to it. Strike and float 4-6' sidewalk in one pass. Hit with the walking edgers then cutter and Groover finish with the walking trowel to take out the line and broom. 5 guys can pour sidewalk as fast as it'll come out of the truck.
 

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How are you pouring it? I would pour two 15' pours on 2 separate days.
Really?

30x40 is a cake walk with a crew that knows what they are doing.

I did a 60x40 last year in one shot with 3 rakers and 3 finishers and there was a drain in each bay, so we hand screeded the entire floor. Got on it with two trowel and had it smooth as glass in no time. We could have use a few more guys, but it went fine.
 

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Your rakers and your prep work need to be top notch for it to go smooth. I usually pour at about a 6 anyway, and it works great with a power screed.

You have to make sure you make wide and accurate wet pads, don't rev the motor to high hell, just what you need to get the board moving. If you start to dive off you have to tip back and let it float out.

Your rakers really make or break the job though, instead of pulling a pile, getting up and stepping back they need to watch the board the entire time and give you a consistent 1/4 -1/2" in the mound, holes need to filled before they become a problem or else you will have to pick it up and go back, which sucks.

Ever since working on a crew with power screeds I use mine whenever I can. You still need to hand screed for the wet pads and around tricky areas like drains, but for large flat runs they can't be beat in my opinion, 3 guys can do the work of 5.

This is the one I got, I ordered it with a 12' board. I was nervous about it at first, but it has proven itself to be a good unit. I will probably buy a higher end one when the time comes, with adjustable handle and a quick attach board.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200355695_200355695
 

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When it comes to striking off form to form or form to pipe you need to look critically at the shape of your strike off. The wacker L has a 90° front face. It is a wet screed it won't push itself down to your form. You need something that has more of a wedge up front. There are several brands but I only have vibrastrike so that's what I know the best. The bevel on the front will help force the strike off down against your form or pipe. I have a wacker L but it never gets used except rarely when wet screeding in a tight space. When you bull float do it perpendicular to the direction you struck off. Run a steep angle at first to push any ridges down from the strike off then flatten out. It's pretty flat off the strike but the float will make it dead nuts.

We try to use grade pipes whenever possible. It'll ensure an accurate pad whereas wet screeding is purely operator skill. When the pours get over 20 ft try to use a truss screed whenever it fits. I haven't pulled a board in about 10 years and don't plan to again. You can build a pretty good mule strike out of an old lawn mower deck. We did that clear back in the 80s, people thought snapper made concrete tools. You need the deck and handle and some round pieces of steel to replace the blade. Weld on some angle iron on the front and back where the wheels were and C clamp your strike boards on. 2x6 work best. I still get out the mule on long sidewalk pours. If we have a couple hundred feet to do that old girl lays it down fast and flat. Ours is modified so we can attach a bull float right to it. Strike and float 4-6' sidewalk in one pass. Hit with the walking edgers then cutter and Groover finish with the walking trowel to take out the line and broom. 5 guys can pour sidewalk as fast as it'll come out of the truck.
Pictures please or else it didn't happen :laughing:
 

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Started using the Vibrastrike about 15 years ago. The guy running the machine needs to be competent. I saw a 40 x 40 pole barn with about 40 low spots. The guy on the machine would float over the top.
Have a couple good guys behind you pulling the concrete. It will make a huge difference in the outcome.
We always use pins and wet screed between them. It is always 1 guy's responsibility to drive the pins down. After the wet screed.
It looks like the screeds with a triangle screed bar would pull the concrete down smoother/better. I've never used one so I can't say. Once you are into one, it is tough to switch gears. Run the motor at low RPM.

Whenever we can we use a truss screed. 42' is the max length, of mine. Great way to go for larger pours. Won't work in a pole barn though. You need to have forms for the screed to ride on.

If you are talking about the lawn mower engine ones with 2x4 attached, then I have no experience.
 

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We always use pins and wet screed between them. It is always 1 guy's responsibility to drive the pins down.
I do pretty much the same, the day before I set pins with the laser, but I use 24" form stakes and put a peckerhead nail through a hole, set the pad off the nail, pull the wet screed and then pull the stake.

The rebar pins work fine too, but too many times someone has forgotten to pound one on and we have had to fix it while out on the float pass with the machine.
 

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Man, it's probably been 15 or 16 years since I've seen a truss-type. Last one I saw, I was the only one in the company that knew how to set one up. We have a Somero 240 laser screed for slab-on-grade and a Copperhead for deck pours, along with a variety of Vibra-strikes. But then, these guys I work for do a million square feet a year or so. If I would have had access to this kind of equipment when I was a young finisher, I'll bet I could stand up straight today!:laughing:
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Poured 16 yards today with the power screed. Love it. Will never pour a pole barn without one again. Very easy to use.

The only thing I didn't like was the bolts on the back of the bar that hung up the rake a little when material built up behind it.

We used the 12 foot bar. I might drop that to a 10 or even 8 to see if it is an easier day for the crew.

Next time I will use long grade stakes and set grade to a nail thru the stakes and pull the stakes instead of pound them in. I have never cared for pounding them in. I like sitdwnandhngon's idea. I going to run with that next time.

Although one of the posters above said we would still have to hand screed the wet screed, we did not have to do that. We use the power screed to build the wet screed also.

I hate bending over so I try everything else first including whatever ******* ingenuity I can throw at a better solution.

I found tapping down on the blade with a concrete rake worked really well when we were high and the guy running the rake was the key to an easy screed.

We had to pick up and go back at it for a second run a few times because we were busting our cherries on the our maiden voyage thru trial and error but it was definitely no big deal since the unit is light weight and still waaaaay easier than bending over for an hour straight.

Of any og you have pictured of the other types of power screeds, please post them if you know how.

Thanks everyone for the helpful tips.
 
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