TW200 Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,369 Posts
100? You're a glutton for punishment.



I've installed them by hand using a modified T-post driver with horizontal handles welded on. Slam, turn, repeat. But never more than a dozen at a time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
...Anybody install these things before? Or have any new ideas for me?
I have, but here in FL the ground is all sand, and not too hard to poke a hole in.



I use an auger on my tractor for post holes.



I'm wondering if you could the gasoline powered auger to at least start a hole, screw in the anchors as much as you can, and then backfill the hole.



What are you trying to tie down?



jb
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,664 Posts
3-feet of 1-inch heavy wall pipe and a sledge hammmer. Drive in at each corner of the sign trailer leaning away from the sign at a 45* angle. Remove with an old-style bumper jack hooked to a chain wrapped around the pipe. Go look at any circus tent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
3-feet of 1-inch heavy wall pipe and a sledge hammmer. Drive in at each corner of the sign trailer leaning away from the sign at a 45* angle. Remove with an old-style bumper jack hooked to a chain wrapped around the pipe. Go look at any circus tent.


Agreed. The more I think about it the more I think I can pull it off. I've been told they'll loosen up with rain/snow/frost/etc. as these will need to be in the ground for 1.5 years and survive many different seasons and weather conditions and accidents, but they'll really only be put to the test when the wind is really going (or a vehicle hits one)...so even if they move and I get an inch or two of slack I think I'd be alright as that'll still prevent them from flipping over.



I'll be 10+ hours from the equipment so I can't babysit it on a day-to-day or even week-to-week basis. Whatever I do needs to be set and done with a few checkups here and there. I guess that's why I feel I'm probably over-thinking this, with the amount of repair work I've had to do so far I just want it done and not have to worry about it again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
One more thought.



How about using studded T posts. They are available in different lengths and gauges. I've used them for pasture fencing.







Just today I was removing some that had been in the ground 15 years. They were still reusable.



They can be easily put in with a post pounder (your arms will get tired):







and removed with this:







jb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
...

How about using studded T posts. They are available in different lengths and gauges. I've used them for pasture fencing.



jb


I like those. Familiar with them just never thought of them!



...



They can be easily put in with a post pounder (your arms will get tired):



jb


Cheaper than a gym membership!





Thanks everyone for the help!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,369 Posts
A modified T-post pounder is what I've used for the earth anchors. Mine is made of square tubing. The eye of the anchor fits diagonally in the square tube. Probably a bit labor intensive for your purposes.



Your idea for the cable and plate deadman is probably right on. I've picketed pizzed off 2,000 lb critters to nothing more than a rock tied to the end of a rope and dropped down a hole with dirt tossed over it. Angle is everything and as long as the rope or cable is the proper length these don't have to be as deep as you might think.



Just my .02. Varying soil conditions will probably warrant having several different solutions.



The earth anchors ulimately work on the rock in the hole priciple, but they're a pain to drive. We sometimes get 70-80 mph winds here and I use them to anchor covered pipe corrals whose roofs have far more surface area than your sign trailers. If these boogers get airborn they can decapitate a horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
One last thought about the t-posts.



You can cut them in shorter lengths (twice as many for the money) since you can tie off to any of the studs along the post.



I use an angle grinder with a metal cutting disk.



jb
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,664 Posts
T-posts sound like a good idea. They go in fairly easy, hold well, especially with the plate perpendicular to the pull, and come out easy with the right tool. They are also cheap, even if you buy 6-footers, cut them in half, and add plates to the cut-offs. Drive them in at a 45* angle.



Are your signs on a maintenance schedule? Maybe add checking anchors to your regular schedule?



Tiedowns need to be snug. Any play allows the sign to jerk on the tiedowns, which will loosen them. Excessively tight uses up workload, which can lead to mechanical failure.



Aluminum carports are held in place with sections of rebar with a hex nut welded on the end. The hex nut allows driving with a common hammer drill. Removal would not be difficult with an appropriate application of leverage. They would be cheap, but would not have a T-post's flate plate to resist pullout.



Perhaps an easier fix would be adding weight to the trailer. The signs I've seen definately look like the tires and axles can safely carry more weight than is on them. I could be mistaken. I have seen signs that run on batteries--adding batteries would add weight and reduce the depth of battery cycling, which would lengthen the life of the batteries. Win-win. Common sandbags would be cheaper.



