Q. What are the advantages & disadvantages of fiberglass poles?
A. Advantages: Lightweight, easy to install, colorfast throughout the pole, non-conductive, 15 to 20 year lifespan, low maintenance, corrosion and rust resistant, not susceptible to harmonic vibration, percentage of strength increases in cold air, smooth or textured finish, anchor base or direct burial.
Disadvantages: Susceptible to UV damage, easily damaged by mowing and trimming, "blossoming" or "delaminating" and chalking, poor color match, no recycle value - expensive to dispose, limited mounting heights.
Q. What are the advantages & disadvantages of steel poles?
A. Advantages: Low cost, strength, multiple shapes, 15 to 30 year lifespan depending on environment, base plate & bolt circle flexibility, anchor base or direct burial.
Disadvantages: Subject to corrosion / rust, Heavy weight requires larger equipment to unload and install, Higher maintenance costs
Q. What are the advantages & disadvantages of aluminum poles?
A. Advantages: Corrosion resistant, low maintenance, lightweight, greater manufacturing flexibility (taper rates, wall thickness, diameter), long life 50+ years, flagpole applications, anchor base or direct burial.
Disadvantages: Lower strength than steel, less flexibility on bolt circles, limited mounting heights.
Q. What are the advantages & disadvantages of concrete poles?
A. Advantages: Strength, not susceptible to harmonic vibration, long life 50+ years, low maintenance, corrosion resistant, direct burial installation.
Disadvantages: Difficult to install and unload from truck, difficult to ship, limited options, poor color match, difficult to dispose or recycle, direct burial only - limits opportunities.
Q. What are the advantages & disadvantages of wood poles?
A. Advantages: Lightweight, easy to install, 20 year lifespan, environmentally "green", natural or stained finish by manufacturer or on jobsite, treated against decay and insect damage, anchor base or direct burial.
Disadvantages: Lower strength than other poles, limited mounting heights, few options.
Q. Why does AASHTO recommend “breakaway” bases?
A. The Federal Highway Administration requires breakaway poles on high-speed highways if Federal funds are involved.
Q. What are the different bases and their uses?
A. Anchor Base (Flange): least expensive way to attach pole to foundation.
• T-Base: Originally for housing ballast is now primarily a breakaway device.
• Breakaway Couplings: Go between anchor base and foundation to provide breakaway capability.
• X-Base: Functions as anchor base but provides breakaway mechanism.
Q. What is the difference between embedded- and anchor-based poles?
A. Embedded poles are directly buried into the ground — as a general rule: 10% of the pole’s overall length plus 2 feet is buried into the ground. Anchor-based poles are attached to the ground with a base plate or transformer base and anchor bolts. The pole is welded to the base and the base is bolted to a concrete footing. When the concrete footing is poured, anchor bolts are "cast" into the concrete and stick up above the surface. The base has holes to attach the bolts to. In sequence: concrete footing poured with bolts cast in; bolts attach to base/pole; base is welded to the pole in our plant.
Q. In what applications do you use embedded poles?
A. Embedded poles can be used/substituted in many applications. Areas of concern would be sandy, very loose soil areas, in which case embedded could still be used but degree of burial would have to be increased. Embedded poles are used for easier installation, cost and time savings. They eliminate the need for expensive anchor base footings and bases.
Q. Can Acuity Brands provide direct burial (embedded) poles when only anchor base poles are listed in catalog?
A. With exceptions (Hinged Poles), we can provide embedded versions of virtually any pole type and material.
Q. Do we offer anchor base concrete poles?
A. No. Though they do exist in the industry, they are rarely used; alternative pole types are generally preferred for anchor base applications.
Q. Can a concrete pole be drilled for arm-mount fixtures?
A. Drilling a concrete pole sometimes gets off center depending where the cables are located inside the concrete. We recommend using a tenon and our T20 adaptor option which allows side mount fixtures to be installed on a tenon.
Q. Why do arm-mounted fixtures require a tenon slip fitter when using a concrete pole?
A. Concrete poles are essentially solid at the tip - no room or access for fixture back up plate - fixtures must mount to tenon.
Pole Loading and Wind Effects
Q. What is EPA and how does it affect my pole selection?
A. EPA is the Effective Projected Area; projected area x wind drag co-efficient. Poles are sized according to their EPA capacity. The area includes everything mounted on the pole including fixtures, arms, brackets, cameras, banners etc. EPA information in the catalog is for poles mounted at grade level.
Q. What is the wind map in the pole selection of the PSG?
A. This is the 50 year Mean Recurrence Isotach Wind Map. It illustrates the fastest wind to be expected in a 50 year time period at 33 feet above the ground. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAH) collects data for the wind map.
Q. How do I interpret wind speed calculations?
A. The most important part of the calculations when considering if the pole will handle the intended loading is the CSR (Combined Stress Ratio) value. This includes the stress applied to the pole shaft, anchor bolts and base plate. If any of the three critical parts of a pole are overstressed, then the pole fails. If the total CSR is less than 1.0 the pole is suitable for the application; if it is 1.0 or higher the pole fails. Sometimes engineers just require overturn and bend-moment information to design the foundation.
Q. What is AASHTO?
A. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is a Department of Transportation (DOT) organization that publishes standards for DOTs to use. Most DOTs use AASHTO Standards. AASHTO 1994 considers Wind Speed with 1.3-gust factor and AASHTO 2001 uses Wind Speed with 3-second gusts, primarily for Florida.
