A Complete Guide to Concreting & Compaction Equipment
The key to laying concrete with a high quality and professional finish, is the selection of the right tools and equipment to do the job properly. There are a huge range of tools available to hire from Tool Hire Express, which will improve the quality of finish and get the job done much more efficiently. Whether you are a professional contractor who needs to hire equipment for large concreting projects, or you are undertaking some DIY concreting work in your garden, such as laying a patio or building a wall, it pays to talk to our experienced team about the equipment available to hire.
Read on and discover our step-by-step guide to choosing the right concreting and compaction equipment for the job.
Step 1: Compaction Plate Hire - Preparation is Key!
Before you pour any concrete, you may need to prepare the ground below to deal with loose gravel, sandy areas or uneven dirt. Tool Hire Express stocks a wide variety of Compaction Plates, including equipment by leading manufacturers such as Waker Neuson and Altrad Belle. These machines are designed to pat down the ground evenly, ensuring it is compacted and ready for the next stage of concreting, tarmac or paving.
A Wacker Plate hire is an excellent option for heavy duty compaction, the forward and reverse compaction plates provide a professional high level of compaction and you can choose from a range of plate sizes from 400mm up to 600mm.
Step 2: Get the Mix Right with a Cement Mixer Hire
Once the ground is prepared, you will need to mix the concrete. Getting the correct mix ratio of cement, sand and stone is essential and it will depend on the work you are completing what the ratio needs to be. A higher strength concrete will require more cement adding to the mix and less aggregate.
To be effective, it is essential that the concrete is well mixed and although this can be undertaken by hand, it is a time consuming and labour-intensive exercise! Concrete and cement mixers are designed to quickly and effectively mix the concrete. It is important things to select a mixer of the right size depending on the size of your project. A larger mixer can prepare more concrete at once, making you more productive. It is always important to consider your working area and location to ensure that the mixer you select can be manoeuvred into position over any rough ground, obstacles and tight spaces, as required.
Tool Hire Express stocks a range of mixers, from small hand-held mixers to electric, diesel and petrol tip over models. We stock mixers from leading manufacturer Altrad Belle; the 4/3 electric cement mixers and 4/3 petrol cement mixers are capable of mixing 85 litres of concrete and are lightweight and portable for both domestic and site use. Our diesel 5/3 site mixers come equipped with a rigid mixing drum, reinforced rim and enhanced mixing performance from a unique paddle design.
For smaller projects, we stock a range of hand-held mixers, which are also suitable for mixing lighter materials including paint, tile cement, plaster and filler.
Stage 3: Release the Trapped Air to Avoid the Voids!
After the concrete has been mixed and poured, it will contain air trapped in the form of voids. If not removed, these voids will reduce the strength of the concrete, make it more permeable and lead to blemishes on the concrete surface. Air is removed using internal poker vibrators that are inserted into the wet concrete and release the trapped air to the surface.
Tool Hire Express stocks a range of concrete pokers available to hire, including:
- High frequency electric pokers: Suitable for large areas, the high frequency increases productivity.
- Electric drive poker units and heads: Interchangeable to suit a range of applications.
- Air pokers: Air or Pneumatic concrete vibrators offer exceptional power to weight ratios and benefit from very low hand arm vibration figures due to their method of operation.
- Mechanical drive poker units and heads: Petrol powered for projects with no electricity supply.
Stage 4: Getting the Desired Finish
Ensuring the concrete is flat and level throughout is essential to get that all-important high-quality and professional finish. The following products increase levelling accuracy to ensure you get the desired finish:
- Hand Tamps: Used fortraditional tamping using a strong, straight and lightweight beam where a motorised product is not required. Suitable for smaller, or domestic projects.
- Double Beam Screed: Twin vibrating beams effectively level and vibrate concrete up to 150mm deep. These provide a more consistent finish than traditional hand tamps.
- Roller Striker: The versatile roller striker is pulled along the freshly poured concrete and strikes off and finishes concrete slabs easily.
Power Float Hire
A Power Float can remove surface irregularities, smoothing them out for a polished concrete finish. A Power Float is used once the concrete has hardened and once all bleed water has evaporated. The power float machine uses rotating circular pans to buff and polish the surface.
The attractive polished surface result is popular choice in a range of sectors, including warehouses, factories, retail and residential. But, the benefits of using a Power Float are not only aesthetic; the action of power floating essentially recompacts the concrete floor, helping to close any of the cracks caused from the concrete drying too quickly. A smooth finish is also much easier to maintain through the elimination of small bumps and grooves which can be difficult to difficult to clean.
Why Hire from Tool Hire Express?
Many of the products detailed in this blog are available for same-day delivery to site, meaning you can quickly access the necessary equipment exactly when you need it. Tool Hire Express has the youngest fleet in the industry, making our equipment reliable, safe and compliant with all HAVS regulations. All Tool Hire Express stores are accredited with the Hire Association Europe's SafeHire certificate, giving you peace of mind that the equipment you hire has been serviced and maintained to the highest standards.
For concreting projects, there is no room for error; our tools are sourced from the leading manufacturers to ensure you get a high-quality result, every time.
How to Hire from Tool Hire Express
Our experts can provide useful advice on which products are available to help with your concreting and compaction projects. To hire from Tool Hire Express, you can call into any of our 34 locations (as well as our A-Plant Plant & Tools locations) across the UK and speak to our experts. If you are a regular hirer, it will be worth opening an A-Plant account which gives you access to products across all our specialist divisions. Or, for a one-off hire you can leave a deposit relative to the equipment you want to hire and provide two forms of identification (including a photo ID and a utility bill), and you will be ready to go! If transport is an issue, we also have a number of delivery options available, speak to our team for more information.