Building radio towers and antenna systems requires a different approach from typical construction projects. These tall, external structures must be fortified to handle extreme winds and severe weather. In order for this to goal to be met, construction professionals must be able to skillfully navigate the building process without falling victim to any of the common pitfalls associated with tower construction.
In part one and two of this four-part article, the Miami construction litigation attorneys at Cotney Construction Law explored five common tower building mistakes. In part three, we will continue covering more common tower building mistakes. If you have been contracted to build a radio tower or antenna system, a Miami construction litigation attorney can brief you on the perils of tower construction.
Guy Wires and Tension
Any construction professional who has ever worked on a tower can attest to the importance of guy wire tension. Guy wires must have the appropriate level of tension in order for a tower to handle stress from the wind. A tower with the wrong level of tension is similar to driving a car with under-inflated tires, you aren’t guaranteed to become the victim of an accident, but you increase your risk by not following the manufacturer’s specifications.
If your guy wires lack tension, your tower can be barraged by wind and blown back and forth. This increases the amount of stress on the tower’s hardware and compromises its stability. On the other hand, too much tension increases the amount of preload on the guy wires and subsequently decreases the safety margin. Roughly 90 percent of towers use 3/16” EHS steel guy wires. On average, guy wire tension is equal to 10 percent of the breaking strength.
Utilizing Proper Ground Systems
Ground systems protect your tower from lightning strikes and minimize the effect of radio-frequency interference (RFI) on adjacent electronic devices. It’s important to incorporate a quality ground system if you want to protect your equipment and ensure the longevity of your tower in the future. In Florida, where lightning strikes occur frequently, purchasing lightning protection hardware is crucial. Fortunately, a Miami construction litigation attorney can help you maintain compliance with Florida’s laws governing lightning protection systems.
Fitting Tower Sections on the Ground
Tower sections don’t always fit together perfectly. Whether you’re using new tower sections or used ones, it’s always easier to address issues with alignment on the ground. Fixing alignment issues on the tower mid-build is extremely difficult.
Building towers is challenging, but with the help of a Miami construction litigation attorney, you can avoid the most common tower building mistakes. In the final installment of this series, we will learn about the importance of annual inspections and suitable hardware.
If you would like to speak with a Miami construction litigation attorney, please contact us today.
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.