Robert Gann and his assistant, Terry, put in two days of hard work this week. Okay, okay, I’m sure they put in more days than that this week, but two of them were here on Piney Mountain.
On Wednesday, Robert and Terry set up the forms and partly filled them with gravel. One corner of the slab will be 14 inches deep! This is because of the slope of the land where the pad sits. They pulled back the gravel around the edges so concrete will go all the way to the ground around the outer edges.
On Thursday a front-discharge concrete truck trudged up my steep driveway and wiggled in to disgorge its load through a nose shoot like a great mechanical elephant.
These amazing trucks are popular in this area because they are all-wheel-drive, so they climb slopes like a mountain goat (albeit a fat, heavy mountain goat) and they have wide tires that help them navigate unpaved roads without getting stuck or rutting up the surface. In fact, my driveway is now smoother than it was because the wash-boarding done by UPS and Fed Ex trucks as they spin tires has been mashed down smooth again. Bonus!
The chute is powered so the operator can raise and lower it and swing it side to side from inside the cab. By pulling up close then backing away from the pour, he can deliver concrete to all parts of the slab so Robert and Terry didn’t have to move it around in wheelbarrows. They used gravel rakes to spread it in the forms. The pour went pretty quickly.
Then Robert and Terry set about making it smooth and pretty. That took the rest of the day as they tooled it with floats and formers, waited for the concrete to set up a bit, then finally put a light broom finish on it.
I asked that they not make it too rough because dogs will be pooping on the slab and I need to be able to clean that off the concrete to keep the environment sanitary — but I don’t want it to be slick when wet so that I risk falling and hurting myself.
The slab turned out well. The only glitch in the process was when the wind picked up and blew Redbud blossoms all over the concrete. Robert said, “No extra charge for the decorative concrete”, but then set about trying to remove them with a leaf blower. In the end it was a losing battle because the breeze kept blowing more onto the wet concrete. That is a minor problem and I’m not bothered at all by it.
I’m pleased with the outcome. Robert will be back in a day or three to remove the form boards, smooth out some of the damage to my driveway, (it was muddy up near the slab) and move a little rock around for me. I appreciate all his hard work and look forward to getting started on Phase 2 of this project.
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