Published on 8/3/2017
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What makes a good concreter?
Are you cut out to be a good concreter?
What makes a good concreter?
At concrete broker we checked in with some of our resident concreters to take a look at what makes a good concreter. The results might astound you. No, it's not all about placing and finishing concrete. There's definitely more to concreting than steeling up and pour day. Whilst our concreters let it us know that while it may look easy, concreting isn't the easiest job on the planet.
So if your looking to complete a 12 week course and go out and start concreting, you may like to think again. The difference between good concreters and bad appears to be widening. And from what our research found, the public don't need any more bad concreters. So here's 12 tips to help you decide on whether you can cut it as a concreter
1. Good communication skills
Concreters need to communicate with a multitude of people, both on and off site. Clients, customers, builders, plumbers, concrete plants, steel suppliers and truck drivers just to name a few. Then there's engineers, concrete pumpers and batchers, not to mention their own employees. Being able to communicate effectively saves time and money
2. The ability to delegate
You cannot do it all yourself. Therefore whether you're on the screed or the float, or simply taking time out for smoko, the ability to delegate work on site is an essential part of being a good concreter. Your only as good as your weakest link on pour day, therefore ensuring all your troops are set tasks and working to program is key
3. Forward thinking
Being ahead of the ball, not playing it, is another trait possessed by the good concreters. You need to be able to look ahead and read the play. "How long shall it take to steel up? Has the steel been ordered? Who's supplying the colour? Have I booked the pump? What's the weather doing?" Forward thinking seperates the good from the bad and downright ugly in the concrete jungle.
4. An understanding of building plans, heights and levels
You do not necessarily need to be a qualified draftsperson or surveyor to be a good concreter. Or even a scheduler or estimator. But an understanding of building plans, both architecturals and engineering, comes in handy on site. Steel reinforcing, formwork and dumpy levels all need adjusting at the right level at the right time to deliver a well laid slab.
Good attention to detail doesn't go astray either
Photo Source: Tony Partridge Concreting
5. Spacial awareness
Knowing where everything is on site and therefore good spacial awareness plays a role in laying a good concrete slab. The garages, edge beams, wet areas and living spaces all require special treatment, and more often than not different mix designs. Being able to measure up with your eye as you move through the slab is a skill that seperates the men from boys on site
Ramming in concrete pegs, breaking your back on the screed, lifting mesh and formwork are all part and parcel of being a concreter. Whilst it isn't a job requirement to look like Arnie Schwarzenegger, having a good physique does come in handy
7. Work ethic
Being a concreter is bloody hard work. Early mornings and long hours are more often than not your staple diet. If you're interested in taking drugs, sleeping in or working 5 days a week, you may like to think again
8. Sound organisational skills
Being organised is pretty important when it comes to good concreting. You are required to liaise with a lot of people throughout a pour, book in several services and buy plenty of product. Making mistakes when ordering, not being where you are supposed to be when you said you would be, and leaving everything until the last minute, are definitely not the attributes of a good concreter
9. A sense of humour
You have to be able to laugh. And laugh at yourself as well. A good sense of humour is definitely a prerequisite to good concreting. One minute its sunny, the next it rains, one minute half your crew doesn't show up, the next your client forgets to pay you on time. If you can't laugh about it, you'll be doing plenty of crying
The good concreters have patience. They know that taking their time before they "get on the crete" shall improve the finish of their slab, without causing imperfections in the surface. It's not a race to the finish. Often staying back to spray aliphatic alcohol on the surface, cure the concrete and finish the slab properly are jobs that take time and require patience. Yes, patience is a virtue when it comes to being a good concreter
Photo Source : Tony Partridge Concreting
Unfortuanetely experience is something you can't buy when it comes to concreting. You need to have lived through the downpours, the deliveries of cut and bent bar at the incorrect length, and the plastic shrinkage cracking, to know what to look out for during a concrete pour. Wind, rain, humidity and inefficient concrete plants can all be your enemy from time to time, and having the experience to deal with all these variables goes a long way toward being a good concreter
12. Friends in the industry
From time to time everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. The steel is late, the chairs are the wrong size, the concrete plant delivering is too far away for a message and the pump breaks down. Being able to call on colleagues in the industry can go a long way to separating the good from the bad in the concrete playground
Do you have the skills to cut it as a concreter?
Related Articles :
THINKING ABOUT BECOMING A CONCRETER? : https://www.concretebroker.com.au/Blog/View/21
TONY PARTRIDGE CONCRETE "IF THERE'S CONCRETE IN IT, WE'RE THERE"
Concreting the Hunter Valley and Newcastle for over 30 years : https://www.concretebroker.com.au/Blog/View/84
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