Solution Summary: Ride-on Troweling Machine
A ride-on troweling machine is an engineering control that can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders from forceful exertions and awkward postures from using walk-behind trowels. It is a drivable unit designed to remove flaws and compress concrete 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.
Power trowels are used to remove flaws and compress concrete. A ride-on trowel can be used in place of a walk-behind trowel for large concrete finishing projects. Ride-on trowels are designed to cover more area in a shorter amount of time. Ride-on trowels are also designed to maximize operator comfort. The trowels are equipped with a seat and handles or a joystick for easy maneuvering.
Ride-on trowels are available in a variety of sizes and design types. Trowel widths vary from 70-100 inches and weigh between 300-800 lbs. Trowel blades come in overlapping and non-overlapping designs. Non-overlapping designs leave a small trail between the blades that require extra finishing. Over-lapping blade designs do not leave this trail.
Figure 1. Whiteman ride-on trowel. (Photo courtesy of Multiquip Inc.)
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 troweling machine can help reduce stooped postures by allowing the operator to sit rather than push the machine, which often involves twisting maneuvers that can put additional strain on the low back.
How Risks are Reduced:
Effects on Productivity:
Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC and Cassie Malecha, DPT – Eastern Washington University