InTents August/September 2019 - 39

Deninno: The number one thing is underweighting.
Number two would be having the ballast out too far
from the tent. Whether it's a water barrel or a block,
the physics are the same. The farther you are from
the tent, pulling at an angle, the more leverage you
have to pull the block over. When ballasting, it is in
your best interest to have the block closer to the leg.
Attached to the leg is an even better scenario.
Tipping the barrel or block over is eliminated because
it's tied to the leg. Plus, it holds the leg from moving,
which is usually what compromises the tent. If you set
up a tent and a block and you put, say, a 500-pound
block six feet from the pole because that's where
you'd put your stake lines, the block is much easier
to tip because of the tension and the angle. Once you
elevate it just slightly it could slide in closer. And
once it slides in closer, you've compromised your
tension. The tent will start to oscillate or bounce up
and down, putting undue stress on the strap, which
now will cause the block to move even more, causing
more bouncing. That's when something fails.
It's always better to have the ballast close to the
tent. Sometimes this means having two ballasts,
so one is very close to the tent against the leg and
the other is right next to the irst block, where
you have your guy strap coming down so you
have a good triangle going back to the tent.
The other common mistake in ballasting,
unfortunately, is with water barrels. Besides the plastic
factor, they rarely get illed all the way. If you have a
480-pound water barrel, but you only illed it threequarters of the way, you don't have 480 pounds.

What is your best tip for ballasting?
Tharpe: Always ballast to the worst-case scenario.
It is best to have too much ballast than having too little
ballast. You should never underestimate the power
of Mother Nature. There are several key indings
as well to think about when using ballasting:
* When using a plate, secure the ballast to the plate.
* Weight positioned closer to the tents, while maintaining
manufacturer's requirements, optimizes performance.
* Higher density ballasts are optimal.
* Modi iers (rubber pads, plywood, etc.) reduce
failure due to sliding.
* Staking is a much more cost-ef icient way to
secure at tent.
* Steel barrels are much better than plastic
in terms of ballasting weight.
* Concrete blocks are better than steel barrels
terms of ballasting weight.
* Concrete ill is a better source of ballast that
water- illed ballast.
* Ballast can be offset, without any change in the
required ballast weight, by up to half the width of
the ballast, for entrances and other obstructions.
Deninno: Have a good means of transporting the block.
A cheap ballast doesn't make it ef icient, because if
you can't move it, you will have issues. I've seen a lot
of people take a 2,000-pound ballast and use a forklift
to move it. They will put it down next to the tent, but
they will put two strips of wood down so they can get
their forks out. Now the block is sitting on two pieces
of wood and can slide right off because there is less
resistance. They are losing all the friction of the block on
the ground. Picking up a block from the top and having
it go straight down on the ground or a lat full-width
rubber mat or plywood will give you the best friction for
keeping it from moving. Always have as much surface
area as possible touching the ground or rubber between
it touching the ground so you have more resistance.

For tent rental companies, one of the most challenging
aspects of ballasting a tent with concrete is developing a
system to safely and ef´Čüciently transport the blocks.
www.InTentsMag.com

39


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InTents August/September 2019

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