Adjust-to-grade RimRiser makes fast work of manhole component leveling

Paving or public works crew-friendly device features unique, bolt-adjusted riser technology to ease the process of leveling cast iron manhole rings, inlet frames/grates and precast concrete tops. Offered through precast concrete producers, RimRiser solutions use a patented four-bolt system that allows a single crew member to precisely level the riser to the specified grade using a standard 5/8-in. nut driver. 

Typical manhole casting being adjusted to final grade with RimRiser jack screws—no pry bars or shims required. After casting has been set to grade, gap is packed with non-shrink grout.
Typical precast catch basin top set to final grade and ready to be grouted into place. (Note jack screw supporting the top.)

By significantly reducing labor, time and equipment required to ensure that utility covers, grates and tops are installed to grade, RimRiser streamlines the paving process, keeps traffic moving smoothly and protects roads from unnecessary wear—and costly repairs—that result from utility covers that are too high, too low or shift over time. The manufacturer offers more than 35 RimRiser-ready castings, including models specified for 15 states.

“Ensuring that manholes, catch basins, and handholes located in roads and other paved surfaces are flush with the surrounding pavement is essential for long-term durability, driver satisfaction, and reduced vehicle wear-and-tear,” says Asphalt Paving Association of Oregon Executive Director John Hickey. “To the extent new technologies like RimRiser can provide a simple, cost-effective and precise way to improve or ensure flushness, the pavement around utility access points will last longer, which will save money in the long run.”

Leveling of manholes and other surface infrastructure can be a time-consuming process that requires multiple crew members and often relies on outdated, unsafe and imprecise methods like using pry bars and shims that often break down over time. RimRiser is safer to install than traditional alternatives, product engineers contend, as it eliminates hazards from lifting with pry bars, overhead machines or slings and prevents accidental drops on hands or fingers. RimRiser’s patented bolts are small enough to fit in a pocket, making them easy to store and carry. Since RimRiser-ready castings all utilize the same bolt adjustable system, moreover, there is no need to order special sizes in advance or worry about having the right sized shims or adjustable rings on the truck.

“We used to use bricks, wedges or wood shims, but it took a lot more time to set manholes to grade, and in time the bricks and shims would either break down or rot out and the manholes would typically sink,” recalls David Coffey, wastewater crew leader for the City of Vancouver, Wash. “With RimRiser, I like how quick and easy it is to set to grade simply using a power tool. And when we grout the inside, it seals with the sturdy bolts in place, providing a strong base for the castings to sit on.” — RimRiser Inc., Vancouver, Wash., 360/833-2277;

City of Snoqualmie Pass (Wash.) crew installs a typical manhole casting, demonstrating the ease of fine tuning the optimal elevation. The manhole was set 1/16 inch below pavement to prevent snowplows from hitting the casting. RimRiser especially suits conditions where crews have to cut away pavement, due to the difficulty of positioning a pry bar under the manhole flange.
Typical precast curb inlet completely installed using RimRiser jack screws. No pry bars or shims required to install the 565-lb. top. Jack screws come pre-installed from the precast plant.