An Iowa-based installer of stadium light poles says the poles that have been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are a specific type and not all the poles from the company are a problem. The concern is that the Whitco Company L-P poles would crack and fall over. Steven Everly of Ardent Lighting in Knoxville says the problem poles have a modification that causes the problem.
He says the poles with a problem have what’s called an anchor-based pole design, which includes a flange at the bottom where they are bolted to a base. Everly says the poles where manufactured, then re-cut and remanufactured to put the flange on the bottom of the pole. Everly says the remanufacturing has led to the problems. Everyly says along with Iowa, his company installs poles in Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas. They’ve installed some 200 to 300 poles in Iowa over the last 20 years.
He says they have installed mostly direct-imbedded poles, which he says is much more structurally sound. Everly says instead of having the weight of the pole focused on the welded flange, the imbedded poles spread the weight over the entire length of the pole. Everly says they heard about potential problems with the Whitco poles and let their customers know. He says West Des Moines Valley stadium is one place where they installed the poles.
Everly says as soon as they became aware of the potential problem, they inspected the poles and then helped the school find a structural engineer to inspect the poles, which he says cleared the poles of any default. Everly says his company is proud of its record for installing safe poles.
“The only poles we’ve ever failed…we lost a field in Parkersburg at the F-5 tornado, that’s a little bit extreme,” Everly says. Everly says he wants to counter “misinformation” that all the Whitco poles installed had problems. He says that is not the case for the poles his company has installed in Iowa.