Precision Communications | Broadcast Tower & Antenna Services

Structural Work FAQs

We understand that you may have questions about structural work on your communications tower, and we’re here to provide you with answers. Below are some frequently asked questions along with their respective answers:

Tower Structural Work FAQs

You may need to upgrade your broadcast tower in the following scenarios:

1. When the current tower’s coverage capacity is not sufficient to reach your target audience, and you need to expand the signal strength to cover a larger area.

2. When you need to improve the signal quality and reduce interference caused by distance or environmental factors such as buildings or other structures.

3. When you want to switch or add new broadcasting technologies such as migrating from analog to digital transmission or ATSC 3.0 capabilities for TV broadcasters.

4. When you need to comply with new regulatory requirements or standards set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or other relevant authorities.

5. When your broadcast tower has aged and requires replacement due to structural wear and tear, corrosion, or other damage that may compromise its integrity and functionality.

6. When there is a need for co-location, meaning multiple broadcasters or service providers need to share the same tower, requiring upgrades or modifications.

7. When you need to accommodate new frequency bands or increase spectrum efficiency.

If your equipment loading changes by more than 5% then a reanalysis of the tower is required.

In any of these situations, it’s essential to consult an experienced professional to evaluate your current tower’s capabilities and determine if it’s necessary to upgrade or modify the infrastructure.

A rigging plan typically includes information about the equipment to be used, the weight and dimensions of loads, the methods and procedures for lifting and handling components, and safety considerations for personnel and equipment. It is essential to have a rigging plan to minimize the risk of accidents and ensure the safety of workers during tower construction, maintenance, or dismantling activities.
You would need a rigging plan for your broadcast tower in the following situations: 1. During initial construction, installation, or erection of the tower to ensure safe handling and positioning of tower components. 2. When performing significant maintenance or modification work on the tower, such as replacing antennas, transmission lines, or structural components. 3. If you are decommissioning or dismantling the tower to ensure safe and controlled disassembly.

There are four Classes of Rigging Plans each with different levels of responsibility.

Class I plans include lifts of up to 350# with a minimum responsibility of a competent rigger.

Class II plans include lifts of up to 500#, shall be documented and have a minimum responsibility of a competent rigger. Scope of work could include equipment installation or removal.

Class III plans include lifts of up to 2,000#, shall be documented and have a minimum responsibility of a competent rigger along with a qualified person. Scope of work could include equipment installation or removal as well as add-on modifications or those with built in redundancy such as changing bolts one at a time on a multi-bolt flange.

Class IV plans are for lifts over 2,000#, shall be documented and have the minimum responsibility of a competent rigger along with a qualified person as well as a qualified engineer. Scopes would be any work outside the first three including infrequent construction methods, removal of structural members, use of gin poles and other unique situations.

You need a structural analysis anytime your load changes by more than 5% or if there are regulatory changes.
The current adopted structural code for towers can vary depending on the location and jurisdiction you are in. The latest structural code for towers is revision H. Although this has not been adopted by all jurisdictions yet.

To fix a bent member on your tower, follow these steps:

1. Assess the damage: Carefully inspect the bent member to determine the extent of the damage. If the member is severely bent or damaged, it may be best to replace it rather than attempting to repair it.

2. Ensure safety: Before attempting any repair work, ensure that the tower is properly stabilized and that you have taken all necessary precautions to prevent injury, such as wearing appropriate protective gear and having a team to assist you.

3. Apply controlled force: Depending on the size and type of tower, you may be able to apply controlled force using a hydraulic jack or a specialized tool like a come-along. Position the jack or tool at the bent area and gradually apply pressure until the member is straightened. Make sure not to apply too much force, as this could cause the member to snap or cause additional damage.

4. Heat straightening: If the bent member is made of steel, you could try heat straightening. This involves heating the bent area of the steel with a torch then using a hammer or other tools to gradually straighten it. Keep in mind that this method requires a high level of skill and should only be attempted by someone experienced in metalwork.

5. Reinforce the member: Once the member is straightened, you may need to reinforce it with additional structural support, such as a steel plate or angle iron. This will depend on the specific design of your tower and the member in question.

6. Inspect and test: After repairing the bent member, inspect the entire structure to ensure no other damage was caused during the repair process. Perform load and stability tests to make sure the tower can still safely support its intended loads.

7. Consider professional help: If you are unsure about any aspect of repairing the bent member or if the damage is extensive, consult with a structural engineer or a professional tower repair company. Handling the repairs without proper expertise could lead to further damage or even a tower collapse.

1. Safety first: Before starting any work, ensure that you have the necessary safety equipment and follow all safety protocols.

