InTents August/September 2020 - 30

LEARNING THE HARD WAY

BALLASTING
ISN'T AN
ART FORM;
IT'S JUST
ATTENTION
TO DETAIL.
-Nick Deninno
PTG Event Services

Unadorned concrete ballast may be fine
for some events, but certainly not all. It's
covered as part of this tent erected by
Rainier Industries in Tukwila, Wash. Photo
courtesy of Rainier Industries.

Eisenstein's experience is likely
not unique in that he learned the
importance of proper ballasting the
hard way. "Many years ago when I
ϐirst got into the business, one of our
tents in a grocery store parking lot was
hit by 40 mile per hour winds," says
Eisenstein. "The whole tent moved
about 50 feet and slammed into a car.
"I decided there had to be something
better than water barrels, which is what
we were using for ballast at the time," he
says. "I wanted to be able to sleep at night
when I knew winds were coming."
Donny Vasquez, CEO of Made in the
Shade Tent Rentals in West Sacramento,
Calif., had his own kind of problems
with using water barrels. "We'd do
jobs where the tent was set up for the
long-term," says Vasquez. "We'd come
back and you could push the barrel
over with your hand-it was bone dry.
You had evaporation, but you also had a
breakdown of the plastic after a while.
UV rays were deϐinitely our enemy."

However, it was the 2011-2016
drought in California in that pushed
Vasquez into abandoning barrels for good.
"We do a lot of work at the state capitol
and they prohibited use of water on the
capitol grounds and cut off access to
groundwater. We had started to move into
concrete, but that's when we jumped."
Concrete blocks as ballast can have
their own issues, however.
"When we started with concrete,
the logistics were just awful," says Nick
Deninno, owner of PTG Event Services,
a tent and party rental company in
Bethpage, N.Y. "We were using makeshift
ballast because 90 percent of our work
is in Manhattan, and you couldn't stake
in the city; almost every job had to be
ballasted. It was hard to handle and strap
and move. After the second time I lost
a load of ballast on the highway, I said,
'There has to be a better way.'"
And with that, Deninno came up
with what is today almost universally
considered the better mousetrap in the
ballasting business-the Block and Roll®
system, produced through Deninno's
other company, B&R Innovations LLC.

A BETTER SOLUTION
"We used to use barrels ϐilled with
concrete, makeshift blocks that we
made in-house with wood forms," says
Deninno. "They were hard to stack, and
you needed two people to get them on
a hand truck. There were logistical and
safety issues. Kind of out of desperation,
I had to ϐind something better."
He came up with a system of ballast
blocks (ranging from 350 to 3,500
pounds) that could be moved by forklift
without a pallet. And at the same time, he
created a variety of hand carts that could
be used to move blocks up to 700 pounds.
"It took me a while to kind of ϐigure it
out, but once I did the ϐirst test run, we
realized our efϐiciency went up a few
hundred percent."
30 intents

0820IT_18_33.indd 30

aug-sept 2020

7/22/20 9:08 AM



InTents August/September 2020

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