Brian Strachan, President, has been in the concrete forming business for over 15 years. His company has five employees and places between 150 and 200 cubic meters of concrete per week. Over the years he has worked for many of the large developers in Vancouver.
"Each product has it's advantages and disadvantages", said Brian. "We used to install the cardboard tubes at the last minute to prevent water damage. Now I give a roll of Fast-Tube™ to each of my crews, and they install upon the completion of the formwork, regardless of the weather - rather than when the concrete shows up. It makes my life a lot simpler. The disadvantage of fabric is that a tear can lead to form failure if you fill it right up - so we're careful when installing over rebar."
From a cost standpoint, Brian views the Fast-Tube™ as a winner. "In the past, 12' cardboard tubes would be delivered on the ready mix truck along with the concrete to minimize water damage. Now we include the Fast-Tube™ in our contract, we make a markup on the fabric, and the owner gets each column for about half the cost. Everyone wins."
Strachan use another method of setting the base when filling the tube. "We hold the bottom edge away from the 2x4s with one hand. As soon as the tube has 6" of concrete in it, fabric tension prevents leakage. This is easier than placing your feet around the base."