Launch Slideshow

50 Cool Things You Could Have Seen at the World of Concrete

50 Cool Things You Could Have Seen at the World of Concrete

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    Big—as in, REALLY BIG tools.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    There were plenty of rotary hammers at the DeWalt booth. This is probably a quarter of them; there are some bigger ones on the other side.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    This unusual grinder-based tool—the Engrave-A-Crete Spiider—is used to cut decorative patterns in concrete. Save your pennies, though, it goes for about $1,500.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Wanna break some concrete? Well, Hilti says have at it.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    There was no need to worry about running out of material to drill, break, or grind; the organizers and exhibitors kept plenty of extra on hand.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Here are two of the smaller GloBug balloon lights from Multiquip. An integral fan keeps the fabric diffuser inflated and away from the bulb in metal halide models. There are also some LED models. GloBugs can be used for road construction, mining, disaster relief, and wherever highly portable lights are required. These things are incredibly bright; the Multiquip booth was in a part of the convention center that is normally dim. Not this time.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Makita unveiled their dual battery 7 ¼-inch circular saw at the STAFDA show but no one could touch it because it was a prototype and was being kept under glass. Not so the World of Concrete; the company brought production models and anyone who wanted could try them out.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    I own one of these—not Blaklader's work kilt, their Two Fisted Fleece Jacket. I like it because it's warm and has plenty of pockets: a chest pocket, phone pocket, side pockets, and a pocket on back for gloves or a hat. The ends of the sleeves have thumb loops which allow you to keep your hands a bit warmer without wearing gloves; if you loop your thumb through only your thumb and fingers will project from the sleeve.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    This odd looking contraption is an Oztec Concrete Ceiling Grinder. I talked to a guy at the booth and he said it is used to remove the ridge that is left at the joint between forms. This thing is basically a grinder head connected to a big motor by a monstrous flexible shaft. The head is attached to a spring-loaded arm that holds it against the ceiling. This particular setup costs something like $3,800.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Vegas baby!

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Oops, those coins are actually concrete—stained to look like gold. Oh well, the slot machine and the guy who is playing it are concrete too.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    We can give you a big blade, a gigantic blade, or anything in between.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    The ErgoMek Drill Boss is designed for the contractor who needs to drill a LOT of holes. Instead of holding the rotary hammer by hand, you mount it in the gizmo and then turn the crank. Click here for more info and to see it in action.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    The paint job on this concrete pumping truck is just beautiful. I was looking at it with a friend and he turned to me and said, “I’d sure hate to be the guy driving it when it gets its first scratch”.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    To show how tough their JobClock is, the folks at ExakTime put the product in water and then froze it into a block of ice. Little did they know that the winter of 2014 would do much the same on construction sites across the eastern half of the country.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    ICS chainsaws won't cut wood; but they will cut concrete. And as far as I'm concerned, that's far more impressive.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Tradesmen work on their hang time at the Blaklader booth. Hang from the company’s work pants long enough and you might win a power tool…

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    David Frane_ToTT

    If you don’t win a power tool Blaklader gives you one of these tasteful t-shirts.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    No, I won’t need to borrow your rotary hammer; this one can handle it.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    I can think of any number of times it would have been useful to have a rubber track carrier to haul things where a truck or telehandler couldn't go.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Here's IQ Power Tools solution to the problem of dealing with dust while cutting concrete—a saw that collects it. The issue goes beyond mere convenience; if the proposed OSHA crystalline silica rule goes through you'll be cutting wet or doing something like this (PC912 Power Cutter) when you cut concrete in the future.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    It’s amazing what skilled concrete artists can do. For a second there I thought that dude on the left was going to fall in.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    This is the storage area behind the Hilti booth. Most of the cases are empty; the tools are out front where people can look at them and try them out.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Two Bosch wormdrives. The one in back is an earlier model (1677M) while the one in the front is their newest (CSW41). Both greatly resemble Skil models, which should come as no surprise because Skil is owned by Bosch.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Telehandlers in the parking lot just in front of the central hall of the convention center.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    They set up an entire White Cap store—fully stocked—inside the convention center. It was very impressive.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    The folks at Bosch demonstrated their new self-cleaning dust extractor with a variety of concrete tools. For more on this see "New Bosch Dust Extractors".