Maybe a combination of weight and anchors would be best?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,664 Posts
Looks expensive!



Maybe instead of sandbags you could weld in steel baskets and fill them with ordinary rocks.



I expect your blow-overs are front-to-back more than side-to-side. Changing the fulcrum point might help. Perhaps 10 feet of channel bolted to the bottom of the frame on each side, extending 8 feet beyond the crossmember. Add a couple crossmembers and a steel tray at the far end from the trailer, fill the tray with rocks, and that would prevent the trailer being blown either way. Might consider solid concrete blocks instead of rocks. Not really that expensive. A piece of channel and a couple padlocks will deter theft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, boss man hasn't been too thrilled.



Actually they usually blow over down the ditch. Sometimes it's because the sign twists sideways then tips over. Sometimes they are leaning that way because the jacks are only so long and can't completely level in the steep ditches. Sometimes the ground gives out underneath the jacks from washouts and over it goes.



I completely agree on the fulcrum thing. It's either A LOT more weight or extending that weight out farther, or tie it down. I'm constrained by the roadway on one side and with most blow-overs down the ditch I'm kinda left to tie-downs, for that type of blow-over. I never had a lot of faith in the weight I added because of the fulcrum concept, but as a last minute solution it has done well (or the weather hasn't been as severe). Different seasons different weather patterns.



I also need to be conscious of having channel (large "spears") out each direction of the trailer in case of a vehicle collision.



In the end, I'll sink some stakes a good distance in the ground and at a good angle, cable it down and keep my fingers crossed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,417 Posts
I also need to be conscious of having channel (large "spears") out each direction of the trailer in case of a vehicle collision.



In the end, I'll sink some stakes a good distance in the ground and at a good angle, cable it down and keep my fingers crossed.


Don't forget the florescent orange or yellow paint for visibility. Standard green or gray color for those posts is like camouflage.

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,664 Posts
I spoke with the county highway department manager and shoed him your pictures. He liked the smart use of barrels to protect the sign in the first picture. Here's what I learned:



1) He says whomever engineered your signs is an idiot. The trailer frames for that sign should have rectangular shapes at least 12x8 feet, plus the tongues, with the stabilizer jacks at the corners, not halfway up the tongue. Asked what he would do with such signs, he said he would weld square tubing in a diagonal pattern under the frame, similar to a hitch receiver, and slide in additional tubing with the jacks mounted to the ends, and secure with pins like a trailer hitch. Remove jack handles to make stealing parts difficult. Adjusting outrigger length would be as easy as drilling multiple holes in the outriggers. He recommended retro-reflective tape wrapped around the upper jack tubes. He also recommended installing a crossmember to prevent the spearing effect, and to allow weighting further out. Another idea he uses on signs that are going to be in position for a long period of time is to chain the trailer frame to stacks of old railroad crossties, which act as jacks, weight, and extended fulcrums. Old telephone poles serve the same purpose. Progressive lengths are used to level a sign.



2) Forget stakes. Highway departments do not appreciate their carefully engineered road beds and shoulders being subjected to poking and digging, which leads to erosion. Besides, the type of soils used as shoulders won't hold stakes, anyway, since they are nothing but unconsolidated sediments.



3) Jack extensions are simple: remove the foot, attach the foot to a piece of pipe the same outside diameter as the lower tube of the jack and long enough to reach the ground with the jack in the raised position, slip a slightly larger diameter pipe about 2 feet long over the extension, slip the extension in place under the jack, slide the 2-feet piece of pipe up until it hits the top tube on the jack, lower the jack until all is snug, put a muffler clamp on the extension tube to keep the 2-foot piece from sliding down. Ideally, the joint of the two smaller pipes is somewhere near the middle of the 2-foot pipe.



Now, from an engineering perspective, your 77ft^2 sign, when subjected to 90mph perpendicular wind, will generate about 3400 pounds of force. Figure at 14-feet tall, the center of force is 10.5 ft off the ground, which would apply 35,700ft/lbs of torgue to the ground directly below the sign. Fortunately, the miracle of mechanical advantage means you don't have to use 35,700 pounds of restraint. For instance, if there is a 10.5-foot spread between the fulcrum (downwind jacks) and load (upwind end of trailer), you'll only need 3400 pounds of mass to keep the sign upright. The shorter the distance between fulcrum and load, the more weight is necessary. The longer the distance, the more weight is necessary. Extend the fulcrum-to-load distance to 20 feet, you'll only need 1700 pounds of weight.



