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What is the holding power of your stakes? The JackJaw® stake puller with Load Cell option can tell you!

For seventeen of the nineteen years that he has been running his company, Prime Time Party Rentals, Bart Nye has been providing the tents for the Alter High School annual “Alter Fest” fundraising program that always runs through the Labor Day weekend. It is a big job by Dayton, Ohio standards, with about a dozen large tents covering the school grounds and parking lots. More than 30,000 people will attend the three-day event, and much of the time, they will be under the tents provided by Prime Time Party rental. Safety of the tent installations has always been foremost at Prime Time Party Rental. This year, Bart has peace of mind, knowing that his stakes have the holding power that exceeds the recommendations of the manufacturers of the tents in his inventory.  

For years, Bart has watched the tent stake holding demonstrations at tent shows and training programs and tries to use the standards recommended by the IFAI Tent Rental Division Pocket Guide “Pullout Capacity of Tent Stakes”. But, how does he really know how much his stakes will hold? At the training programs, the instructor usually employs a tow truck and a dynamometer to show the holding power of the various types of stakes, at that show location.   But, what about here, at Alter High School in Dayton, Ohio?

This year, Bart used a new model JackJaw® stake puller with Load Cell, designed and manufactured by Construction Accessories, Inc., to directly measure the holding force of test stakes that were located around his job site. The new model JackJaw® stake puller works like the thousands of JackJaw® tent stake pullers that have become the standard in the industry over the past 5 years, except that,  this one directly measures the pulling force that is required to pull the stake, and records the peak force on the digital readout.    A proven and tested Electronic Load cell is incorporated into the new JackJaw® stake puller and it reads exactly one-half of the total load being placed on the test stake. 

 Bart pounded four test stakes near the stake lines, one on each side of the 80 x 120 tent.  Then, he simply grabs the test stakes with the jaws of the puller/tester, as he would with any of his JackJaw® stake pullers, and pushes down on the handle of the stake puller.   He then doubles the reading and records the values on the site plan, to make a permanent record.

In this case, he had readings of 460, 444, 484, and 612 (lbs. force). As these readings are measurements of the force in only one side of the JackJaw stake puller, they have to be doubled to get the actual force required to pull the stake out of the ground.   So, the readings correspond to pulling forces of 920, 888, 968, and 1224 (lbs force), respectively.  

 Since the tent ropes or straps apply force to the stakes at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees off vertical,  the real holding power of the stakes should be significantly (20 to 30%) higher than the force required to pull the stakes straight out of the ground.    In other words, the tension in the tent ropes or straps tends to pull the stakes sideways through the ground, and the ground is providing more resistance.   

Why does he test stake holding capacity?

Bart says, “To make sure that he has enough downforce on the tent to keep it from blowing away in a storm!   It shows our customers, insurance companies, and tent manufacturers that I was diligent in testing the holding power of the stakes, and, when necessary, adjusting the staking plan for the tent if the ground is soft.” He added, “We want to keep our operation as safe as possible for our customers and employees.  It also helps us keep insurance premiums down by preventing losses”. 

Bart Nye is President and owner of Prime Time Party Rentals in Dayton, Ohio, a leading tent company in the Midwest.   The new Load Cell option for the JackJaw® is patent pending and is available from Construction Accessories, Inc.

For more information, contact Bob Anderson at 937-609-8937 or email 2013

Karen Anderson
Karen Anderson

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