Concrete trowels can help a contractor to finish a surface quickly and easily. Inexperienced hobbyists may not know what to consider when selecting between a walk-behind trowel and a ride-on version for a project. Read on and discover some of the considerations that can help you to make the right decision.
Consider how easy it will be for you to get the equipment to the jobsite. It can be hard for you to get a ride-on concrete trowel onto a slab that is elevated. A walk-behind trowel can be a better choice in such a situation. Similarly, it may be hard to get the larger ride-on trowels to a site where insufficient space exists to move the equipment. For example, ride-on trowels may not pass through residential doorways easily. Walk-behind trowels are better for such sites.
Think about the ventilation at the site where you will be working before you select a power trowel for that project. It is better to select an electric walk-behind or electric ride-on trowel in case the project is indoors. Fossil-fueled versions are better suited to outdoor jobs.
The size of the concrete slab that you intend to finish should also influence the choice of trowel that you hire. It may be uneconomical for you to hire a walk-behind concrete trowel in case the surface is large, such as a slab exceeding 5000 square metres. Similarly, it may be unnecessary for you to get a ride-on trowel to finish a small slab of about 200 square metres. You can only change this general rule when the other factors discussed earlier make the obvious choice impractical. For example, you can get several walk-behind trowels if it will be hard to get the ride-on models to the large jobsite due to accessibility issues.
Presence of Obstructions
Examine the site itself and assess what kind of obstructions are likely to affect the process of finishing the slab. For example, will the trowel have to move around pillars? Are there wiring stubs on the slab? Ride-on trowels may be harder to use around such obstructions. A walk-behind trowel is better suited for working around those obstructions.
Use the factors above to narrow down your options of the type or size of concrete trowel that is appropriate for your project. You can then use other considerations, such as cost and ease of operation, to select the exact trowel that you will use to perform the concrete surface finishing tasks.