I hope all this info helps.



EDIT: Almost forgot. I broached the idea of using channel extensions bolted to the trailer frame, sloped down to avoid the spearing effect. A couple channel crossmembers could be bolted to the bottoms of the extensions to provide trays for ballast. We clamped up some channel he had sitting around to a flatbed trailer, and he liked the idea that the extension could be easily disassembled and loaded right on the trailer for transport. The angle the extension dropped could be adjusted for slopping ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I spoke with the county highway department manager and shoed him your pictures. He liked the smart use of barrels to protect the sign in the first picture. Here's what I learned:



1) He says whomever engineered your signs is an idiot. The trailer frames for that sign should have rectangular shapes at least 12x8 feet, plus the tongues, with the stabilizer jacks at the corners, not halfway up the tongue. Asked what he would do with such signs, he said he would weld square tubing in a diagonal pattern under the frame, similar to a hitch receiver, and slide in additional tubing with the jacks mounted to the ends, and secure with pins like a trailer hitch. Remove jack handles to make stealing parts difficult. Adjusting outrigger length would be as easy as drilling multiple holes in the outriggers. He recommended retro-reflective tape wrapped around the upper jack tubes. He also recommended installing a crossmember to prevent the spearing effect, and to allow weighting further out. Another idea he uses on signs that are going to be in position for a long period of time is to chain the trailer frame to stacks of old railroad crossties, which act as jacks, weight, and extended fulcrums. Old telephone poles serve the same purpose. Progressive lengths are used to level a sign.


The barrels are usually required by the DOT. If not, it is recommended in the MUTCD manual...the manual doesn't set the requirement, but many times the DOT says it must comply to that standard and, therefore, it becomes the spec/requirement. He must be one of the good DOT guys, because I have A LOT of involvement with them across the country and many times their equipment is in the worse shape of anyone's. Many DOT's still use the old diesel generated boards, not the "maintenance free" solar...I use that term lightly, but they are considerably less maintenance then having to refill fuel every few days. Back in the old days guys used to rig up 55 gallon drums and fill them up with fuel as a gravity feed system...that was way back, obviously. One incident with a vehicle and it was BOOM!



The old signs were rectangular in shape and had a wider footprint for the jacks, they still make the rectangular shaped one in different models and other manufacturers do too. Even older signs had diagonal outriggers, but due to these things sitting outside for 10 years their outriggers usually get rusted in and end up becoming useless to the end user, and therefore discontinued by the manufacturer.



No trailers out there are 12 feet for the jack footprint. In order to fit 4 on a semi for loads, so as to keep the shipping costs lower by pushing more product with 1 load, they'll never grow in size. Which is why the DOT's and others do their own welding or bolting of outriggers to extend the reach. But that involves labor, thought, planning and $$$ and rarely happens. Again, kudos to him if he does all that. Plus, the jacks on the outriggers to the ditch side need to be considerably longer to accomodate the height difference.



I'd wish the trailers had solid steel ballasts at the extreme ends of the frame. Low and heavy. But costs go up due to materials costs and the trailer now going over the weight that requires brakes to be installed. I have thought about using tractor end weights around the trailer frame, I think they'd be very effective but unless I stole them I'd be WAY over budget.



And we all know that companies have an easier time marketing something aesthetically pleasing rather than functionally designed. In MOST cases, wind is not an issue. For 11 years we've had minimal issues, but ever now and then you get a wallop. And when you get in the open fields and the great plains it becomes apparent.



2) Forget stakes. Highway departments do not appreciate their carefully engineered road beds and shoulders being subjected to poking and digging, which leads to erosion. Besides, the type of soils used as shoulders won't hold stakes, anyway, since they are nothing but unconsolidated sediments.


Each DOT is different. Many don't mind you putting in stakes or concrete anchors on the shoulder or in the ditch, provided you drill the hole deep enough to pound the concrete anchors in flush when it is no longer needed. But the snow plow drivers would hit those, just like they hit the barrels.



Another company uses those "duckbill" ground anchors with great success. They've never had a sign blow over due to reasonable winds (meaning anything less than a tornado). Just tricky getting them out as you don't want the auger to hit the cable connected to them, unless you just say screw it and if it gets hit you replace it.