2. Assess the damage: Inspect the rusty tower member to determine the extent of the rust and damage. Identify any parts that may need to be replaced or repaired. If there is a significant amount of steel loss you may need to replace the member. If the rust is not to a point of replacement the following steps will address the issue:

3. Remove loose rust: Use a wire brush, sandpaper, or abrasive blasting to remove any loose rust from the affected area. Be sure to clean the area thoroughly to ensure proper bonding of the rust remover and paint.

4. Apply rust remover: Apply a rust remover or rust converter product to the rusty area according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These products will chemically transform the rust into a more stable and paintable surface. Allow the product to dry and cure as instructed.

5. Prime the surface: Once the rust remover has fully cured, apply a corrosion-resistant primer to the treated area. This will help protect the metal from future rust and corrosion.

6. Paint or coat the surface: After the primer has dried, apply a rust-resistant paint or coating to the surface. This will serve as an additional barrier against rust and corrosion, and it also helps to maintain the appearance of the tower.

7. Regular maintenance: To prevent future rust and corrosion, inspect and maintain the tower regularly. Clean and touch up any areas that show signs of wear, and address any damage promptly.

Remember, working on towers can be dangerous, and professional expertise is often needed to ensure the structural integrity of the tower. If you are unsure about how to proceed, consult a professional tower maintenance company for advice and service.

Yes, it is generally necessary to conduct a structural analysis when upgrading your communications tower (A general rule of thumb is to obtain a structural analysis when loading on your tower changes by more than 5%). This analysis helps you to evaluate the tower’s current condition and assess its ability to support the additional equipment, antennas, or modifications you plan to install. It helps to ensure the structural integrity and safety of the tower and its surrounding environment. The analysis should be performed by a qualified engineer with experience in tower design and analysis. Additionally, a structural analysis is often required to meet the requirements of regulatory bodies, such as local zoning authorities.
It is generally recommended to use bracing when replacing a bent tower member. This ensures stability and safety during the replacement process, as bracing will help support the tower structure and prevent any further damage or accidents. However, it is essential to consult with a structural engineer or experienced tower technician to determine the appropriate bracing and replacement method for your specific situation.
Pricing can vary based on the size of the member and specific bracing required for its replacement. Precision Communications would be happy to provide budget pricing based on your specific tower needs.

1. Safety: A damaged or bent tower member can compromise the structural integrity of the tower, posing risks to both employees working on or around the tower and the surrounding community. Ensuring the structural components of a tower are in proper working condition is essential to avoid accidents, injuries or even fatalities.

2. Longevity: Addressing potential structural issues early can help extend the life of the tower, avoiding the need for costly replacements or rebuilds in the future. Regular inspections and maintenance are necessary to identify and correct issues such as bent tower members.

3. Professional Reputation: A well-maintained tower reflects well on the company responsible for its operation. A failure to address critical structural issues, such as replacing a bent member, can damage the reputation of both the tower owner and the broadcaster using the tower.

1. Rust and corrosion treatment: Removing rust and applying anti-corrosion coatings to protect the tower from further deterioration.

2. Weld repairs: Fixing any damaged or cracked welds that may compromise the structural integrity of the tower.

3. Structural reinforcement: Strengthening tower sections that have been weakened due to age, weather, or other factors. This may involve adding new steel members or reinforcing existing ones.

4. Replacement of damaged or missing parts: Replacing bolts, nuts, and other hardware that have somehow become damaged or lost.

5. Foundation repairs: Addressing issues with the tower’s foundation, such as cracking or settling, to ensure that the structure remains stable and secure.

6. Guy wire repairs: Inspecting and repairing any damaged, frayed, or rusted guy wires, which provide critical support to the tower structure.

7. Antenna and transmission line replacement: As technology advances, older antennas and transmission lines may need to be replaced or upgraded to maintain functionality and efficiency.

8. Repainting or surface treatment: Regular maintenance of the tower’s surface is important for protecting the structure against corrosion and wear, as well as maintaining visibility for aviation safety.

9. Lighting system repairs: Ensuring that the tower’s obstruction lighting system remains functional and meets regulatory requirements, this can include replacing damaged or burnt-out lights and addressing any wiring issues.

10.General inspection and maintenance: Regular inspections should be carried out to identify any potential issues before they become a major problem, and general maintenance tasks should be performed to keep the tower in good working order.

It is highly recommended to engage a professional engineer for structural work on a communications tower. These engineers have the necessary knowledge, expertise, and experience to ensure the safety, stability, and longevity of the tower. They can also help you navigate the various regulations, codes, and standards imposed by local and national authorities. By engaging a professional engineer, you can minimize the risks of tower failure, property damage, or hazardous situations.
There are several local and regional companies that are qualified to perform structural work on communication towers. It is advised to check the qualifications and certifications of any company before hiring them for such services. Precision Communications has over 30 years experience in safely addressing the structural needs of our customers.
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