Flatness, as insisted by a publication by the Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia, is a critical consideration for concrete surfaces. Achieving tolerable ground levelness can be a challenge without the right machinery and expertise. For a perfect finish, consider searching through the variety of trowel machines for sale available on the market.
Power trowels flatten concrete through floating and finishing. Floating involves removing bumps, filling valleys, and compacting the concrete at the same time. The finishing pass further levels the slab, resulting in a hard and smooth outer surface.
The selection process of a trowel machine can be confusing since there are many models from different brands. You must consider your requirements to get the best machine for your projects.
Here are some points to think through. Read on!
Type of Trowel Machine
Before looking at power trowel machines for sale, you need to differentiate the classes of these machines. Otherwise, you could buy a piece of equipment that's too big and potentially unsuited to your job. Trowel machines are either walk-behind or ride-on.
Walk behind concrete flooring machines come with a single rotor and three or four blades. They come with petrol engines and their size typically starts from 24 inches in diameter.
Walk-behind trowel machines are much cheaper than ride-on trowels. They are also easier to take from job to job as they are light and portable. Push trowels are suitable for tight spaces like residential floors, commercial buildings, and basements. Their portability makes them ideal for unlimited application areas.
Ride-On Trowel Machines
Most ride-on trowels have two counter-rotating helicopters with four to five blades on each rotor. They come with overlapping or non-overlapping blade sets. The machines usually come with petrol or diesel engines.
Ride-on trowels machines are larger, and their engines have more horsepower than walk-behind power trowels. They produce incredible contact pressure on each blade and turn the rotors with high power. Consequently, they develop a tight-packed solid surface over the concrete slab.
Though they offer less portability, ride-on trowels can be up to five times faster than typical walk-behind machines. They are appropriate for expansive concrete surfaces.
Ride-on machines can either have mechanical or hydraulic systems. Mechanical models are less expensive, and they deliver more torque to the blades. Hydraulic machines, on the other hand, don't have gearbox components, clutches, and belts to maintain or replace.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to looking at the variety of trowel machines for sale. Many concretors own at least one power trowel, but they have to hire something else with different features occasionally.
Site access can prevent a contractor from using a ride-on trowel machine. The alternative might be using multiple walk-behind power trowels to finish the job on time.
However, most job sites demand the use of both types. The ride on trowel will conquer most of the slab but when finishing around obstacles like plumbing and narrow doorways, a push trowel will be the best.
A 24-inch diameter walk-behind power trowel, for example, is ideal for working along edges, small doorways, and around plumbing pipes. A 46-inch diameter trowel, on the other hand, can handle medium to large pours for all floor types with broad coverage.
If you are to finish small to medium sized floors, a twin 36-inch overlapping ride-on can do a commendable job. For best results on large concrete floors, consider a 46-inch or 60-inch machine with non-overlapping blades.
FF and FL Rating
The F-number system rates the flatness and levelness of floors. The right machines and proper trowelling techniques are essential to achieve acceptable FF and FL values.
For high FF on large commercial jobs, it's advisable to go for a hydraulic ride-on trowel machine. The machine provides excellent horsepower-to-weight ratio for maximum slab flatness.
The ride-on will achieve the highest FF values possible. Get a counter-rotational ride-on trowel machine if you desire forward travel along edges with no overlap effect.
Buying a Used Walk-Behind Trowel Machine
Pre-owned walk-behind trowel machines for sale are plenty because they are affordable. So, many people buy them for small projects and sell when done with them, or they are a cheaper alternative when starting your own business.
Buying a used trowel can be an excellent money saving tactic. Below are some tips to help your judgment when buying a second-hand walk-behind trowel machine.
Machinery manufacturers earn a reputation for producing useful products with considerable lifespan. The same applies to power trowel brands. If you are new to this industry, consider researching online, or ask an experienced friend.
Apart from durability, parts for known brands are easy to find, not to mention product support. Local mechanics will be able to troubleshoot and fix problems when they occur.
Wear and Tear
You can estimate the value of a power trowel from the way the previous owner has looked after it over the years. If there is evidence of mechanical damage, the machine may not serve you long enough before breaking down.
Inspect the body and spider arms for dents and bends. The physical appearance can tell you whether the trowel machine is a worthy investment or waste of money.
Proper oil and grease maintenance is a fundamental requirement for a trowel machine. Check the engine and the gearbox oil levels. If the system looks under-oiled or dry, don't risk it.
Inadequate oiling can cause severe engine and gearbox complications. As the main lubrication areas of a walk-behind trowel are the spiders, check for signs of grease.
Trowel Machines for Sale - Bottom Line
The market for trowel machines has many products. Your reason for buying the equipment will have a significant role in your final decision. Are you looking to do small scale finishing, or are you a commercial contractor?
Whatever the case, buy a machine that can handle most of your work. Most beginners start with small walk-behind trowel machines and upgrade as their business expands.
You'll also need to consider the weather conditions, maintenance costs, accessories, product warranty and support, among other factors.
If you are browsing trowel machines for sale, contact us now for further guidance.