Q. What is pole vibration?
A. There are two forms of vibration: 1st mode and 2nd mode. Vibration is a local site-specific condition, which is many times overlooked by those selecting a pole because it is difficult to accurately predict. Vibration can be caused by steady relatively low speed wind (10 – 30 mph); topography or the structure the pole is mounted to can also have impact. Studies indicate that the natural turbulence of the airstream at higher wind velocities, above 30 mph, inhibit vibration. Destructive ¬vibration is not an indication of substandard material, workmanship or design of the pole.
Q. What contributes to pole vibration?
A. Each job site has different variables that may contribute to structural fatigue vibration. These pole variables should be taken into consideration, along with environmental and structural factors, to determine if the potential for vibration exists.
• Contributing Variables: Total load (EPA) and shaft length - these two factors, when combined, can be key ingredients for destructive vibration.
• EPA: Light loading, less than 2.0 EPA and shaft length at or above 25 feet.
• Shape: Straight Square Poles have historically experienced more effects of destructive vibration over other shapes, but no shape is exempt.
Installation procedures: Poles are designed to carry a load. Never install a pole without installing the intended light fixture. This is noted on every pole product page in the Product Selection Guide (PSG) and pole spec sheet.
Q. What are some remedies for pole vibration?
A. If poles are to be installed in high risk areas, we recommend vibration dampers at the time of pole selection or quote. If the pole already exists, we can supply field-installable vibration dampers of various designs for either type of vibration. However, they may or may not solve the problem. Generally, embedded poles and concrete poles do not experience wind-induced harmonic vibration.
Q. What is a vibration damper and when is it used?
A. A vibration damper is used to reduce second mode wind vibration. It is used on most poles without an arm and some with arms. Vibration dampers should be used in any application where constant winds in excess of 15 mph are common.
Q. What if a customer reports pole vibration?
A. If it is a pole Acuity Brands provided, contact us as soon as possible with the details of the problem. We strongly suggest that all of the poles at the site be carefully examined immediately for any signs of cracks just above the weldment where the pole is joined to the anchor-base plate. Generally the cracks begin at the corners and spread laterally along the side of the pole just above the weld. Any suspect poles should be removed as soon as possible. Continual monitoring should be part of any maintenance program by the customer. If vibration continues to be an issue after installation of the vibration dampers, then pole replacement with tapered poles should be considered. Generally, embedded poles and concrete poles do not experience wind-induced harmonic vibration.
Q. Does pole height determine placement of a vibration damper?
A. A factory install vibration damper is installed approximately two-thirds of the length of the pole from the bottom.
Q. What is 1st mode vibration?
A. There are two forms of vibration also known as harmonic resonance: 1st mode and 2nd mode. 1st mode vibration is present if the top of the pole continuously moves back and forth an EQUAL distance in its cycle, approximately one cycle per second (Hz). This will eventually cause a pole to fail if not addressed. If a pole moves an UNEQUAL distance in its cycle, then it is not vibration, but rather sway. Sway is not harmful.
Q. What is 2nd mode vibration?
A. There are two forms of vibration: 1st mode and 2nd mode. When a pole experiences 2nd mode vibration it moves back and forth in a constant motion at the center of the shaft, with little or no movement at the top. It is at a higher frequency than 1st mode vibration; typically three to six cycles per second. This can cause the pole shaft to crack and fail just above the weld at the base.
Q. What are some methods to reduce or eliminate pole vibration?
A. Field-installable vibration dampers (FVD) are available. The FVD is a stiff plastic (PVC) coil tube that can snake up through the hand hole. The tubing contacts the inside of the pole at random points, and transfers the energy of pole movement to other points of the pole to break up the natural harmonic frequency of the pole. The FVD is effective in most cases. Generally, embedded poles and concrete poles do not experience wind induced harmonic vibration.
Pole Options and General Questions
Q. What side is the hand hole side of a pole?
A. The hand hole determines the orientation of the pole sides; hand hole is always considered as side A. In the case of aluminum hinged pole, the hinge point and direction in which a pole descends is considered side A. Arm-mount drilling for fixtures is always side B (90° to the right of the hand hole (unless specifically noted otherwise).
Q. Will field modifications to a pole void the warranty?
A. Yes, unless Acuity Brands is advised by the customer prior to making any modifications to the pole. This allows us to assess any potential hazard issues and provide correct modification procedures.
Q. Are poles installed on a hillside, parking deck, side of a building or a bridge considered special poles?
A. Yes. From a loading standpoint, the total height of the light fixture must be considered, not just the height of the pole. Acuity Brands can provide a wind analysis of the pole in these situations.
Q. What if the bolt circle of the anchorage is too large for the pole base plate?
A. Depending on the application, adapter plates or "spools" can generally be fabricated to install between the pole's anchor base plate and the foundation; or Hilti (800-879-8000, www.hilti.com) can offer technical support and special anchor bolts to install in newly drilled holes in existing foundation using epoxy adhesives. Some or all of the original bolts would be cut off at foundation surface.
Q. Can I get base covers for embedded fiberglass (composite) poles?
A. We can provide a protective shroud or guard for the pole that protects the pole from abrasion and impact damage at the ground line from landscaping equipment use. Also, decorative bases can be added for aesthetic purposes as well – there are many designs available.
