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Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 830
Anyone had any experience forming up concrete bases for parking lot lights? How deep, how high, etc. required??

thanks, Steve

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,441
Likes: 2
Cat Servant
Hope you like digging!

Expect to dig about 6-ft. for the pole base. You'll need a rebar cage made as well - which will both reinforce the concrete and provide a mount for the light pole base anchor bolts.

Pay an extreme amount of attention to placing the anchor bolts correctly; not every pole is the same.

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
If site work is new to you... don't bid it.

You need to learn the ins and outs at someone else's expense.

You'll have to sub out:

The augering
The rebar cage
The survey
Rent a trencher/ sub a backhoe
Rent a crane/ sub out the pole erection
Rent/ buy a concrete vibrator, pole specific troweling tools, very large wrenches, ... on and on it goes.


Order a batch truck with the right mix

...and pass unforgiving site inspections.

I had a longer post.

It started to reach Moby Dick/ War and Peace proportions.

Even it wouldn't be enough to help.

This is the kind of project where experience is everything.

The process is drastically more involved that it first seems.

It's such a hassle that most (commercial construction) contracts break the site work out into a separate bid.

I've seen a single site contract -- just one parking lot -- break a contractor financially. As you might expect, he didn't see it coming -- though everyone else did. (His crew was too slow, and getting behinder with every passing hour.)

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 368
Usually bases are engineered as the depth and width depend on what style pole and light are being used. Wind load plays a big part in base design.

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,294
I have to agree with Tesla.

Unless you have a really big project where it's worth all the equipment rental deliveries, and plenty of experience, it's generally better to sub it out to a concrete contractor to avoid headaches and wallet aches.

The worst thing I've ever come across was this pole base: laugh

[Linked Image]

The "Contractor" used a Rubbermaid trash can instead of a Sonotube, and the base was just a little deeper than the trash can.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,380
Likes: 7
Pole bases MUST follow (minimum) the mfg specs; alternate is aPE (Professional Engineer) specs and drawing.

Mfg like RUUD Lighting provide some assistance, and used to provide base specs for rebar, depth, diameter, etc.

Anchor bolt placement is with a mfg supplied template, again supplied with the J-bolts.

Locations?? If it's new work up here, you need a site plan. Locations, specs, photometrics all required.

Locations at site are best left to a surveyor, unless you are on a 'put it there' job.

I used a excavation/mason sub to do all; I supplied the 'sonotube' for a form; rebar cage specs; and anchor bolts with template. And of course the PVC.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,380
Likes: 7

NICE!! I like the j-bolts on an angle, and the photocell!!

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Steve, the easiest way to go is to call your local precast concrete company. Most will make them for you, to your specs.

I'm doing a parking lot now. I called my local supplier of precast concrete. They emailed me a
"fill in the blanks" drawing, which I filled out and emailed back.

It was easy. Each of my bases were 6' tall, 18" in dia. has two 1" pvc conduits installed, and 4 anchor bolts installed.

They also delivered to the job site.
The piers were under $500.00 each, which I though was a little pricey until I considered what they would cost if I built them myself. I think I saved my customer money buying them.

Best of luck

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,380
Likes: 7
I did two jobs with precast bases that were fabricated to the job specs, and approved by the local municipal engineer.
The bases were tapered square, with conduit on each side.

The hassle with that was in the prep of the holes, and the placement with a large trackhoe.

I preferred the built in place, as did the excavation sub I worked with.

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 830
Okay, you've discouraged me. Little much for me I guess. One of my loyal customers had ask me for a bid on 3 lights in a vacant lot beside their Orthopaedic Clinic. Was going to be 25 ft. Poles
Don't want to loose them as a customer because of messed up parking lot lights though frown Thanks for the input. Great to have friends:)

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