By members of the Codes Task Force of TRD.
Q: How will ballasting guidelines impact the tent rental industry?
A:Tent installers are often asked to ballast instead of stake a tent since ballasting allows setup in more locations and creates no conflict with underground utilities. The Tent Rental Division (TRD) believes it is the industry’s responsibility to develop guidelines before officials and inspectors mandate methods. In response, TRD is conducting a study to provide guidelines on how to achieve the recommended weights with ballasting instead of anchoring. (The recommended weights per tent leg will still be determined by the tent manufacturer.)
What are the benefits of TRD developing ballasting guidelines?
- The market is requesting this option.
- Guidelines will be established by a reputable, credible source.
- Engineered data will aid in establishing guidelines for proper procedure for ballasting.
- Guidelines will assist rental companies in securing a safer job site for customers and the public.
- Guidelines will help create a level playing field for quoting projects and help companies avoid quoting unsafe ballasting “to get the job.”
- The information can be used as a competitive edge.
- Guidelines may be more easily accepted by code officials.
- The industry would be proactive rather than reactive.
What potential impact could the guidelines present to the tent rental industry?
- The amount of weight required could be substantial.
- Costs will increase for installers that have not used sufficient ballast in the past.
- Some manufacturers may not be able to provide needed load information to meet guidelines.
- Recommended ballasting may cause loads on uprights that are not designed/planned for based on how weight attaches.
- Concerns may surface regarding how ballasting will affect aesthetics and accessibility to tent openings.
The industry is always changing and it is the mission of TRD to foster safety, quality and creativity in the use of commercial rental tents to meet the needs created by those changes.
Topics for review will be discussed at a special session during IFAI Tent Expo 2011 in St. Pete Beach, Fla., preceding a membership vote.