EDCO offers an easy-to-install wheel kit that makes it simple for a single operator to move his unit around.
“We recently modified our Tote-a-Trowel to be truly universal in that a single cart can fit on all our walk-behind trowels from 24- to 46-in. diameters,” Orzechowski says.
Automatic blade pitch, comfortable seating, “helicopter joysticks,” and dead-man switches that cut the machine’s engine when the operator takes his foot off the pedal or lets go of the handle are standard features found on most ride-on trowels. Recent trends in the ride-on trowel industry include a move toward bigger engines and steering systems that make operators feel like they’re playing a video game.
“We came out with an electric steer model last year, and it uses electronic fly-by-wire steering electronics, in lieu of mechanical steering, which is what the industry started with in the early 1990s,” says Tim Lickel, product manager with Wacker Group. “It reduces operator fatigue and increases productivity.”
Bartz says another type of steering that’s been gaining popularity in the industry over the last five years is hydraulic joystick steering.
“The hydraulically powered drive system eliminates the clutch on a riding trowel, which is a big wear item, and the hydraulic joystick steering keeps operator fatigue down,” Bartz explains. “Allen Engineering offers a large range of ride-on units with hydraulically powered drives and joystick steering, from units as low as 34 hp all the way up to our biggest unit, and the biggest one in the industry with a hydraulically powered drive system and joystick steering, the 87-hp diesel turbo-charged HD550 Razorback, which has a 12-ft. troweling pass.”Becky Wasieleski is the associate editor of Pavement and Equipment Today, sister publications of Concrete Concepts.