Q. I can’t find 7G in the catalog – what is the bolt circle?
A. The bolt circle and template would be same as used for the 7E shaft. It is the shaft’s outside dimension at the base, “7”, not the wall thickness, “G”, which determines the base plate size and bolt circle.
Q. What is a fabreeka pad?
A. A rubber-based pad, also known as a vibration pad, used under the base of some roadway poles to isolate vibrations from passing traffic.
Q. Are round cast aluminum base covers available for SSS poles?
A. We do not have a qualified supplier for this. Additionally, a round cover (of any type) for a square base plate as supplied on SSS poles would have to have a very large diameter to clear the corners of the base plate. Round covers are used on round poles having round anchor base plates. We can provide steel base covers for SSS poles if desired.
Q. What if the anchor bolt projection is not long enough to allow use of leveling nuts?
A. We can provide leveling shims instead of leveling nuts if required.
Q. What is the recommended torque for anchor bolts?
A. Because calculating torque is unpredictable due to condition of threads, it is generally recommended to tighten 1/3 turn past snug fit. Further information regarding the installation of anchor bolts is available from FHWA publication “Guidelines for the Installation, Inspection, Maintenance and Repair of Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaries, and Traffic Signals”. This can be viewed and downloaded at: www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/signinspection.cfm and www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/signinspection02.cfm. Tightening of connecting bolts and anchor bolts is addressed in Chapter 6 of this publication. Anchor bolts for breakaway devices often have very specific installation instructions including requirements for tightening of the bolts. For specific requirements for installation of these devices refer to the device manufacturer’s recommendations. In a nutshell: Chapter 6 recommends tightening by turning the nut a certain rotation (say 1/3 turn).
Q. Customer wants pole for upgrade but bolt projection is 1” less than required for the desired pole?
A. This can work if the customer does not use the leveling nut on our anchor bolts. We always send two nuts and washers with our bolts: one goes on top of the base plate to secure it in place; and, the second one goes under the base plate and is used to level the pole. The customer could set the pole without using the nut that is under the base plate and the bolt projection will work. We can provide leveling shims when this occurs.
Q. How do you determine the inside dimension (ID) of a pole?
A. If the wall thickness of the shaft material is known, then you can subtract two times the wall thickness from the outside diameter or side dimension (OD) of the pole to calculate the inside dimension (ID).
Q. With SSS poles the higher the pole the bigger the anchor bolt, but with RSS poles they are all the same size?
A. It is a function of the anchor base plate required for the shaft. Because the base plate is different due to the shaft size, SSS 30 4G poles use ¾” and SSS 5C and 5G shafts use a 1” bolt. The RSS poles all use the same base plate in their construction so the anchor bolts are the same size as well, ¾”. You may also note that the SSS poles of same height as RSS poles are capable of handling greater EPA and weight loads.
Q. Can extra hand holes be added?
A. Yes, as long as a minimum distance of 12" is maintained from another hand hole or festoon if on the same side of pole; 6" distance if on different side.
Q. What is a festoon?
A. A festoon is a provision that allows a switch or ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacle and cover to be mounted to the pole.
Q. Where can a festoon be located?
A. Festoon placement restrictions vary by pole type and supplier, but in general the following guidelines apply to all poles: Minimum height above base is 30" on same side as hand hole; 24" on any other side. After the minimum height is cleared the festoon can be put anywhere in 3" increments however, it is preferred that heights above minimum be designated in whole foot increments. Exception: If the pole is large enough in diameter, the festoon can be put at the same height as the hand hole at 180° apart — it must be reviewed by engineering prior to order placement.
Q. Can a festoon be place in a 3” shaft?
A. No, 4" shaft is minimum diameter required for a festoon.
Q. What if customer wants a non-standard drill pattern or position?
A. We can provide non-standard drilling positions and drilling patterns by special quote only to ensure the pole manufacturer is supplied with all information needed.
Q. Can a junction box for a switch or receptacle be field mounted to a pole?
A. A receptacle box can be surface mounted onto the pole but it must be at least 12" above the hand hole. For example, a 4C pole may have a hole drilled up to 1” in diameter for wire passage into the surface-mounted box from the back side. Note: the box should be mounted using galvanized or preferably stainless sheet metal screws and advise that the newly drilled conductor hole should have all unprotected metal exposed from the drilling be painted with primer to prevent corrosion. We further advise that the box should be sealed at its contact point to the pole with silicone sealant to prevent water intrusion behind the box. Any electrical code compliance is the responsibility of the local contractor as he will have to supply the weatherproof box and GFCI receptacle or switch along with weatherproof cover from local sources.
Q. Are banner arms available?
A. Yes, banner arms can be stationary or breakaway depending on the specification. Breakaway arms are designed to fold in when the wind reaches a certain speed, usually 50 – 70 mph, and they allow a lighter duty pole than the stationary arms. When the wind reaches the breakaway speed the arm folds into the pole, it does not fall to the ground. Arm length, banner length, pole height, location of arms on the pole, wind zone and fixture EPA and weight all play a role in determining the best arm design for a project. A banner is essentially a sail on a pole and can cause a failure very fast if not properly designed for the project. The pole would also need to be designed to accommodate the additional wind load. Acuity Brands can help you with the pole selection if banner arms are required.
