Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to our most asked questions. Can’t find an answer here? Chat with our sales team here.
What does AFS stand for?
Assembled Foundation System
What is an AFS?
AFS or Assembled Foundation System is a steel truss-arm foundation that replicates a concrete mat foundation ARE has developed. It is assembled with simple wrenches in a matter of hours and filled with dirt, rock, concrete blocks or any nearly any material. We just need to get to the required ballast weight
How do costs compare to conventional concrete and poles or towers?
It depends. ARE’s system can save hundreds of thousands of dollars if installed on a mountaintop or may cost more if in an urban area. It’s up to each customer to put a value on speed and flexibility. Our systems can also be disassembled and moved. Our poles can be raised and lowered using our hydraulic rams – saving the costs associated with cranes, making mountain top and remote installations significantly more affordable.
What products and services does ARE offer?
ARE has a number of patents on our AFS systems and self-raising poles, so we’re the only legal provider of these products. But we also do conventional monopoles, direct embedment poles, antenna mounts, raising systems for our tilt-up poles, climbing pegs, platforms, safety cables, anchor bolts….,almost anything you’ll need to “kit” your pole and foundation and one stop for all you need to begin installation.
What types of raising systems to you use and how tall of a tower can they raise?
Hydraulic Rams to 150’, Screw-Jacks to 60’ and the first ARE Pole Raising System, our fixed Vertical Gin Pole – 50’ .
What are the pole sizes you manufacture – either conventional monopole or self-raising?
There is no limit as to the height. We do rooftop systems with poles/posts no higher than 4 feet. The maximum height of our poles are in the 250’ range for a conventional monopole or150’ for self-raising.
How long does it take to assemble and install one of your AFS foundations and self-raising poles?
It can take hours to days. A smaller system like our AFS 200 can take 20 minutes to assemble the foundation and the same to assemble the pole. Our largest system, the AFS 2000, will take 1-2 days to assemble and a few days to load ballast and install pole. Pole heights, equipment, number of works, type of ballast – will all affect the install time.
Are these AFS foundations and poles for permanent or temporary use?
They were designed and are certified as permanent structures, but they install and can disassembled quickly, so great for temporary. The answer is “both!”.
Is it possible to lease or rent?
Yes! ARE has inventory we keep and maintain at our warehouse in St Paul, MN. Our systems are leased for sporting events, construction projects and water-tower repair regularly. For custom orders or if we don’t have the system in inventory, we’ll manufacture. Pricing will be based on pole, foundation and project specifics. Contact us for a quote.
Do you install these systems?
Yes, we can provide a turn-key service that includes everything from design, manufacturing and installation. ARE has installed our systems from the Rain Forests of South America to the Arctic Circle, remote islands in the Caribbean and Pacific. We’ll also be happy to send our Construction Manager to your site to advise and train your local crew.
How does the AFS and tilt-up pole compare to COW’s and Cell-Blocks or other ballast systems?
Well, we’re much better is the simple answer. Our systems take longer to install, but the pole and foundation are permanent. Our system was deployed for Field of Dreams for T-Mobile. Their competitor used a COW. A 100 mph wind/storm came and blew the COW away and didn’t find it. Our AFS system was unphased. The main issue with COW’s, they’re designed and meant for short term deployments – not longer than a few weeks. Designed to be a temporary fix, they struggle with fatigue of the tower, guy wires that stretch and a limited capacity to support equipment. Our AFS system’s strengths are a COW’s weakness.
What is the process from start to receiving your system?
We first ask that you tell us what’s going on the pole and the height, along with location. We have a Technical Data Sheet (TDS) that we’ll ask you to complete. Next well run analysis to determine the poles base moment – which allows us to size the foundation. We’ll then quote and with your PO and deposit, ARE will complete drawings of the pole and send to you for final sign-off. The manufacturing process begins and we proceed with the Stamped SA if needed. Once we get the order placed with our factory, we’ll then follow-up every few weeks, updating you on the progress of your order. Once we’re close to arrival, we’ll firm up final details of delivery with estimated time and date.
How do I know I’m getting the right AFS system?
ARE performs a preliminary analysis to verify the poles base moment. Once we have this, we can match you up with one of our foundations to meet the poles requirement or add additional capacity for future build-out. The PA will tell us how much additional capacity remains in the pole and foundation. We’ll have a conversation and make sure you understand, and discuss costs and value – so you get the system you need and not pay for more.
Is the AFS easy to get permitted?
Yes, typically our system is easier because we do not move or disturb the soil. You’ll receive a 40 page Structural Certification just like you would for a conventional concrete foundation. The last few pages of the certification will have drawings of our foundation, the required ballast weight and other relevant details. ARE has never had an issue or delay.
Can I design my pole or do I need to choose from a stock design?
Depends on the time we have. If you’re needing a temporary pole and we’re on a short turn-around, one of our inventoried systems will be used. For these poles we’ve added hand-holes and doors. For new poles we’re manufacturing, we’ll allow you to determine where and how many hand-holes, doors and general specifications to make your installation go as good as possible.
How long does it take to manufacture?
Typically 12 weeks depending on the time of year and a new design.
How long has ARE been in business?
We’ve been manufacturing poles for small wind since 2006. ARE’s move to Telecom started in 2013. While we continue to work in the wind industry, our focus has shifted to Telecom, Broadband and a growing customer list who use our poles for monitoring.
How many poles has ARE manufactured?
We’re not exactly sure, but we estimate 6,000+.