TRD and ARA release Non-engineered Ballasting Tool

TRD and ARA release Non-engineered Ballasting Tool

ROSEVILLE, MN, July 15, 2022 – The Tent Rental Division (TRD) of the Advanced Textiles Association (formerly IFAI) and the American Rental Association (ARA) recently launched a new non-engineered tent ballasting tool. The question of how much ballast is necessary to safely secure a tent is one that tent rental companies have been struggling with for decades. While most newer tents are certified by engineers to require a set amount of ballast, there are still many – particularly older tents or tents that have been modified from their original design – that do not have the corresponding documentation that can be used as a guideline for installers, but also shown to local code officials as verification that the structure has been properly secured.

Recognizing this problem, the TRD and the ARA each independently began working on a solution for their members. “When ARA discovered IFAI (now ATA) was already working on this problem, we decided it would be best to create a partnership and come up with a joint solution so that we can be consistent as an industry,” explains Dan Hooks, ARA board chair and TRD member. “We wanted to have one voice. That’s one of the biggest challenges we face – there’s no good empirical data out there on this, so having one voice instead of several is key.”

ATA’s president Steve Schiffman agrees. “This is a valuable tool that will prove tremendously useful to both TRD and ARA members. Partnering on its creation was the right decision to eliminate any potential confusion and ensure everyone in this industry is using the same data.”

Over the next three years, committee members from the two associations worked to develop a non-engineered ballasting tool (NEBT) that utilizes factors such as surface type, ballast type, surface condition, horizontal and vertical reaction force, distance from center of ballast to center of upright and diameter of ballast in determining the guidelines for required weight to meet the manufacturer’s specified load. By using generic geometry and load assumptions, it can provide installers and code officials with a best estimate of reactions for non-engineered tent models.
“This is a great tool that combines an engineering perspective alongside the manufacturer input so we can come up with some good data for the industry to give to the fire marshals,” says Hooks. “If a fire marshal walks up, we can show them the tool and how much weight the tent needs given the set of conditions. It’s not any one of us going out on a limb saying we know if we put 5000 pounds of ballast on this leg it will withstand a 90mph wind. It will also keep anyone from thinking that using a few water barrels constitutes industry best practices.”

TRD members can find out more information and access the NEBT online at


About Advanced Textiles Association

Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) is a member-owned, member-driven trade association representing the global industrial fabrics industry since 1912. ATA provides members with relevant information, sourcing solutions and networking opportunities to sustain and grow their business. For more information visit

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Company: Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) (Formerly IFAI)