InTents October/November 2020 - 6

the news | briefs
How the TRD Ballasting Tool and other IFAI
safety resources benefit the tent rental industry
or decades, the Tent Rental Division
(TRD) of IFAI has been an industry
leader in the development of tools that
promote the safe installation of tents
for the rental marketplace. In 2012 the
division launched its TRD Ballasting
Tool-a calculator that determines the
required amount of ballast for commercial
tents. Here's a closer look at the Ballasting
Tool, why and how it was developed, and
how it beneϐits the industry.

F

Research-backed campaign

ARA launches tent ballasting study
According to a press release, the
American Rental Association (ARA)
plans to launch a tent ballasting study.
The new study, under the helm of Kevin
Gern, ARA director of safety, involves
a broad spectrum of those from the
event rental industry, including tent
manufacturers and party and event
rental store owners. The study will
be conducted in association with
professors at Clemson University.

The goal of the TRD Ballasting Study was
to determine the friction coefϐicient of
the various types of ballast on different
surfaces to develop a systematic
approach to ballasting tents. According
to Jim Reyen, business director at Eureka!
Tents and TRD chairman at the time of
the study, TRD conducted a multi-year
educational and research campaign with
TRD members before the study was
taken to explain the goals of the study and
gather feedback on what the study should
entail. "After two years of educating and
gathering information, the study moved
forward with a 90 percent approval
from membership and full support from
renters and suppliers," he says.

Goals and the study
The industry needed a tool that could
quickly and accurately convert the
recommended staking loads required
by manufacturers and/or codes into the
equivalent ballast weights. "At the time,
the only way to obtain approved ballast
requirements was through expensive
site-speciϐic engineering or from tent
manufacturers," says Reyen.
The study, conducted by Clemson
University, established the following:
* What are the most common ballast
conϐigurations? The study identiϐied
four and named them A-D.
6 intents

1020IT_CV2_9.indd 6

* What are the most commons types
of ballast used? Cement, barrels,
blocks, etc.
* What are the most common surfaces
ballast is used on? Grass, asphalt,
concrete, dirt, gravel, etc.
* How will the ballast be attached to
the tent? Guylines, plates, etc.
* What are the dimensions of the
ballast and what is its proximity to
the tent? This plays an important
role in the way ballast functions and
its holding power.
The team that collected these requirements included renters, suppliers, engineers and IFAI staff.
The study deϐined failure modes for
each of the ballast conϐigurations. These
included any sliding, uplift or tilting of the
ballast. A ratio was identiϐied between the
recommended stake requirements of tents
and how much ballast it takes to achieve
them. It is critical to understand that when
ballasting, one pound of dead weight will
not equal one pound of load resistance
rate. Because ballast can slide, tilt, tip or be
lifted, a factor must be applied to identify
the amount of dead weight required to
achieve the load resistance. As a result,
the study calculations accounted for all of
these variables to determine the ballast
weight required. Ballast weight will always
be higher than the load requirements.

The TRD Ballasting Tool
After testing thousands of scenarios
using the established criteria, the
Clemson team developed formulas
for the Ballasting Tool, and the tool
was launched for TRD members. "The
tool was set up with lots of input and
requires the minimum inputs you need
to calculate the conversion," says Reyen.
"It does not take long to learn how to use
the tool, and once you are a TRD member
the use is unlimited."

oct-nov 2020

9/17/20 7:39 AM



InTents October/November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents October/November 2020

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InTents October/November 2020 - Cover2
InTents October/November 2020 - 1
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