Working on radio towers and antenna systems requires a specialized knowledge of tower construction, a bold team of experienced workers, and a keen eye for potential mistakes. Installing reliable radio towers and antenna systems helps strengthen our infrastructure and bolsters our telecommunications network. When you work on a tower project, you want to rest easy knowing that your structure will remain stable through rain, sleet, snow, and hail.
In this four-part article, the Miami construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law will explore the ten most common tower building mistakes. Constructing a reliable tower isn’t easy, so this article provides tips to help you avoid tower-building follies that often result in radio blackouts and mangled telephone lines.
Failure to Follow the Manufacturer’s Specifications
Commercially manufactured towers are required to maintain compliance with current standards for wind loading and structural stability. Licensed professional engineers handle the frontend designs, schematics, and calculations to determine whether or not a proposed tower is safe. Failure to observe the manufacturer’s specifications can compromise the stability of your tower. Towers must be able to handle a certain level of stress, but they can only capably handle these heavy loads if the manufacturer’s specifications are followed precisely.
In summary, always do what the manufacturer says because violating their specifications could result in a catastrophic, career-ending mistake. Conversely, you shouldn’t take any liberties when making assumptions about a manufacturer’s specifications. One common mistake is doing something the manufacturer doesn’t mention, like applying Krylon to protect an antenna that uses Lexan element brackets. This can result in cracked brackets, a direct result of your unadvised actions, and significant repair costs.
Never Underestimate the Wind
When building tower and antenna systems, the importance of reinforcing the structural integrity of your project can’t be overstated. Wind pressure can absolutely decimate a poorly constructed tower, resulting in widespread damage and major inconveniences to the general public. Most people don’t fully appreciate the strength of a windstorm. Wind pressure doesn’t increase in a linear fashion, so it’s hard to judge how strong wind is by simply monitoring wind speed. Wind loading increases by the cube of wind speed, which means an increase in wind speed of 10 MPH can intensify the force of the wind by nearly 50 percent in the right conditions.
Radio towers and antenna systems are vital to our nation’s infrastructure, but a poorly built tower is inherently more dangerous than useful. A Miami construction lawyer can help you develop a plan for your next tower project that ensures your structure meets all the legal requirements established in the Florida State Statutes. In parts two, three, and four, we will continue to explore the ten most common tower building mistakes.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.