Q. Can banner arms be added to a pole and what information is needed for calculations?
A. Wind loading analysis is mandatory when adding banner arms to a pole, do not use catalog EPA's. When adding banner arms to a pole the following information must be provided:
• Width of banner
• How the banner attaches to the pole
• Banner arms to be fixed or breakaway
• Height and orientation on the pole of each banner arm.
Q. What is satin finish?
A. Satin aluminum finish is achieved by rotary sanding or chemically cleaning and etching.
Q. What does “anodized finish” mean?
A. A finish achieved by immersing the material into an acid solution and passing a direct current through the material in such a manner as to form a durable oxide film on the surface of the pole. This is meant to increase resistance to corrosion and abrasion. However, this process inherently results in color variations where there are chemical or physical differences on the pole or between parts of the pole castings. See "Thermoset Powder" as alternative.
Q. What anodized colors are available?
A. Natural Anodized = ANA; Light Bronze Anodized = ALB; Medium Bronze Anodized = AMB; Dark Bronze Anodized = ADB; Black Anodized = ABL.
NOTE: Anodizing inherently results in color variations on aluminum where there are chemical or physical differences in the materials. Extreme color variation occurs between the tube (Alloy 6063-T6), castings (Alloy 356) and weld metal (Alloy 4043). These color variations in anodized finishes are unavoidable and not covered under warranty.
Q. What is hot dipped galvanized?
A. Galvanizing is the practice of immersing clean, oxide-free iron or steel into molten zinc in order to form a zinc coating that is metallurgically bonded to the iron or steel's surface. The zinc coating protects the surface against corrosion by providing protection to the iron or steel in two ways:
1. It shields the base metal from the atmosphere
2. Because it is more electronegative than iron or steel, the zinc gives cathodic or sacrificial protection. Even if the surface becomes scratched and the base metal is exposed, the zinc is slowly consumed while the iron or steel remains protected from corrosion. For more information, click hyperlink: www.metalplate.com
Q. When is galvanized or paint over galvanized recommended?
A. Galvanizing is recommended when a steel pole is subjected to a corrosive environment such as near the ocean. Paint over galvanized offers increased corrosion resistance than galvanizing alone, plus the aesthetic benefit of color should the customer desire.
Q. What are the guidelines for painting poles in the field?
A. Surface Preparation: Remove all loose foreign materials by hand scraping. Sand the existing powder coated surface by hand abrading or power abrading (coarse-grit sand paper or emery cloth is acceptable) to achieve a rough surface profile. Solvent wipe entire area to be coated to remove all foreign particle and other contaminants.
Top Coat: Roll or brush two (2) component aliphatic acrylic polyurethane (TNEMEC Series 1074, 1075, or 175 Endura-Shield or equivalent) to prepared surface to a minimum of three (3) mils dry film thickness (DFT). Allow coating to cure per coating vendor's recommendations.
Q. What is best rust proof method?
A. If customer really wants to rust proof the pole the best way is to paint over galvanized. Painting the inside of a pole does not do a very good job of preventing rust. There is no way to eliminate scale on the pole prior to painting and the interior is painted by running a tube inside the pole and pulling it out while spraying powder. The galvanizing process dips the pole in various stages to clean it inside and out then it is hot dipped, tipping the pole to insure the interior is coated.
Q. Can paint be sand-blasted to make this a satin or brushed aluminum pole?
A. We cannot warrant work done by others and would not know how the finish would look after sand blasting.
Q. What is Shaft?
A. The pole only, without top cap or base cover.
Q. What is wind zone?
A. Defined geographic area with a specified historically-based maximum wind speed.
AASHTO: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Governing body responsible for the following pole specification: “Standard Specifications for Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaires, and Traffic Signals.” (Also referred to as LTS-2).
AISC: American Institute of Steel Construction
AFG: Above finished Grade. (AG:) Above Grade
AITC: American Institute of Timber
Construction (maintains manufacturing standards for the laminated wood industry).
Allowable Stress: Maximum permissible stress as defined by design criteria.
Alloy: A compound mixture consisting of one or more base elements (metal) to achieve desired physical or mechanical properties. Examples of different aluminum alloys are as follows:
6063- Standard pole and arm shaft material 4043- Standard aluminum welding electrode. 5356- Standard aluminum welding electrode. 6061-Special pole and arm shaft material. 356- Standard flange base casting material.
Aluminum: A silver-white nonferrous metallic element whose features and physical properties include: a good resistance to temperature variations, high reflectivity, resistance to oxidation, ductility, light weight, and recyclable.
Anchor Base: Type of pole to foundation attachment not designed to breakaway if impacted by a vehicle.
Anchor Bolt (AB): Threaded steel rod embedded into concrete and used to connect the pole to the foundation.
Anodizing: The process of coating a metallic surface using an electrolytic solution of sulfuric acid. This process normally involves the combination of electrical current and chemical bath in which the material’s surface or “skin” is altered to form a protective shield for the remaining material thickness.
ANSI: American National Standards Institute
Approval Drawing: Formal drawing submitted to customer for their review to determine acceptability of product.
Argon: Inert gas element utilized as a shielding component of “gas metal arc welding” (GMAW) or “metal inert gas welding” (MIG). Generally utilized when welding aluminum or like materials.
Arm Rise: The vertical distance from the center line of the arms connection to the pole to the center line of the arm end.
