Before anyone takes to the office side of the concreting industry I think it’s important to spend time on the ground and actively gain firsthand knowledge of how the process works.
The tools and people needed to undergo and complete each process, and how to deal with problems if/or when they arise.
In my time concreting I have completed over 1000 concrete projects from small steps and footpaths to huge shopping malls and car parks. Massive dairy herd homes and cow lanes, environmental saucers, and stone traps.
Decorative concrete driveways including stamped concrete and exposed aggregate.
Nibs, curb, and channel, as well as a long list of other concrete projects.
Where It All Started!
I had just turned 19 and had finished a 6-month music course in Invercargill at SIT ( Southern Institute of Technology ) and got offered a job on trial placing and finishing concrete. Nothing to do with music I know but I was keen anyway as I needed the money and I was used to hard work.
The money was not that great but the hours were huge and off memory around 50 to 60 hours per week.
Early starts and late finishes were more often than not which didn’t bother me, and the money I was earning started to show in rewards.
By age 21 I had bought my first house in Invercargill, this very quickly became an icon for party’s, bands, music, and good times.
I was a musician that played in bands and had a rather full-time social life outside of work.
At age 22 I had a disc prolapse that left me off work and in recovery for 10 months which I bounced back from fine and continued placing and finishing concrete.
The company I began my concrete journey with specialized in dairy farm work as well as placing and finishing the odd house floor, driveway or patio.
We also had the contract to concrete footpaths for the Invercargill City Council.
Our Regular Farm Work Included
Dairy sheds including rotary platforms and hearing bone designs
With this work came knowledge in formwork and boxing, as well as all the basic placing and finishing concrete skills.
About 2005 the recession hit and our workforce of 22 had to be reduced. 17 were made redundant which left 5. I was one of the lucky 5…for now.
3 months later we were all made redundant and I found a job working for Kiwi Rail NZ where I worked for just under 2 years, and then joined an old friend in his new concrete business.
Learning New Concrete Skills
After leaving Kiwi Rail, and working with a new concrete outfit we quickly gained some big jobs, some more intricate jobs, and a lot more decorative concrete work.
Over the next 6 years, we worked hard, played hard, and gained an insane amount of knowledge in concrete placing and finishing.
Before we go any further I want to point out that this is in Invercargill and Queenstown regions.
Freezing cold winters that feel like it’s here 8 months of the year.
Slow drying concrete and windy conditions bring their own kind of trouble.
I have worked in some of the most harshest weather conditions. Battled through hail, torrential rain, snow, and ice while placing concrete…less than ideal…but we did it, got through it, and 99% of the time, we won!
Washing off exposed concrete
Larger Jobs As A Concrete Placer
Just under 15 years of working as a concrete placer and finisher I have had the honor of working with some amazing people and the privilege of working on some massive projects.
Below is a video I took of the shopping mall in Frankton/Queenstown.
4:00 am starts driving up from Invercargill to place concrete at 6:30.
For about 3 months most days were around 14 to 18 hours.
This video will give you an idea of what we did.
As you can see I have worked on some rather large projects, and the start of this project for us was in the middle of winter.
Frosty starts to the mornings and late nights finishing, I would often drive back home to Invercargill, about two hours drive away. Boy did we rake in some hours, and it all helped in the pay packet.
If you have any questions about concrete I was more than happy to help and/or answer the best I can.
Where Am I Now!
In the last year I was employed as a concrete placer I suffered a spinal prolapse and a few other injuries to my spine and as a result, was unable to continue concrete work as a full-time job.
As a result of this, I was forced to look into other forms of employment…
Believe it or not, I found a way to make money online from home with any passion, hobby, or niche and I now help others do what I have done.
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