What Equipment Do You Need to Pour a Concrete Sidewalk?

What Equipment Do You Need to Pour a Concrete Sidewalk?

Concrete begins to dry immediately upon pouring — whether you're prepared or not. To achieve a successful sidewalk pour, you need the right equipment for the job. With the necessary tools at your disposal, you can ensure that you master every sidewalk project your company encounters.

This guide will highlight the tools and rental equipment needed for pouring concrete sidewalks.

1. Protective Equipment

Sidewalk construction involves the use of hazardous tools and materials. That's why it's crucial to equip yourself with the proper protective gear to stay safe. Necessary equipment for the job includes:

  • Eye protection: Cement can cause the eyes to burn upon contact. You can protect your eyes with safety glasses, goggles or face shields.
  • Breathing protection: You can prevent cement lime and dust inhalation by wearing masks or respirators. 
  • Hearing protection: You should protect your ears from damage by wearing earmuffs, earplugs or ear caps when power tools and equipment are running.
  • Skin protection: Concrete can be irritating to the skin. Protective gear like rubber gloves and boots will prevent contact and injury. 

2. Wheelbarrows

You can use wheelbarrows to move small amounts of concrete, tools or waste around the job site. You can also use them to collect samples for assessments like slump tests. 

Make sure you're using a well-made wheelbarrow with rugged tires so it can handle heavy loads.

3. Mixers

Concrete mixers are one of your most vital machines for concrete pouring. This equipment uses a revolving drum to combine cement, aggregate and water into an even, high-quality mixture. The drum's constant movement ensures that the concrete remains agitated and does not set before you pour it. Mixers blend and pour the concrete compound more easily and reliably than a worker could manually, and they lessen physical labor demands for your crew. 

4. Screeds

Screeds are long, straightedge boards or aluminum tools used to smooth wet concrete after it has been poured. Moving the screed flat across the concrete slab scrapes off any excess materials to create a rough but even surface. You must complete this step immediately upon pouring the concrete to ensure that excess bleed water doesn't rise to the surface. 

Screeds are available in various sizes you can choose from based on the width of the sidewalk.

5. Plate Compactors

Plate compactors are large motorized machines that compact soil to minimize surface shifts caused by excess moisture or pressure. These tools are ideal for creating an even, stable surface for the concrete slab. A compactor uses a heavy steel plate mounted to the machine's base to perform a rapid pounding or vibrating action that reduces the soil's pore space, creating a dense, tightly packed surface for the concrete to rest on. 

6. Shovels

Shovels are useful for filling voids and depressions in the concrete after the mixture has been poured. You can also use these tools to fill buckets and wheelbarrows or remove excess concrete from overfilled forms. It's good practice to use a square-edged shovel to achieve the most even spread. 

7. Finishing Tools

There are several tools you can use to finish your concrete surface:

  • Trowels: Trowels smooth concrete surfaces to ensure a dense, even finish before the concrete is left to dry.
  • Floats: These tools comprise a long pole attached to a flat metal or wooden surface and allow you to smooth the concrete after screeding.
  • Brooms: You can produce a traditional concrete finish by dragging a broom across the concrete slab to create a slip-resistant texture.

8. Vibrators

When you pour concrete, tiny air bubbles can form in the mixture, weakening its structural integrity. Concrete vibrators settle and compact the concrete by shaking it to remove air pockets and excess water during pours or finishing. These devices ensure the slab is solid and structurally sound to prevent the concrete from being compromised. 

9. Saws

There are various power saws you can use on your work site to cut rebar or concrete forms. These tools are also useful for cutting out old concrete or new concrete that has set poorly. Popular saws for concrete work include circular saws and reciprocating saws.

10. Groove Cutters

Groove cutters create concrete joints in the sidewalk. These tools have a horizontal plate with a vertical fin and rounded sides to cut and sharpen grooves. Grooving the concrete surface prevents it from cracking or shrinking as it dries or during use. 

Invest in Rental Equipment for Concrete Sidewalks at The Cat® Rental Store

You can get dependable rental equipment for pouring concrete sidewalks at The Cat® Rental Store. We offer an extensive selection of safe, sustainable equipment backed by the latest technologies, all available through our expansive dealer network. Our solutions are durably built to endure even the toughest environments and applications, no matter your industry.

Get a quote on one of our products, find The Cat Rental Store near you or call 1-800-736-8228 for more information!

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