Screed Customer Service

Q: Which screed model should I choose for my Project?

Consider the following factors when determining which screed model is right for your project.

  1. Width of pour
  2. Slab thickness
  3. Slump of concrete
  4. Application
  Heavy-Duty Cruiser
Width 5’ – 70’ 5’ – 60’
Slab Thickness 8” – 18” 6” – 12”
Slump 1” + 3” +
Residential – Slab   X
Commercial – Slab X X
Streets / Highways X X
Airports / Heavy Civil X X
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Q: Which winching system is recommended?

Heavy-Duty and Cruiser screeds come standard with hand winches installed on each end of the screed. One-side hand winching is an inexpensive labor saving option for the Cruiser screed. Since winching screeds does not require a great amount of effort either one-sided or two-sided hand winching is most commonly chosen. However, when job specs for flatness and consistency are critical hydraulic winching helps provide smooth, consistent travel. Also, larger and longer screeds are usually purchased with the hydraulic option to reduce labor.

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Q: Which size engine should I chose?

All MFC screeds come standard with Honda Engines. The Mighty Lite and Cruiser screeds come standard with 5h.p engines.  An 8h.p. engine upgrade should be chosen with hydraulic winching option or for screeds over 35’ in length. The Heavy-Duty Screed comes standard with 8 h.p. engines. An 13 h.p. upgrade should be chosen with hydraulic winching option or for screeds over 30’ in length.

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Q: What is optimum travel speed for properly placing concrete?

Optimum screed travel speed is 0-3 feet per min. Travel speed will vary depending on slump of concrete, thickness of slab and the number of people placing concrete in front of screed. Never allow screed to vibrate in place. This will cause aggregate separation and weaken finished product.

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Q: What should I expect for slab consolidation?

Reference above chart for slab consolidation guidelines.  Some factors affecting consolidation are: Screed travel speed / Size of aggregate / Slump of concrete.

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Q: How much crown can I achieve with my screed?

There are a couple terms you should be familiar with when adjusting crown. They are: Parabolic Crown, Roof Top Crown and Inverted Parabolic Crown and Inverted Roof Top Crown. Parabolic crowns are smooth consistent arching crown across entire slab. Roof top crowns mean screed will have only one breakpoint, usually in center of slab/screed.  Inverted crowns means flow or pitch will be to center of slab. An ally would be a common use for inverted crown.

A standard 20’ screed consisting of 4 – 5’ sections will provide the following crown: Inverted Rooftop 5” / Inverted Parabolic 8” / Standard Rooftop 3” / Standard Parabolic 6”.

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Q: How do I determine length of sections I need to purchase?

The number of screed sections and the length of each section will determine crowning capabilities. The use of shorter screed sections (2-1/2 ft and 5 ft) will increase crowning capabilities. Longer screed sections should be used on wider slabs with little or no crown. The use of longer sections will help eliminate deflection at each joint.

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Q: How many people will I need to rake / place concrete in front of screed?

There should be a minimum of one person per 10’ of screed raking or placing concrete in front of screed. A primary to a good finished product is to have placers monitoring concrete in front of screed never allowing holes or mounds in the concrete.

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Q: What should I expect for daily rate of production?

Common daily production rates are 800-1,200 lineal feet per day.

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Q: How long will it take for me to receive my screed?

Normal lead times for screeds are 5-7 working days. MFC stocks standard size sections in 2-1/2 ft, 5 ft and 10 ft lengths.

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Q: How will my screed be shipped?

Most screeds will be shipped via a common semi/van type carrier. It will be banded to a open crate. All screed deliveries should be inspected upon receipt at customer’s facility. It will be necessary to have equipment available to offload the screed. Lifting equipment should have a minimum 2,000 pound lifting capacity.

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Q: What assembly will be required when I receive my screed?

Screeds are shipped to provide customers with the least amount of set up. After removing packaging from screed you should be up and running in a matter of 30-60 minutes. All machines are shipped with an owner’s instruction manual. All manuals are also available on line on our website:

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Q: Operators manuals for your screed

Click here to open your manual for the Cruiser Screed: Cruiser operators' manual

Click here to open your manual for the Heavy Duty Screed: Heavy Duty operators' manual

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Travel Issues

Screed shaft won’t spin:

Is there too much tension on the set screws for the coupler? This could cause premature clutch failure.

Can the shaft be turned by hand?

If yes, check to see if the sheave and clutch are engaged by set screws and/or key way.

If no, loosen the set screw on the couplers to release tension in the shaft, then re-tighten set screws.

Inspect belt for proper tension and/or possible fatigue.

Screed shaft won’t stop spinning:

Is the engine idling and the shaft still continues to spin? Could be the clutch has failed.

To check clutch, remove the belt to see if clutch spins freely by hand turning (while the motor is off).

If the clutch doesn’t spin freely, the clutch should be replaced.

If the clutch does spin freely then, check the belt for too much tension.

Winch won’t turn (Hydraulic Screeds only):

First checks: With screed engine running (full throttle), visually check that the shaft is spinning, the winch spool knob is engaged, and the flow control knob is fully turned clockwise to max speed.

Is the screed shaft spinning?

If no, check clutch, or check the belt tension (see above).

If yes, is the lovejoy/spyder connection spinning?

If no, replace the lovejoy/spyder connection.

If yes, is the disconnect knob engaged in the winch?

If no, engage the knob.

If yes, remove the disconnect knob and unwind the spool.

Is the spool engaged to the winch spool shaft?

If no, check that the set screw for the spool shaft is engaged in the hydraulic motor keyway slot by removing the winch spool.

If yes, remove the spool shaft and start screed to check if the hydraulic motor shaft is spinning.

Does the hydraulic motor shaft spin when the screed is running?

If no, check that flow control knob is turned to full speed.

If the flow control is turned to full speed and the hydraulic motor shaft does not spin, then replace the pump (580-107 engine end/ 580-108 extension end).

Winch ‘jumps’ or does not smoothly pull the screed (Hydraulic Screeds Only):

Check that the spool is not tangled. If the spool is tangled, unspool the winch and re-spool tightly.

Replace the flow control (580-374)

Concrete Finishing

Concrete surface is tearing, or not closing properly:

Check set screws on main shaft couplers at each section to ensure they tightened and the counter weights are properly aligned.

If counter weights are not properly aligned across all sections the concrete finish could be inconsistent.

If the main shaft is aligned and spinning properly and engine is operating at full throttle, adjust the travel speed of the screed.

Slow winch travel speed to allow concrete to close properly.

Ensure there is enough concrete in front of the tube and ensure there is not too much concrete in front of the tube. Concrete should be approximately at the height of the bolts of the front tube.

Ideal travel speed is 1-3 feet per minute.

For concrete slumps below 2" may require additional counter weights to increase vibration for Cruiser Screed™ only (please contact Metal Forms).

Concrete surface is pooling with water:

Increase travel speed

Too much water in the concrete mixture may cause pooling, if possible, adjust the slump.

Concrete isn’t maintaining the initial elevation or flatness setting:

Re-adjust turnbuckles to proper setting, and ensure jamb-nuts are secured.

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Concrete Finishers Specifications

Concrete Finishers Specifications

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280 Owners Manual 2006 to Present

280 Owners Manual 2006 to Present

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580 Owners Manual 2007 to Present

580 Owners Manual 2007 to Present

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