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Here's a cut-away of a breaker Hilti introduced last year (TE 1500-AVR).

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    David Frane_ToTT

    My friend Scott tries his hand at the excavator simulator at the John Deere booth. The company makes these for several machines because it's cheaper and easier to train on simulators than on the real thing. Click here for video.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Stertil Koni's heavy duty lift system can lift and amazing amount of weight. The units under this truck are battery powered and each can lift 22,000 pounds. I watched the thing go up and down a couple of times and lifting a concrete truck was no strain at all. Jay Leno has something like this in his garage (or maybe it should be "in one of his garages"). Click here to see it in action.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    I’ve been to the World of Concrete several times and yet I’m always amazed by the way they manage to bring pump trucks into the convention hall and extend their booms around posts and other obstructions.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Bosch breakers and rotary hammers during a rare moment of rest at the show. Most of the time someone was hammering or drilling away with them on the concrete wall behind.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Husqvarna paving cutters—I just like the way they look when they’re all lined up like this.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    More dyed and stained concrete from the show. Wish I’d been able to spend more time in the decorative concrete area because there was some pretty cool stuff there.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    In spite of the teeth, this is not a dragon; it’s a hydraulic pulverizer used to demolish concrete.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    You're looking at the IQ360, a 14-inch dust collecting masonry saw. Click here to see it in action at last year's show.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    A Makita product manager uses a cut-away of the company's HR4013C to show how the vibration dampening system works.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    This is the Brokk 60, a remote controlled demolition machine that beats the heck out of using a hand-held breaker.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Another cut-away—this one is a Hilti TE 3000-AVT. Who doesn’t like to see the guts of a tool?

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Here’s a view of the main outdoor lot from half-way up the escalator to the monorail that runs from just north of the convention center all the way down to the MGM Grand.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    This was from the decorative concrete area. I never would have guessed the plasterers and cement masons union (OPCMIA) was that old.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Most of the tools and displays at the World of Concrete arrive in crates and trailers--which are stored in outdoor lots during the show. There are more of them than you can imagine and they cover acres and acres of ground. These are just a small portion of the crates and trailers stored in one area of the convention center grounds. The only way to see more crates than there are at WOC is to watch the end of Citizen Kane or Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    The big monitor makes this look like a jobsite entertainment system, but it's actually Knaack's DataVault Mobile Digital Plan Station. It's a secure lockable field station that includes a 40-inch monitor, color printer, backup power supply, 4 port USB hub, 2 port USB switch, and a Power Crew power supply.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Who wouldn’t want a big gold engine? I believe this is from John Deere and I have no idea what kind of machine it goes into.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    More cool dyed and stained concrete—seems like a fit for the floor of a sci-fi and fantasy bookstore but I’m not sure I’d want to look at this every day on my patio.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    Big road paving machines—they look expensive but I haven’t the foggiest notion of what any of them do.

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    David Frane_ToTT

    A ride-on power trowel—as these things go this one is pretty small. I'll have to make a point of riding one at next year's show. Click here for video of a power-trowel obstacle course race.

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    A Mongoose concrete engraver attached to a circle jig.

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    David Frane_ToTT

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    David Frane_ToTT

    You made it to the 50th slide, which can only mean one thing—you're a candidate to attend The World of Concrete. It's tools, machines, and Vegas—what more could you want?

Held each year in Las Vegas, this event might just be the 8th Wonder of the World.

Unless you have been to the World of Concrete it's hard to imagine the size and scope of the show. Everything—and I mean EVERYTHING—related to concrete (and of course, tools) is being demonstrated or on display. Wanna see the latest and greatest in decorative concrete techniques? There's a parking lot filled with artisans dying, staining, and sculpting concrete. Like looking at big trucks and machines? Go inside and walk down aisles filled with bulldozers, road surfacing equipment, and concrete trucks, pumpers, and batch plants. Interested in regular old power tools? You can see those too and probably get to try them out.

If you are into tools and equipment you owe it to yourself to go to this show at least once in your life. Instead of describing what was there this year, I'll show you pictures instead—of 50 cool things you could have seen at the World of Concrete.