Although precast concrete is quite heavy, nearly all other competing materials require machinery for handling and installation as well. Speed of installation is more dependent on excavation than product handling and placement. Unlike other materials such as fiberglass, precast concrete does not require the use of special rigging (such as fabric slings) to avoid structural damage.
Precast's superior strength means that installation is often easier, quicker and less costly. It also requires less ongoing maintenance and a reduced likelihood of future problems. That means a lower total cost over the life cycle of a project.
The strength of precast concrete gradually increases over time. Other materials can deteriorate, experience creep and stress relaxation, lose strength and deflect over time. The load-carrying capacity of precast concrete is derived from its own structural qualities and does not rely on the strength or quality of the surrounding backfill materials.