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Types of tent failure

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There are four ways that a tent can catastrophically fail: knocking down, rolling over, uplift or shear failure. Each of these situations assumes that significant forces from storms or wind are affecting the tent’s anchoring. If the wind gets under the tent, it can cause one side of the anchoring to fail and cause the tent to roll over. Narrower tents are at greater risk of rollover than wider tents, which have more stability.

Shear failure creates complex forces that can cause a tent to fail for a number of reasons. Shear failure does not necessarily mean that your anchoring has failed; however, structural movement from shear forces can dislodge anchoring or cause base plates to slide out from under a ballast unit.

Ken Keberle is a project manager at Prime Event Group in Tucson, Ariz. He can be reached at ken@primeeventgroup.com.

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