Broadcast Installation and Maintenance Specialists
The installation and maintenance of broadcast equipment and towers requires proficiencies and equipment that not all wireless construction companies possess. Although there are many qualified erection contractors that can construct towers up to 400’ to 500’ for radio and TV broadcasters, not all of them have the capability to complete the antenna and line installation which requires additional knowledge and disciplines. The number of capable and reliable companies providing tall tower erection is greatly reduced due to the equipment and expertise involved. The quantity of tall tower foundation contractors is also limited.
Although the erection process is similar to smaller structures, tall broadcast tower construction presents complex rigging requirements and requires heavy lift equipment and a focused safety program. This specialized field oftentimes requires the contractor to be capable of installing the transmitter building and utility infrastructure.
For erectors who are ably qualified to set a 180’ monopole with a crane, or have limited experience with a gin pole up to 400’, erecting a taller tower is an extremely dangerous task and should not be attempted. Lifting a 24-ton candelabra or setting an 8-ton DTV antenna requires experienced professionals.
Constructing a 750’ or greater guyed tower can only be accomplished by a small number of industry professionals that have an accomplished record of building these structures, especially today’s multi-tenant high definition TV towers.
A 2002 OSHA Instruction allows erectors to lift employees on the hoist line to their work stations at any location on a broadcast tower; however, there are strict guidelines that must be followed. Please view Hoisting Erectors .
No low carbon steel diet here
The country’s and world’s tallest tower is located in Blanchard North Dakota where KTHI-TV’s guyed tower easily pierces the clouds at 2,063’.
Structure weight is also a proud achievement for broadcast tower owners. According to industry veteran Jack Boone, a Robertsdale, AL 1900' tower with 12-3/4" legs at the base holds the record at a staggering 3.8 million pounds. The structure is owned by American Tower Corporation. A sister tower they constructed in the Tampa, Florida area is equally as impressive, weighing in at 1.9 million pounds, plus the considerable antenna tonnage. Both structures were manufactured by Kline Iron & Steel. The 1,589’ tower can accommodate 14 TV stations, including HDTV and analog NTSC signals; up to 12 FM radio stations meeting the FCC Class Zero height requirements; and up to 75 wireless services including 36 (72”) radio cabinets. It has a 75’ star mount on the top and has additional capacity for 15 electronic news gathering dishes. The design considerations required some 15’ sections to be built rather than the normal 30’ lengths. The 12’ face tower with 11” solid legs has guy wires up to 3-1/8” in diameter.
Sixty-one full trailer loads of steel were delivered to complete the tower which has a two-man elevator. More than 2,200 cubic yards of concrete were required for the foundations. Built in 1999, the estimated cost to build the structure and the accompanying building was between $5 and $6 million.
The Baldwin County, Alabama TIA/EIA-222-Rev. F minimum basic windspeed is 100 mph; Hillsborough County, Florida is 105 mph.
Industry relies upon antenna installation and maintenance specialists
Whether it’s a requirement for replacing a 12-bay batwing antenna in Boston, installing a multi-station FM antenna above Times Square, replacing slot covers in California or repairing a nitrogen leak in Louisiana, the broadcast industry relies upon many service companies throughout the nation to maintain their systems.
Specialized rigging and equipment is required for these services, but it’s essential that broadcast antenna installation and maintenance companies have the experience and capabilities. On occasion, firms that specialize in PCS or other wireless construction disciplines target broadcasting as another revenue opportunity without the ability to provide the skill sets required. It’s important to carefully investigate a firm’s capabilities and references in broadcast work prior to selecting a new contractor.
Pricing is always project specific. We recommend that you contact our broadcast installation and maintenance specialists to obtain additional information about their services, capabilities and experience.