Sometimes two heads are better than four, especially when you’re dealing with concrete polishing jobs under 5,000 square feet. For grinding that involves spaces from residential basements and garages to small commercial offices and bathrooms, the two-headed Terrco Concrete Grinder 701-S is top of the list for many seasoned contractors. Just ask Justin Waltz and Mike Payne.
Great machine for small spaces
For starters, it’s 27¼ inches wide, the smallest electric concrete grinder Terrco makes. But “it’s still heavy,” says Waltz, a foreman in West Fargo, North Dakota, who heads up All Finish Concrete’s decorative flooring division, about the 775-pound machine.
Because of its compact size, “You can use it in really awkward areas and small rooms” like offices, Waltz says. And because of its heft, “You get the same level of operation as bigger machines.”
When it comes to basements without a walkout door, “If you take off the four pocket weights, two good-sized guys can get the machine down as a whole,” he says. And once the project is done, they can get the concrete grinder back up, too.
Thanks to an adjustable handlebar, one person can load and unload the grinder and reconfigure it to fit tight quarters.
This concrete grinder operates smoother than anything else out there, says Waltz, a 17-year concrete industry veteran. “If I hire a new guy, that’s the machine I’ll put him on. Because of the way it floats over the floor, it’s definitely a good choice to break him in on.”
You can run the 701-S concrete grinder on either 230 or 480 volts. “Ours is a 230,” Waltz says. That means if his crew works a job where there’s no power, they don’t have to have a tow-behind generator. “A compact 15,000 kw generator that we can roll into our trailer suits our needs.”
Longevity is a plus
Payne, owner of Mike Payne and Associates in Southern California, has been a fan of Terrco since he first started his business in 1980. Back then, he bought a +20-year-old used Terrco 501 that he still regularly uses.
Today, he employs 25-35 people and owns a fleet of grinders — all Terrco built. His fleet includes a dozen or so 501s and 701s, including two 701s he bought last year. “They are the most robust machines on the market,” Payne says about Terrco grinders. “They just don’t break down.” So long as his crews lubricate the machines once a week, “They’ll run forever,” adds the union contractor.
Case in point: Payne says he’s got several 701 Terrco concrete grinders on a job in San Diego. They’ve been running seven 10-hour days for eight months solid with no breakdowns.
Unlike planetary machines that regularly need belts replaced, the gear-driven Terrco 701s are equipped with electric motors. “With normal use, I’ve never had to do a repair,” Payne says. “They have nothing you can break unless you drop them.”
Photos courtesy of Terrco
Payne says he’s sold on Terrco grinders. “We have one kind of machine and one type of shoe. And we buy our diamonds from one manufacturer. Everything we have is interchangeable.”
When he considers his investments, he says, he doesn’t just look at the initial cost. “I consider the ease of maintenance, the reliability and the production rate. I buy from one diamond manufacturer, one vacuum manufacturer and one grinder manufacturer. So there’s no confusion about what we’re sending out into the field. And it works for us.”