Frame tents are a must-have for almost every tent rental business; they’re incredibly popular with clients of all stripes and are reliable money-makers. Technology advancements both within tent manufacturing and outside of that arena have contributed to the clamor for frame tents.
Take custom graphics. According to Gary Feuerborn, vice president of All Seasons Tent Sales, a Kansas City, Kan., manufacturer of frame and pole tents, the demand for custom graphics has grown. This has been spurred by advancements in wide-format and grand-format digital printers, he says.
“Each year we do more and more graphics. Requests have increased every year and this has also helped boost tent sales,” he says.
Celina Tent Inc., a Celina, Ohio-based industrial textile manufacturing company that provides a variety of frame tents, does a “tremendous amount of custom print work,” says Cassandra Roessner of Celina. Roessner says the company uses DuraPrint for all their print work, describing the fabric as optimized for both digital printing and tent manufacturing.
Weldable webbing is another advancement Feuerborn identifies. This vinyl-coated webbing can be attached to the tent vinyl by hot air. Used when it’s necessary to expand the frame tent to a longer length, the webbing is welded to the edges or sides.
“Then we add webbing laces and grommets to weldable webbing to secure the two pieces together,” he says. “There are no threads to break, and the vinyl coating on the webbing makes it easier to clean.”
Because tent manufacturers understand how costly labor can be, they strive for advancements in making tents easier and faster to install and tear down. Sarah Lapping, director of sales and marketing for Economy Tent International, a Miami, Fla.-based manufacturer specializing in engineered frame tents, says they incorporate numerous time-saving features, such as snap-button assembly, color-coded end caps and adjustable uprights.
“We also have stamps in our mid-leg fitting, top expansion fitting and eight-way crown to identify the direction of the fitting to the pipe insertion,” she says.
Olympic Tent, a Tacoma, Wash., tent manufacturer, introduced slide-in tops and lighter (but stronger) frames that make their Olympic frame tents about 30 percent faster to install, says Scott Sutherland, president and owner. Additional labor-saving innovations include the Maxi IV eave tubing and roller wheels for sidewalls.
“This allows for the walls to zip or lace closed in the center, or to easily open and roll back the walls to the legs,” Sutherland says. “Then the open walls can be swagged in place next to the legs.”
One labor and time-saving tool tent rental companies should consider is a tent jack, a device many companies sell, says Feuerborn. “This is a cable system with a winch on it that will winch the tent up in the air,” he says. Sutherland also recommends this, explaining that the “much higher lifting capacity” of tent jacks makes the setting up and striking larger tents far safer.