[TowerTalk] Dimensions of a tower concrete base

jimlux jimlux at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 2 20:57:51 EDT 2008

> From: Bert Almemo <balmemo at sympatico.ca>
> Date: 2008/09/02 Tue PM 06:47:32 EDT
> To: towertalk at contesting.com
> Subject: [TowerTalk]  Dimensions of a tower concrete base
> Hi guys,
> Thanks for all responses, comments and suggestions regarding the dimensions
> of a concrete base for a tower or other support structure.
> It seems almost everyone wants to elaborate on the issue and also wants to
> put my question into different scenarios. Again, not being a structural
> engineer, isn't there a general rule as to what design provides the best
> support for a free standing tower or similar structure regardless of other
> circumstances?
> I was hoping to get some indication from the experts on TT which way to go
> as I'm not spending thousands of dollars to use the services of a structural
> engineer. I just want an opinion from you experienced guys. It's only a 55ft
> free standing tower with a medium sized tri-bander on top. So far I'm more
> confused than when I started this thread. Thanks.
> 73 Bert, VE3OBU

I don't think it would cost thousands to get a PE to answer your 
questions for YOUR specific situation.  However, your general question 
brings up the classic issue of "free towers" generally aren't.

If you're in a situation where there is regulatory oversight (e.g. 
insurance company, local building dept, etc.), by the time you reverse 
engineer the design and reconstruct all the needed information for 
installation, you could wind up spending more than it would cost to buy 
a brand new tower which the local folks would allow you to put up with 
minimal hassle.

Unfortunately, too, permit fees and the like are set based on things 
like what's a reasonable amount in the context of the overall job cost, 
which assumes new materials and labor paid at prevailing market rates. 
If you have a free used tower, and you're putting in the sweat of your 
brow for labor, then the permit is going to be a hefty chunk of the 
overall cost.  (e.g. a $600 permit in the context of a $10K construction 
job is pricey, but still less than 10%.. in the context of a $100 job, 
it's huge!)

Or, if you're putting up that tower out in the middle of the lower 40, 
and if it falls down, all it hits is bushes and rocks, then you can just 
look for something similar that's made today, modify the base design, 
hope it's reasonable, and go with it.

But, as you've observed, it's not a question that has a cut and dried 
simple answer.

More information about the TowerTalk mailing list