We have another location with a lot of equipment out and we had the customer ground anchor them in with, according to them, the helix style. No issues yet. Those are in a standard ditch with no prep work done. They also had a large trailerable compressor and large tools to put them in. But the helix style should excel in less than ideal conditions.



3) Jack extensions are simple: remove the foot, attach the foot to a piece of pipe the same outside diameter as the lower tube of the jack and long enough to reach the ground with the jack in the raised position, slip a slightly larger diameter pipe about 2 feet long over the extension, slip the extension in place under the jack, slide the 2-feet piece of pipe up until it hits the top tube on the jack, lower the jack until all is snug, put a muffler clamp on the extension tube to keep the 2-foot piece from sliding down. Ideally, the joint of the two smaller pipes is somewhere near the middle of the 2-foot pipe.


With jacks at full travel with an extension on it, the minimal support at the bottom of the stationary jack tube would not survive. The long outriggers would flex enough under the load of the board to eventually bend the bottom of the stationary tube...just like trying to move a heavy boat on a trailer with a lot of tongue weight and the jack fully extended. We've seen many pretzeled jacks through the years, once they start to go it's done. If anything, you'd want an extension that is long enough to fit all the way within the stationary tube near its minimal travel height. That way the extension and the stationary tube would have maximum overlap. But if you did that, how do you get the trailer on the jacks? You'd need an auxiliary jack to get the trailer up in the air enough to rotate them in place. I've done that before. Sketchy business in the ditch, especially in the snow and rain. If the jack slips and the jack isn't set you better have a good set of legs, just in case the outrigger doesn't hold it back from tipping.



Now, from an engineering perspective, your 77ft^2 sign, when subjected to 90mph perpendicular wind, will generate about 3400 pounds of force. Figure at 14-feet tall, the center of force is 10.5 ft off the ground, which would apply 35,700ft/lbs of torgue to the ground directly below the sign. Fortunately, the miracle of mechanical advantage means you don't have to use 35,700 pounds of restraint. For instance, if there is a 10.5-foot spread between the fulcrum (downwind jacks) and load (upwind end of trailer), you'll only need 3400 pounds of mass to keep the sign upright. The shorter the distance between fulcrum and load, the more weight is necessary. The longer the distance, the more weight is necessary. Extend the fulcrum-to-load distance to 20 feet, you'll only need 1700 pounds of weight.


qwerty, we know that torque is a cross product, ft*lbs
But yes, the greater the distance the better. Most traffic control equipment is required to comply by different wind loads either recommended by MUTCD or spec'ed by the DOT, with 90mph being one of those wind load requirement speeds or sometimes lower. Depends on the state, county, contract specs, etc. But these aren't mil-specs and aren't necessarily driven off empirical data, engineering calcs are many times sufficient. No formal testing to prove it out is used. In the ballpark? Yes. Proven in less than ideal conditions? No. But either way, the concept of reaching out farther is going to help hold the board in place.



I hope all this info helps.



EDIT: Almost forgot. I broached the idea of using channel extensions bolted to the trailer frame, sloped down to avoid the spearing effect. A couple channel crossmembers could be bolted to the bottoms of the extensions to provide trays for ballast. We clamped up some channel he had sitting around to a flatbed trailer, and he liked the idea that the extension could be easily disassembled and loaded right on the trailer for transport. The angle the extension dropped could be adjusted for slopping ground.


I do appreciate your help! Kinda nerdy to talk about work outside of work but it only helps me become a better employee by getting involved in different think-tanks. Some states create special landings for boards in their ditches for commonly uses locations, too expensive and cumbersome for a "temporary" project. But ideally, I'd want their own, flat locations with the ability to cable down. No such thing as ideal, only the next best option that fits into the budget.



I have thought about shoring up the ditch side frame with railroad ties to take some loads off the jacks, and allowing the jacks to keep it balanced, not balanced AND holding all the load. Might extend the life of the jacks but won't solve the flipping issue unless I shore up at the extreme ends of the trailers.



I think I'll go with the stakes for the time being. If they become troublesome I'll figure out why and take the next appropriate steps to solve the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
If you google" Eric bull jump builder" one thing that will come up is earth anchors, you pound them in with a sledge hammer and then remove with a ratchet (a very big one) the ratchet breaks the lock with the ground and they come out fairly easily. They were developed for large tents by the military and he sells and uses them for jumps that get a lot of pressure put on them then have to be removed. Tell him Kyle told you to call him he's great to deal with.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top