Last week, the Tent Rental Division (TRD) of IFAI published the new Guidelines for Ballasting of Commercial Tents. The study was completed by Clemson University Department of Engineering, Clemson, South Carolina.  The study’s purpose is to create a set of functional guidelines to assist members of TRD in the proper execution of ballasted installations of rental tents.

The professional tent rental community has anxiously awaited the release of this study. By using this guide, a tent rental company can translate the tensioning requirements provided by the tent manufacture for a given tent into a real-time analysis for the correct amount of weight required, based upon the type of ballast being used. Because tent rental companies can choose from several different materials for ballasting, the study will help determine how many pounds are needed for each type of ballast.  Until the release of the study, many tent rental companies assumed a barrel of water was equivalent to one stake in the ground.  This engineering study establishes a thorough analysis for providing adequate anchoring without taking risk.

Event Central offers 2 types of ballast –   Plastic water barrels for small tents; and 3 different sized concrete weights for large tents. The following provides an example analysis to allow small tents to perform safely, using either the 1000# Safeblock, or water barrels.

Here is how the Tent Ballasting Tool works in Configuration C:

  • To access the tool, the TRD member first logs into
  • Select Configuration A B C or D based on type of tent
  • Obtain load tension from Tent Manufacturer Charts (T)
  • Enter surface variables
  • Enter ballast type you wish to analyze
  • Enter ballast dimensions (h) (w)
  • Enter point of connection (g)
  • Enter stand-out distance of ballast  (x)
  • Calculate
  • Then divide the weight required by the unit weight of proposed ballast unit weight
  • Result is the number of units of the type ballast analyzed to achieve the load tension provided by Tent Manufacturer

Infographic compares the use of water barrels and concrete for effective holding power on tents

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