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Idaho's Monolithic Sidewalk


An Idaho contractor who has been pouring monolithic curb, gutter and sidewalk for seven years is convinced that it is a stronger, more durable product than pouring separate applications for curb and sidewalk. Cracks in the sidewalk are eliminated.

Besides, says Dan Hite, curb machine operator for Doug McCoy Construction in Twin Falls, monolithic saves a lot of time and labor.

"I'd say we took 60 percent of the time and labor out of there," Dan says. "You use a little more concrete in the process, but for the footage and time it saves, it's the only way to do it."

Before convincing the city of the merits of monolithic, McCoy Construction poured curb and then came back and poured the sidewalk, Hite recalled.

"We would just pour the sidewalk on the straight sections and hand-set the sidewalk in the radius," he said.

The monolithic application removed the handwork in a radius.

McCoy pours a high-back curb with sidewalk that is 7 feet side; a roll curb that is 2 feet wide with a 5-foot sidewalk; and a roll curb that is 30 inches wide with a 5-foot sidewalk. Hite estimates that the company pours 45,000 feet of monolithic a year.

Monolithic eliminates problems with sidewalk cracking, Hite said: "It's all tied together, and the concrete doesn't move at all. We have a frost/heave cycle here. In the winter, the sidewalk will lift and then in the spring, it lowers back down. You get some cracking, but because monolithic is all in one piece, it doesn't crack."

Last year, McCoy moved from a Power Curber 5700-B to a 5700-C curb-and-gutter machine. The increased horsepower is an advantage with monolithic. Jason Scott, another McCoy operator, says he runs the 5700-C at 70 percent.

"With the other machine, we were maxed out," Hite said. "This one's got the horsepower to do anything we want to do."

The 5700-C also features a choice of control systems, left- or right-hand pour and a 50-percent increase in water capacity to 132 gallons, according to the manufacturer. Its standard swivel chute allows for pouring in a single traffic lane, with the concrete truck lined up in front of the machine.

The new control electronic system offers the simplicity of an analog system with the features of a digital machine. The operator has greater flexibility for sensor adjustment. By looking at screens on the operator's panel, the operator can determine if there is a cord problem, a sensor problem, or an amplifier problem and adjust quickly before a problem occurs in the curb.

The Cummins engine is computerized, quiet and fuel efficient. Reverse engine design locates the radiator in the center of machine, away from concrete in the auger, resulting in less maintenance and better cooling. Fuel capacity increases 25 percent to 66 gallons.

Operator's platform is raised for better visibility. The engine pulls the heat away from the operator's platform, making the operator more comfortable.

Power Curbers says the trimmer in the 5700-C is easily accessible for maintenance by removing the protective outside plate. This saves 1.5 hours of maintenance time when servicing the torque hub. The re-positioned trimmer height results in quicker setup. The trimmer is mounted 7 inches farther to the left, allowing the ability to trim and pour 6-foot sidewalk. Posts do not have to be removed from the machine to replace bushings, saving three to four hours per post of repair work and eliminating the use of a crane. Pumps and gear boxes are more accessible. Servo controls are within easy reach.

Story and photo courtesy of Power Curbers Inc.

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