(Apologies if this shows up as a double posting)
I'm a licensed civil engineer in California. A couple of thoughts I'd like to
I would advise any ham concerned about liability or insurance in the case of
tower failure to not automatically use "generic" plans and specifications
provided by any tower manufacturer. While a photocopy or a .pdf file might
satisfy the permit office at the County, it is questionable if use of such
plans would hold up in court or pass muster with a sharp insurance adjuster.
The potential inadequacy of "generic" plans stems from the current landscape of
building codes in California. State law requires the use of certain national
and state standard codes that consider forces due to wind, earthquakes, ice,
etc. and combinations thereof. Complicating this is many cities and counties
modify these codes with their own ordinances. This is why a "generic" plan may
not work in every instance. Local building officials are increasingly educated
about all this and that's why many of them ask to see an engineer's signature
on permit applications on any structure, including ham antennas. Some cities
and counties ask to see the calculations as well.
Also, a "generic" plan might make assumptions about the footing, such as
certain soil types or installing on a flat grade. Local site conditions might
warrant a revised footing plan.
To summarize, I believe the value provided by retaining an engineer is to
ensure a reasonably safe and serviceable installation as well as ensuring full
compliance with all national, state and local code requirements.
73 Jim K6VAR
Disclaimer: this posting is informational only and does not constitute the
practice of civil engineering. For engineering advice, please consult with an
engineer licensed in your state and who is familiar with your local conditions,
codes and requirements.
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