For Concrete Paving Contractors, Redlands, CA, the choice was easy. The contractor specializes in commercial and industrial paving projects, with jobs ranging from truck docks and highway medians to cart and bike paths and shopping center curbing. For the larger, longer runs, it uses an Easi-Pour 1000 rubber-tired slipform trimmer/paver from Huron Mfg. But for smaller jobs involving tight radii, it uses a Curb Fox. "It is probably one of the smaller machines on the market that has the capability to do the confined areas," says Dave Wallace.
The compact paver is frequently used for bike and golf cart paths, as well as curbs and islands in shopping center parking lots. "It makes us that much more competitive because we don't have to form them," says Wallace. "You take a form crew out and pour 30 yds. a day. You can take the Curb Fox out there and pour 70 or 80 yds. and double your productivity."
The paver's light weight is a particular advantage when working on existing pavement. "On some truck docks, they have pin-on curb they want to float on top of the concrete. I take the Curb Fox, dowel into the concrete and we can go right on top of the rebar with it and pour the curb," says Wallace. "We also have some sidewalk where they want to put in a curb behind it. We've run the Curb Fox on the sidewalk to put in the curb."
The unit is also light enough to be pulled behind a pickup truck. "With a large paver, you're going to have to bring it in with a lowboy. That sets a level of the amount of footage you have to do to justify bringing it in," notes Messinger. "Our machines are typically used for 200- to 300-ft. jobs. It would not be practical to bring in a larger machine for probably less than 800 or 1,000 ft."
Despite the potential benefits, you may question why you would want to invest $30,000 to $80,000 in such a specialized machine, particularly if you have existing pavers in your fleet. Messinger believes it comes down to efficiency. "At a certain point, if a contractor has enough work that his large machine is busy, then he'll look for a smaller machine to do the smaller work," he states. The alternative is to subcontract the smaller jobs or hand form. "That helps make the justification for using a machine easier because nobody likes to hand form work of any size. And nobody likes to subcontract if they can do it themselves."
In the case of Concrete Paving Contractors, Wallace says the compact slipformer has saved thousands of dollars in time and labor. He cites a typical shopping center project, which can take up to eight days to hand form. "We can take it down to five days with the Curb Fox," he says. "It starts adding up quick when you have 15 men out there [hand forming]. You can account for that real fast."