Artificial Aging: Process of heating and cooling a material in a controlled manner to develop desired mechanical properties (See also “Heat Treat”).
ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials
AWS: American Welding Society
Axial Force: Force along the longitudinal axis of a member. When designing a foundation this figure relates to the weight of a structure plus any added devices or equipment.
Back-up-Bar: Aluminum or steel bar used to secure some types of hand hole covers.
Banner Arm: Two parallel pipe extensions bolted along the pole shaft used to mount a special banner.
Base Cover: Decorative Shroud used to cover the baseplate and anchor bolts.
Base Flange: Cast component welded to the bottom of the pole shaft used to connect the structure to the foundation (usually used on aluminum poles).
Base Reactions (Pole): Shear force, axial force, bending moment and torsional moments occurring at the pole base used for foundation design.
Bend Radius: The radial dimension corresponding to the curvature of a bent member, usually measured from the inside surface.
Bending Moment: The product of a wind force or weight force multiplied by its distance from a section.
BMA: Bolt-on Mast Arm (commonly used on roadway pole applications).
Bolt Load: Force along the axis of a bolt.
Bolt Projection: Length of anchor bolt extending above the foundation surface.
Bolt Chord: Dimension measured between two adjacent anchor bolts which does not intersect the center line of the foundation. This dimension may vary between each individual chord.
Bolt Circle Diameter: Dimension measured from one anchor bolt to another which intersects the center line of the pattern. This dimension will remain equal for all bolts, regardless of quantity of bolts .
Bolt Cover: A decorative cast cover usually fastened to the base flange covering the anchor bolt.
Breakaway Coupling: Device used to connect the pole to the anchor bolts, and designed to fracture when the pole is impacted by a vehicle. The main purpose being to assure passenger safety.
Brushed Aluminum Finish: The natural sanded finish of an aluminum pole. This finish is a bright metallic finish which weathers very well over the life of the pole (sometimes called satin finish).
BTA: Bolt-on Truss Arm (primarily used when reach is over 8 feet or heavier load required).
Bullhorn: pipe formed with a 90 degree upward bend used to mount floodlights.
Bullhorn Butt Weld: Circumferential weld joint used to connect two shaft sections or a shaft to a plate with or without a back-up ring.
C-Hook: Rod formed into a shape of a “C” and used for wire support or handling purposes.
C.B.C: Canadian Building Code
C.S.A: Canadian Standards Association
C.S.R: (Combined Stress Ratio) Summation of ratios of applied stresses over allowable stresses. Included stresses are bending, shear and axial.
C.W.B: Canadian Welding Bureau
CAD: Acronym standing for “Computer-Aided Design”.
Cage Platform: A platform that consists of formed steel tubing, support angles and steel grating to safely support a service person and a cluster of lighting fixtures.
CAGx: Platform Cage used on Sportslighter poles (x = number of fixture mounting provisions).
Cityscape: Unique design style in traffic control and lighting structures incorporating modular components.
Clearance: The vertical distance from the roadway surface to the lowest point of an overhanging device.
Coating: Process of covering a product with one of or a combination of the following: galvanizing, painting, metallizing, anodizing, staining.
Cobra Head: Generic term for some street lighting fixture.
Calculations: Formal structural analysis to be presented to the customer, proving adequacy of the structure to the design criteria requirements.
Camber: Curving of sign structure chords, mast arms or poles during the manufacturing process. The curved displacement from center line is equal and opposite to the deflection expected in the field. The structure, therefore, appears straight after loads are applied.
Cantilever: Structure fixed at one end and free at the other. A pole is a vertical cantilever and a mast arm is a horizontal cantilever.
Casting: Product which is manufactured by pouring molten metal into a mold.
Certification: A document containing a confirmation that the product and / or design meets or exceeds some specifically stated conditions.
Controller Cabinet: Metal cabinet that houses components used to operate the electrical system. Components could include items such as terminal strips, timers, and circuit breakers.
Cor-ten: Trade name by United States Steel Company for high strength, low alloy, self-weathering steel. This material has enhanced atmospheric corrosion resistance when compared with ordinary carbon steels. The enhanced corrosion resistance may permit the use of it (seldom used today).
Coupling: Internally threaded fitting used for wiring access and attachment of junction boxes, speakers, cameras or other related devices.
Criteria: A written specification used to control the design of a structure.
Cross arm: A length of tubing or angle that attaches to a pole shaft with provisions for mounting a single row of lighting fixtures.
Damper: Mechanical device used to eliminate or reduce harmonic vibrations. (See also vibration damper and harmonic vibrations).
Deflection: Movement of the pole and/or arm, expressed as a displacement or rotation, resulting from dead loads or other applied loads.
Derate: Recognizing a material’s loss of physical or mechanical properties due to a manufacturing process such as welding.
Drag Coefficient: A numerical factor used in wind force calculations. This factor is applied to the projected are of a structural member, lighting fixture, traffic signal, or other component to account for its shape.
Davit: Radical formed pole and arm.
DB: Direct Burial (aka embedded).
Dead Load: Weight of structure and added appurtenances.
Drill Pattern: Layout of hole size and spacing for a given fixture.
Duplex Receptacle: Electrical component generally used in conjunction with a festoon box.
Effective Projected Area (EPA): Projected area multiplied by an appropriate drag coefficient of any given fixture and/or structure.
