Ride-on Screeding Machine

A ride-on raking machine is a drivable rake that can be used in place of a manual rake for large concrete spreading projects.


A ride-on raking machine is an engineering control that can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders from forceful exertions and awkward postures from spreading with manual rakes.  It is a drivable unit designed to spread concrete evenly while covering more area in a shorter amount of time.  These vehicles are equipped with a seat and handles, or a joystick, for easy maneuvering.

Raking is a step in the process of installing concrete. After the concrete is poured, rakes are used to spread the concrete evenly to the desired site before screeding and other finishing processes can take place. Raking is typically done manually, but a ride-on raking machine automates the process.

The operator stands at the back of the PowerRake┬« and uses joystick controls to move the hydraulic powered rake. The PowerRake┬« easily spreads wet concrete as it is poured from the truck.

Risks Addressed:

Stressful hand and wrist activity can cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as muscle strains; tendonitis, which is inflammation of elbow and wrist tendons; or carpal tunnel syndrome, which is compression of a wrist nerve, resulting in finger numbness and loss of hand strength.  The ride-on raking machine reduces stressful hand and wrist activity by minimizing the need for workers to complete raking tasks manually. 

Stooped postures  can cause low back disorders, such as muscle strain or a disc herniation (“slipped disc”), which is bulging of disc material possibly pressing on the spinal cord or nerves that go into the leg.  The ride-on raking machine reduces stooped postures by minimizing the need for workers to complete raking tasks manually. 

How Risks are Reduced:

Raking is typically a repetitive task, and involves pulling and pushing heavy concrete into place. The workers are placed in awkward postures, including forward bent and rotated positions.  A ride-on raking machine minimizes the need for manual raking.
Health and safety experts have shown that forward bent and rotated postures are risk factors for developing low back pain. These postures are especially harmful when they are repetitive and involve handling heavy loads. Pushing and pulling concrete into place also puts extra force on the hand and wrist. Excessive force has been shown to be the primary factor associated with hand and wrist pain.
Incidentally, one company that purchased the PowerRake® felt there was a reduced risk of injury. The reported ‘back-breaking’ work of placing concrete was minimized.

Effects on Productivity:

According to the manufacturer, the PowerRake® increases productivity on concrete projects by decreasing the amount of time and labor needed for raking.

Additional Considerations:

The design of the PowerRake® does not include a seat and requires the operator to stand during the entire raking process. An operator should be educated on neutral standing posture and take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue.


Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC and Cassie Malecha, DPT – Eastern Washington University

Hazards Addressed:


Somero Enterprises, Inc. PowerRake 3
To obtain information, visit http://www.somero.com or contact 1-906-482-7252

Return on Investment

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