Contractors looking for a market niche might consider going after paving jobs that aren't suited for slipforming but can be done with side forms. Steel side forms are a smaller investment than slipforms, and they pay for themselves more quickly. Cities and counties are replacing asphalt pavements at intersections with concrete, creating opportunities for contractors to find work. Municipal curb, gutter, and sidewalk repair is also big business for contractors. Contractors can also consider concrete airport pavements that aren't reinforced and require the use of side forms for thick pavements.
Although side forming can be done with wood at a lower first cost than with steel forms, there are several advantages to using steel forms. Forming and stripping are faster. More reuses are possible. And pavements thicker than 12 inches can be formed without using two or more pieces for the side forms as is necessary when dimension lumber is used. To install the forms, fine-grade the base, shoot in an elevation, and use a stringline set to the top of the form. The steel form can be set in place, adjusted up or down, and staked in place.