Elevation: The distance which something is above or below sea level, ground level or other referenced surface. (e.g. highway, foundation, bridge, etc.)
Elliptical: Having the shape of an oval.
Extrusion: The process of forcing material through a die to form a desired cross sectional shape.
Fastener: A part used to attach or secure two components together. (e.g. bolt, nut, screw, etc.).
Festoon Box (FDL): Enclosure welded to a structure to accommodate the mounting of an electrical component.
FG: Finished Grade (ground level).
Finial Cap: Cast or spun decorative pole top cap.
Finish: A protective and usually decorative coating applied to structures and their components (e.g. galvanizing, prime painting, finish painting, anodizing, etc.).
Fixed Base: Type of pole-to-foundation attachment not designed to breakaway if impacted by a vehicle.
Fluting: The formation of rounded grooves using rollers or other means to create a decorative motif on the shaft or column.
Force: Vector quantity that tends to produce stress and deflection in the structure to which it is applied.
Foundation: The earth embedded support element for a pole structure, normally consisting of concrete, steel reinforcing bars and anchor bolts.
Frangible Base: (aka Transformer Base) aluminum box type assembly placed between a pole and the foundation to serve as a breakaway device and provide wiring access.
Full Base Cover: Decorative shroud used to enclose the base plate flange and anchor bolts.
Galvanizing: A zinc coating applied to steel by a hot dip process or other approved method.
Gasket: Seal used between parts to prevent the intrusion of moisture.
Gauge: A whole number representing an equivalent decimal thickness. (e.g. 11 = 0.1196”, 7 = 0.1793”, 3 = 0.2391”).
Grommet: A natural or synthetic rubber ring placed in drilled wireway holes to prevent chafing or damage to wires.
Grounding: Provision on pole for connecting a cable which makes an electrical connection with the earth.
Grout: A mortar used for filling space between the bottom of the pole baseplate and the top of the foundation. Grout is optional and proper drainage must be maintained if it is used.
Gusset: Steel plate used to strengthen a welded connection.
Gust Factor: A numerical factor, usually 1.3, applied to a constant wind velocity to account for the turbulent flow of wind.
Hand hole: Reinforced opening providing internal access to a structure.
Harmonic Vibration: A sustained back and forth motion of a member moving the same distance in opposite direction.
Heat Treat: Process of heating and cooling a material in a controlled manner to develop different mechanical properties (See also Artificial Aging).
Height Coefficient: A numerical factor used in calculating wind pressure to account for the faster flow of air at higher elevations above the ground.
High Mast: Structures designed to light a large area by providing a point of fixture attachment higher than an average area lighting structure. A high mast pole is usually equipped with a lowering device system.
Hinged Pole: Structure design allowing ease of pole top access using a hinge by which the pole top can be lowered to ground level.
Impact Attenuator: A device used on a safety climbing cable to reduce the severity of the jolt encountered when a falling person reaches the end of the safety belt lanyard.
Isometric Drawing: A drawing in which three faces of a solid object are shown with the lines parallel to the edges and drawn in true length.
J- Hook: rod formed into the shape of a “J” used for wire support or handling purposes.
Jacking Lugs: Steel nuts welded to a pole shaft to facilitate the process of slip fitting pole sections together.
Jam Pole: See "Laminated Shaft"
Keeper Plate: A thin steel plate (usually 20, 22 or 28 gauge) used to keep the connecting bolts of a slip base assembly in place.
KIP: Unit of measure equivalent to 1000 pounds.
KSI: Kips per square inch.
Isotach: A line on a map connecting points of equal wind speed. A gust factor is usually applied to the isotach wind speed.
L/AB: Less Anchor Bolts
Laminated Shaft: Tapered steel tube resulting from firmly pressing together two separate tubes, one inside the other, to increase wall thickness.
Lightning Rod: (aka Air Terminal) Metallic rod attached to a pole structure creating a continuous conducting path to the ground to diminish the destructive effects of lightning.
Liquid Coat: Finish applied to a material in a liquid form.
Lock Washer: A split washer used to prevent loosening by exerting pressure on a nut.
Locknut: A nut tightened down on another or a nut so constructed that it locks itself when tightened. Both types are used to prevent loosening.
Lug Washer: Steel plate washer used in transformer base connections.
Magnetic Particle Inspection: A non-destructive method of detecting cracks and other discontinuities at or near the surface in ferromagnetic materials (ASTM E709).
Mast Arm: The horizontal member of a structure typically used to support luminaries, traffic signals or roadway signs.
Mild Steel: Comparatively soft and easily worked steel capable of being extended or shaped.
Mill/Material Certification: An official document issued by the steel mill stating the physical and chemical properties of the material supplied and where the material was manufactured.
Moment: A force multiplied by the distance to the point of rotation. (See Bending Moment).
Moment of Inertia: Physical property of a structural cross section used in the calculations of stresses and deflections. It is the summation of the products of element areas, multiplied by the square of their distance from a referenced line.
Mounting Height (MH): The height measured from ground level to the position of the light fixture. This height may include the rise of the arm.
NAT: Natural Texture (for fiberglass poles only).
NEMA: National Electrical Manufacturers Association
NEMA Box: An enclosed mounted to a pole used for breaker switches and terminal blocks. The name is derived from an enclosure being rated by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
Nipple: Externally threaded steel fitting used for wiring access and attachment of cameras, speakers, junction boxes or other related devices.
