One of Birdwell’s recent projects was a warehouse expansion to the Saddle Creek Logistics Center in Lakeland, Florida. The 400,000 square foot expansion to the already one-million square foot facility required final specifications to reach floor flatness of 50 (Ff50) and floor levelness of 35 (Fl35), which according to Birdwell is a generous specification for this type of storage and logistic facility.
“We chose to do this warehouse project in 11 different placements and use all Wacker Neuson CRT 60 and CRT 48 diesel ride-on trowels, Birdwell explained. “Because this project was unique and fast paced, we took a different approach from our typical finishing process. We transported the concrete via a boom pump, and were able to control the slump between four and five-inches and then used a Somero 240 laser screed. Typically we bump cut, check rod the floors to achieve a higher tolerance. On this project, after the laser screed, we just simply bull floated the floor and used the CRT 60 to pan at 90-degree and 45-degree angles which gave us the flatness that we were looking for. By using this panning process we achieved overall FF112 and FL75.” Birdwell said.
Following the panning process, Birdwell and his crew used five Wacker Neuson trowels, CRT 48 and CRT 60 units, with finish blades and multiple passes in different directions to complete the process to the final specifications.
Throughout the years, Birdwell & Associates have used many different types of finishing machines, but according to Birdwell, the finishers on this projected really appreciated the CRT 60. “They loved how it operated, the ease, being able to view the floors from different angles, it was a comfortable machine, but probably the most unique application to the machine was the panning ability and the power management system,” Birdwell explained. “The fact that the machine would not bog down, you could keep the full force of the machine panning through even extremely tight, finished concrete, which again increased the floor flatness level.”
On a job of this magnitude, operator comfort really equates to productivity. “When you spend this much time on a floor finishing, day after day, it really comes down to operator fatigue and his comfort and then power,” Birdwell said. “Our finishers liked the joystick controls and the ability to see all the way around the machine. That visibility is key when finishing around obstacles like pipe and columns and seeing the floor in detail.”
Birdwell & Associates worked with Wacker Neuson’s local distributor, Walker Miller Equipment Company in Orlando, Florida to prep, service and deliver the five Wacker Neuson ride-on trowels to finish the slab; two CRT60-66k (the newest 10-foot hydraulic model) and three CRT48 models (two manual and one with power steering).
Contractors give many reasons for why they use Wacker Neuson’s large flatwork product line; the performance, durability, innovative technology and productivity are just some of the responses. Birdwell said, “Wacker Neuson has built a lot of features into their trowels, especially the new 10-footer (CRT 60). Our finishers like the two-mode power steering that lets them select the response of the joystick controls.” Birdwell continued, “All of this really does make a difference in our operators overall productivity and contributes directly to the flatter floors that we are achieving. I think Wacker Neuson is the new leader in concrete finishing machines”.