Concrete pole bases. Precast or pour in place?? - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
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View Poll Results: Precast or pour 7' pole bases with 4' above grade
Precast for me 3 33.33%
I pour mine 6 66.67%
It depends on the time allowed for installation 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-12-2019, 08:25 AM   #1
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Default Concrete pole bases. Precast or pour in place??

We have 10 - 7' pole bases for an upcoming job. Our estimator put in a $750 allowance for them thinking we would tie steel and pour using sonotube. I prefer to buy them precast.

Is there a diminishing point somewhere considering the number of poles where pouring or precast has an advantage over the other??
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southeast Power View Post
We have 10 - 7' pole bases for an upcoming job. Our estimator put in a $750 allowance for them thinking we would tie steel and pour using sonotube. I prefer to buy them precast.

Is there a diminishing point somewhere considering the number of poles where pouring or precast has an advantage over the other??

This whole story is biased due to the fact that you are digging in sand , which means you can hire one apprentice to dig the whole job up in an afternoon, saving yourselves the tens of thousands that it costs the rest of the country to excavate that job, resulting in enough saved cash to be able to easily purchase the pre cast poles........
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:09 PM   #3
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This whole story is biased due to the fact that you are digging in sand , which means you can hire one apprentice to dig the whole job up in an afternoon, saving yourselves the tens of thousands that it costs the rest of the country to excavate that job, resulting in enough saved cash to be able to easily purchase the pre cast poles........
This site was de-mucked down to limestone and then filled in with 10' of compacted fill.
This one isn't a shoveling job.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:41 PM   #4
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Depending on the soil type and conditions, round pole bases have to be deeper in the ground. The poles that I used required a minimum 24 inch round with six feet in the ground or 24 inch square 4 feet deep. Make the form a pyramid shape and you can down size a bit. 24 X 24 at the bottom and 18 X 18 at the top. Sono tube $100. vs a sheet of plywood $12.00.
Precast you need a crane or other means to lift them to set in place. Pouring them you can work at your own pace.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:03 AM   #5
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Precast needs a uniform hole, level bottom, same depth, and a crane, and it might lean over time. Pour in place is easier to plumb up. What does the job scope say?
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:12 AM   #6
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Precast needs a uniform hole, level bottom, same depth, and a crane, and it might lean over time. Pour in place is easier to plumb up. What does the job scope say?
The plans show a pole base and a bolt pattern with the steel requirements. I like having the luxury of pacing ourselves and pouring our own but, I might not have the time.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:49 AM   #7
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You can always sub it out to a concrete crew, preferably one you've worked with in the past.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:15 AM   #8
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We ALWAYS pour our own bases.

Now I'm working with a GC we haven't done business with before, and it sounds like all they've ever seen is precast used.

So we'll see, I'm not opposed to precast if the GC is willing to have the dirt sub unload and place them with our assistance.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:34 AM   #9
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$750 per pole base? We have good dirt here and no rock, I figure at least $1,500 and still feel like I lose my ass.
Cheapest is to sub it out to the concrete guy but then you have to watch them like a hawk or they will **** you.
10 I would do that a few more I may think about precast, especially if it is a spec type of job. How much is a precast?
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:34 PM   #10
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I can hire the same guy with an auger truck to dig a hole for a pour in place or dig and set a precast base for the same price. I haven't done a bigger site job in a while, but I seem to remember somewhere between 15-20 being the break even point that precast begins taking over poured in place. Time also being a factor. Precast bases are always at minimum 4-6 weeks out, after you receive anchor bolts from supplier.

Obviously getting the GC to be responsible for the bases being the best way, subbing to a reliable concrete guy 2nd, pouring your own 3rd, then precast, unless the numbers make sense.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:45 AM   #11
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The plans show a pole base and a bolt pattern with the steel requirements. I like having the luxury of pacing ourselves and pouring our own but, I might not have the time.
In that respect it's like anything else, are you looking to fill more hours and do more work or are you already stretched?

As @sbrn33 said $750 sounds way low based on some of the other pricing you've mentioned. Digging the hole, the rebar, the form, the bolts ... but also, waiting for the concrete truck, the liability you assume, the chance of making an expensive mistake, I can't see $750.
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Old Yesterday, 07:44 PM   #12
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They put it off long enough that we are just going to hire a CW out of the hall and make this his baby for a couple of weeks.
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Old Today, 09:28 AM   #13
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Both, precast for streetlights and pour in place for our high mast lighting. The pour in place are generally 48" wide and up to 30' deep. I don't want a precast for that.


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