Nut Cover (NC): A decorative cast cover usually fastened to the base flange covering the anchor bolt.
O-Ring: A ring made from natural or synthetic rubber, used as an air-tight or water-tight seal.
Obstruction Light: A light mounted on a structure to warn aircraft of its presence.
Octagonal Pole: A pole having an eight-sided cross section.
One-piece Slipover Base: A one-piece shell base, which slips over the pole during installation.
Orientation: The position of an appurtenance relative to the circumferential cross section of a pole/arm as measured in degrees from a reference point. (See also "Radial Index").
Overturning Moment: Bending moment at the pole base used for foundation analysis.
Oxidation: The chemical reaction of a material when exposed to oxygen.
Painting System: A series of processes involved in producing a desired finish.
Panel Box: See "Controller Cabinet"
Parapet: A low retaining wall on a bridge or highway. Mounting poles on parapets usually requires special anchor bolt patterns.
Ped Pole: A pole designed to support pedestrian signal heads.
Pedestal Pole: A term used to describe the short range of poles. These poles are generally 4-5 inches in diameter and have a 6-20 foot mounting height.
Pipe: A hollow cylinder manufactured to a specific nominal inside diameter, wall thickness, and yield strength.
Plans: The portion of the contract document that depicts the project requirements by the use of drawings or illustrations.
Pole: The vertical member of a structure.
Pole Top Plate: A plate mounted to the top of a pole.
Powder Coat: An electrostatically applied dry powder coating, oven-baked for a smooth, durable finish.
Production Drawing: An illustration showing all of the details and information necessary to manufacture the product.
Projected Area: The surface area subjected to wind pressures.
Projection: Length of anchor bolt protruding beyond the top of a foundation.
PS: Pole Steps
PSI: Pounds per square inch.
PT: Open Pole Top with top cap (no drilling or tenon). A top cap is included
Radial Index: An illustration showing the orientation of appurtenances. (Also see “Orientation”).
Rake: The inclination or slope of a pole shaft from the vertical. A pole shaft is usually raked back to account for the deflection in the pole that will be caused by dead loads.
Rebar: Deformed steel reinforcing bar most commonly used in foundations.
RTAU: Round Tapered Aluminum, Upsweep (Roadway style pole with upsweep arms).
RTF: Round Tapered Fiberglass
RTFDB: Round Tapered Fiberglass, Direct Burial
RTS: Round Tapered Steel
RTSDB: Round Tapered Steel, Direct Burial.
RTSDVT: Round Tapered Steel, Davit (Roadway style pole with radial curve arm).
RTSIC: Round Tapered Steel Idyline Curve.
RTSIS: Round Tapered Steel Idyline Sigma.
RTST: Round Tapered Steel, Truss (Roadway style pole with two member truss arm).
RTSU: Round Tapered Steel, Upsweep (Roadway style pole with upsweep arms).
RFI: Request for Information
RFQ: Request for Quote
Rivnut: Metal fastener serving as the female threaded portion of a bolted connection. Primarily used as an arm attachment for a lighting fixture. Also called rivet nut, blind nut, nutsert, or sheet nuts.
RSA: Round Straight Aluminum
RSADB: Round Straight Aluminum, Direct Burial
RSAH: Round Straight Aluminum, Hinged
RSAPED: Round Straight Aluminum, Pedestal Base.
RSS: Round Straight Steel
RSSDB: Round Straight Steel, Direct Burial.
RTA: Round Tapered Aluminum
RTADB: Round Tapered Aluminum, Direct Burial.
RTADVT: Round Tapered Aluminum, Davit (Roadway style pole with radial curve arm).
RTAIC: Round Tapered Aluminum Idyline Curve.
RTAIS: Round Tapered Aluminum Idyline Sigma.
RTAPED: Round Tapered Aluminum, Pedestal Base.
RTAT: Round Tapered Aluminum, Truss (Roadway style pole with truss arms).
RTOSS: Round Tapered Octagonal Stainless Steel.
RTOSSDVT: Round Tapered Octagonal Stainless Steel, Davit (Roadway style pole with radial curve arm).
RTOSSIB: Round Tapered Octagonal Stainless Steel Incline Beam (Roadway style pole with straight incline beam arm).
RTOSSU: Round Tapered Octagonal Stainless Steel, Upsweep (Roadway style pole with upsweep arm).
RTOSST: Round Tapered Octagonal Stainless Steel, Truss (Roadway style pole with two member truss arm).
S.O. Cord: Sun and oil resistant electrical connection.
Safety Belt: (aka Safety Harness) Component of pole climbing device strapped around a person’s body and attached to the safety cable.
Safety Cable: Component of climbing device fixed at both ends of the pole structure providing attachment for the safety belt.
Sag: The distance a wire or cable droops from its attachment point. Usually expressed as a percentage of the span length.
SBC: Standard Building Code
Slip-Fit Connection – (pole or arm splice): A type of connection between two tapered shafts. The top section is designed to fit over the top of the lower section a specified distance, creating a tight friction connection.
Slope: As pertaining to deflection: angular deviation from a chosen line (usually the center line of the unloaded pole or arm) expressed in degrees or in inches per foot.
Span Wire Pole: A pole used to support wires or cables from which traffic signals or signs are suspended (Also called "Strain Pole").
