We recently provided a well established corporate customer a quote for a 40′ x 60′ Eureka Frame Tent for the Grand Opening for a medical facility. The installation was planned on a newly paved parking lot where they preferred no staking, so we quoted our Safeblock™ concrete weighting system to properly anchor the tent.  The rental included specialty linens, tables, chairs, and tableware for a light lunch that would follow.  They even invited the Governor to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Tent installation with Safeblock™ concrete anchors
Tent installation with Safeblock™ concrete anchors

Later that week, the client called back to discuss the pricing. Since they don’t often rent tents, they obtained a quote from another rental company so they could have some options. The competition provided a quote for the same size/type tent, anchored down with 12 water barrels. They wondered if we could re-quote the job with water barrels instead of concrete weights? Since the tent anchoring was the only line item with a price difference, it was a fair question.

Here was our response:

Dear customer,  

To meet your requirement for a safe tent installation that protects the guests and property from injury and damage,  the 40′ x 60′ requires 14,000 Pounds of concrete ballast to hold the tent. To anchor a tent we must consider site exposure, time of year, duration of installation, and weather for the season. Twelve barrels filled with water will provide 5,496 pounds of ballast. To obtain the comparable level of anchoring with water barrels, industry studies suggest an additional 50%  Pounds of ballast (totaling 21,000#) be used to effect the same performance as concrete ballast.  Event Central does not want to put your guests and property in harms way with inadequate anchoring.

Staking into blacktop and patching upon completion
Staking into blacktop and patching upon completion

Since you mentioned the tent is competitively priced, another option is to utilize staking.  Our process includes pre-drilling the blacktop to reduce the potential for driveway damage. After the event, we will return the surface to it’s original condition by filling the bottom of the stake holes with stone dust, and filling the top with asphalt and tamping the finish.

 

 

Governor Corbett inspecting flood damage from the 2011 storms
Governor Corbett inspecting flood damage from the 2011 storms - Credit AP

The news media loves to run stores about tents and stage collapsing during unusual weather situations.  But the reality is,  if an installer follows “safe practices” as those promoted by organizations like the IFAI, ARA and MATRA, the public can be protected from these unnecessary risks.

 

 

Large tents tied to water barrels tend to move in high wind conditions when the plastic barrel slides or tips over
Large tents tied to water barrels tend to move in high wind conditions when the plastic barrel slides or tips over

The customer thanked us for explaining the safety issue, and then after a follow up discussion with the other tent company, awarded us the business.  Event Central is proud of their safety record. We strive to deliver a tent that performs for the customer without creating risk when the weather turns.  Our rental services are value driven.  25 years in the business requires us to provide a quality product at a fair price.

To learn more about the appropriate use of water barrels on tents, you can view the educational video series produced at the Celina Tent Expo in 2011

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