When you’re choosing a new portable staging system for your event, there are a variety of things to consider like stability, strength, flexibility and safety. But one of the most important considerations that people forget to ask about is the product’s set of load ratings.
Let’s start with the basics.
There are three main load ratings to consider: the standard uniform load, point load and dynamic live load.
Standard uniform load
The standard uniform load rating is a measure of how much weight equally distributed across the span a portable stage has been rated to support safely. This specification is typically in pounds per square foot. For example, a portable stage that measures 10 feet by 10 feet with a uniform load rating of 125 pounds per square foot may safely support 12,500 pounds of weight (10ft x 10ft x 125 pounds) evenly distributed across the stage. The higher the standard uniform load rating, the more weight a stage will safely support. Most building codes require that portable stages support a minimum of 125 pounds per square foot but depending on the number of people and equipment on stage, you may need more than that. Portable stage manufacturerers will often have several different designs that offer additional legs, beams or other support structure to increase the load rating. Make sure when deciding on a portable stage that the load rating is high enough for all of the people and equipment you plan to have on stage at any given time.
The point load rating for a portable stage lets you know how much weight you can place on a single point without leaving a permanent mark or dent in the stage surface. This is important in the case where you may want to set a grand piano or heavy event table on the stage. Manufacturers will often give this specification as a weight applied by a pin or a caster, for example: 1,500lb applied via 1″ diameter pin. What this means is for that stage surface if you set 1500 pounds on a 1-inch diameter pin, it will not leave a permanent mark or dent in the stage surface. It is important to consider this number when looking at portable stages even if you do not intend on placing a grand piano on stage. A higher point load rating will mean a more durable surface that may better resist damage such as in the case of an accidently dropped hammer.
But there’s another load rating many people don’t think about. And it’s not often included in the manufacturer’s information.
Dynamic Live Load
The standard uniform load rating is often static, but a group of high school students performing during a concert is never static. That’s why it is important to consider the dynamic live load rating.
The dynamic live load rating is the amount of lateral force a portable stage has been tested to safely support while supporting the maximum uniform load. For example, a 10ft x 10ft portable stage that has a standard uniform load rating of 125 pounds per square foot and a 15% dynamic live load rating, the side load is calculated as 15% of the total uniform live load or 1875 pounds. (10ft x 10ft x 125 pounds x 0.15) The higher the dynamic live load rating the greater amount of lateral force the stage can safely support without bending or collapsing.
One stop shopping
Wenger’s engineers designed StageTek®portable staging system with all of these things in mind. It’s a portable stage and riser system that’s strong, light, versatile and easy to set up. It’s flexible enough to work for either seated or standing and other performance needs. Strong, simple and inexpensive legs can be stored on the underside of the deck for additional flexibility.
- Maximum Flexibility– Simple, economical, plug-in legs make hundreds of configurations possible.
- Strength & Stability– Among the highest load ratings of comparable systems based on the three most important load ratings.
- Fast, Easy, Intuitive– Anyone can set up StageTek in minutes. No tools needed.
- Safer– Higher load ratings in a deck that’s 20% lighter. Only StageTek provides rounded edges for a comfortable powergrip (75% stronger than a pinch grip). This helps save backs, fingers and toes.
- Less Storage– Save as much as 50% in storage space with an easy moving storage and transport cart. Legs can store in the decks keeping parts nearby for the next setup.
- Durable and Repairable– The lack of any folding connections in StageTek’s design eliminates the source of loose parts, noisy rattles and failures. StageTek’s simple, solid design has a best-in-class warranty and parts designed for easy replacement.
Ask the right questions
The bottom line is this: after you’ve considered everything you need in a staging system, ask about the load ratings and make sure you know you’ve got a sturdy, safe, reliable staging system that will last you for years to come. The load ratings should be a part of your criteria.