SPCL: Special (something special about the pole- specific to a quoted pole).
Specifications: An organized listing of requirements for materials, products, design or testing. Specifications can be published nationally (e.g. State, City, County, etc.); or per project.
Spinning Process: Manufacturing process in which a straight non-tapered tube is spun about the longitudinal axis while forming bars and /or forming wheels produce a desired taper or shape.
Spoke Arm: Mounting bracket designed with straight arms, with no upturn or upsweep from the point of attachment.
Section Modulus: Physical property of a structural cross section used in the calculation of stresses. The section modulus is the ratio of the moment of inertia to the farthest distance from the neutral axis.
Setback: Distance from the roadway edge to the location of the pole.
SFBC: South Florida Building Code
SHAFT: The pole only without top cap, base cover, or anchor bolts.
Shear Force: Force within a member that acts perpendicular to the axis of the member.
Shoe Base: See “Base Flange”
SHW: Square Hexagonal Wood, Anchor Base.
SHWDB: Square Hexagonal Wood, Direct Burial.
Sign Structure: Structure designed to support signs, signals, or other devices. These structures may be of the cantilever type or the bridge type.
Sleeve: An additional layer of material wrapped around or inside a specific area of a pole shaft serving one of two purposes: 1) enhancing corrosion resistance on embedded type poles at ground level; and 2) adding to, reinforcing, or replacing a pole’s structural characteristics.
Simplex Connection: A bolted flange connection rigidly attaching an arm to a pole shaft.
Slip Base Assembly: Device used to connect the pole to the anchor bolts, designed to breakaway when the pole is impacted by a vehicle. The main purpose being to assure passenger safety.
Slip Fitter: (aka Hub) A short piece of pipe/tube used as the external portion of a connection. A tenon would be the internal portion of a slip fit connection
SPRTC: Round Tapered Concrete Sportslighting
SPRTS: Round Tapered Steel Sportslighting
SSA: Square Straight Aluminum
SSADB: Square Straight Aluminum, Direct Burial.
SSAH: Square Straight Aluminum, Hinged
SSCA: Square Straight Aluminum, Cruciform
SSF: Square Straight Fiberglass
SSRW: Square Straight Reveal Wood.
SSRWDB: Square Straight Reveal Wood, Direct Burial.
SSS: Square Straight Steel
SSWAB: Square Straight Wood, Anchor Base.
SSWDB: Square Straight Wood, Direct Burial Static Load: A constant or non-varying load.
SSWIDB: Square Straight Reveal Wood Idyline, Direct Burial.
STC: Square Tapered Concrete
Steps: Removable headed bolts fastened to pole shafts used for climbing.
Strain: Change in length of an object in one direction per unit of undisturbed length.
Stress: The internal force per unit area within a member, usually expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI).
Structural Base: A base welded to the shaft and contributes to the structural integrity of the pole.
STS: Square Tapered Steel
STSDB: Square Tapered Steel, Direct Burial.
STSH: Square Tapered Steel, Hinged
STSHWCH: Winch used with an
STSH: pole- specific to the shaft width dimension.
Tamper Resistant Screw: A screw with a specially designed head that requires a unique screw driver or wrench for removal or placement.
Taper: Continuous gradual reduction of a shaft’s diameter from base to top. Taper is usually expressed in taper rate of change in decimal equivalent of inches per foot of length.
Tapping: The formation of an internal screw thread in a hole by means of a tap.
Template: A guide or pattern used for the proper placement of anchor bolts or drilled holes.
Tenon: Short length of pipe or tubing used to mount luminaries, signals, or brackets.
Torque: The product of a force multiplied by the distance to the point of rotation causing a twisting action or twisting moment on a particular body. (See also “Torsional Moment”).
Torsional Moment: Action of external forces causing twist in a structure. (See also “Torque”).
Transformer Base: box-type assembly placed under a pole and used for wiring access or as a breakaway device.
Transmission Pole: A pole structure designed to carry high voltage power lines over great distances.
Truss Arm: Arm style that incorporates two main supporting members with one or more struts between them. This type of arm is most commonly used for light fixture pipe arms that exceed eight feet in length.
Tube: Generic term used for hollow shafts.
Turn-Of- The-Nut Method: A method described in the AISC Steel Construction Manual for tightening nuts on bolts.
Turnkey: Responsibility of a single contractor or representative to supply and install materials completed and ready for operation for an entire project.
TXX: Tenon (xx = diameter specified as NPS- Nominal Pipe Size- internal diameters in inches).
U-Bolt: Type of bolt that is shaped in the form of a “U” and threaded on both ends.
Vibration Damper: A device that is placed on or inside a pole or arm to reduce or prevent harmonic vibration.
Wind Loading: Live load pressures of wind acting on a structure.
Wind Speed: Velocity of wind (MPH) noted either as a basic/isotach speed or as a gust/maximum velocity.
Wind Zone: Defined geographic area with a specified, historically based maximum wind speed.
Wrought Alloy: The compound mixture of base elements which form a material whose physical and mechanical properties favor wrought (beaten into shape) manufacturing processes.
Yield: The stress in a material at which plastic deformation occurs.
Yield Moment: The moment in a pole or arm that will cause the member to yield.
Upright: Slang term referring to the vertical pipe portion of a sports lighting cage.