Concrete with low water content and stiff consistency is desirable for slab and pavement work, but such mixes develop their full durability and strength only when properly compacted. The commonly used light truss type of vibratory screed reduces the labor of manually placing, striking off and consolidating these stiff mixes. Vibrating roller screeds also are available to strike off and consolidate slab surfaces. Most of the vibratory screeds work best with concretes in the 1- to 3-inch-slump range. The truss type is adjustable lengths range from 10 to 100 feet and it can be used for flat, crowned or dished surfaces.

The vibratory screed provides a relatively accurate and efficient method of concrete finishing for the contractor looking for a minimal initial investment in equipment. A vibratory screed is well suited to the small to medium sized concrete finishing projects and will provide the contractor with an accurate finish and uniform consolidation throughout the slab. The vibratory screed also features acceptable production rates with low slump concrete. With the use of a vibratory screed, concrete finishers are not burned out and can be expected to perform at full capacity throughout the project.

There are also other advantages of the vibratory screed. It is lightweight, which makes the machine not only easy to handle but also provides for excellent job-to-job mobility. A screed is also a simple machine that is easily assembled and operated. Operating costs are also minimized, with engine-powered screeds featuring small engines and air-powered screeds requiring relatively small air compressors. The vibratory screed is only one of a number of methods available for concrete finishing, but one that has a number of advantages that should be investigated by any contractor in the concrete finishing business.