Ride-on power trowels are a great investment if you’re doing regular medium to large-scale commercial projects — upwards of 500-600 square metres at a time. A ride-on power trowel has more power, increased weight and a wider finishing path, than a walk-behind trowel so a single operator will be able to achieve a higher quality floor in less time. Once you've decided a ride-on (or ‘rider’) is the right concrete power trowel for your business, you can start to look at the different variations.
First, you’ll need to select a size. The most common sizes for a ride-on trowel machine are 36 inch (915mm) and 46 inch (1168mm), however there is also a larger 60 inch (1525mm) option for those extra large jobs. Path widths range from 1.9m to 3m. The largest machines weigh well over a tonne and can do the work of three or more operators using walk-behinds. The other main consideration is choosing whether you require a mechanical or hydrostatic drive ride-on trowel machine. Mechanical drive riders are best suited for use during the finishing stages when either combination or finishing blades are fitted. Hydrostatic drive riders are ideal for use during the initial finishing stages when pan floats are fitted.
Lastly, you will need to decide whether you want a petrol or diesel powered machine.
Two types of blades can be fitted to your ride-on trowel: finishing or combination. Combination blades can both float and finish which can be a big advantage as it eliminates the need to change blades mid-job, minimising overall down-time. For more highly specified floors where FF and FL numbers are required, you will need to use pan floats. Pan floats are the best option to achieve ultimate floor flatness and levelness. Lastly, if using pan floats, you'll need to finish the concrete with separate finishing blades to achieve an optimum surface finish.
Whoever operates your new ride-on concrete trowel is probably going to be sitting on it for hours at a time, so looking out for a model with the right comfort features is an important consideration. Features such as ergonomic and adjustable seating and cruise control drive options vastly improve operator comfort. Front and rear lighting will be invaluable if you’re working at night or in a dark indoor environment. Finally, even the smaller ride-on trowels are extremely large/heavy and awkward to move around the job site. All riders come with crane lifting points and wheel kits which (if not included) can be purchased as an add-on.
To make sure you you choose the right comfort features and accessories, contact your Flextool representative.
Flextool has a huge selection of ride-on trowel machines and accessories across Flextool and MQ Whiteman. Whatever the demands of your business, Flextool has the right tools for the job.