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The right weight—ballast, that is

Industry News, On the Job | April 1, 2012 | By:

TRD’s ballasting tool helps companies calculate proper ballast weights.

In January 2011 TRD members voted unanimously to allocate funds to conduct a ballasting study. Clemson University conducted the research, and study findings were presented at Tent Conference 2012 .

The study findings provide members with a tested way to calculate the required ballast weights to meet the loads provided by the manufacturers. Key details of the study include four ballast configurations that work with pole, frame and clearspan tents; ballast type and surface type.

Clemson tested three types of ballast: steel drums, plastic barrels and concrete blocks. Additional friction tests were conducted with steel plates, rubber mats and plywood.

The study revealed that additional testing is required to help reduce the total weight required on a project through the use of surface factor adjustments. Surface types tested included asphalt, rough concrete, smooth concrete, grass and gravel. All surfaces were tested when wet and when dry.

Based on study findings, TRD is finalizing a Ballasting Tool that can be used to determine the ballast weight with the surface factor adjustment. The tool determines the required weight based on type of tent, ballast configuration, ballast inventory, surface type, surface adjustment factor and safety factor. Members will receive access to the Ballasting Tool as a benefit of membership. Guidelines for the Safe Ballasting of Commercial Tents will be added to the Procedural Handbook for the Safe Installation and Maintenance of Tentage.

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