A lot of oil and gas activity takes place away from the closest Starbucks, so if you’re new to driving back country roads, you may be unsure about driving radio-assisted logging roads, or how to read Must Call signs.
Roadways need a variety of signs, including km markers, directional, traffic, speed and radio controlled signs. Missing signs only increase problems, drivers are left to guess at speed limits, which direction has the right away, the radio frequency and more!
We’ve gathered some examples of road marking signs that we think you might come across on your back-road adventures.
Radio Assist Signs
Radio Assist/Radio Controlled & Road Entry Signs
Even if you’ve been driving back country roads for 20 years, you might still be unsure of what it means when you see signs that say “Now Entering Mile 86 Road Radio Frequency RR25.” You might be thinking things like “Do I need to have a radio if I want to drive on this road?” “Where do I get a radio if I don’t have one” “Should I turn around and use a different road?” So let us help with some of that uncertainty!
From logging trucks to heavy haul trucks to pickups, they have been using radios to broadcast their locations on back country roads for a long time, so don’t get too discouraged! It helps to avoid accidents and radios are required for anyone working out there. Since most people using these roads are at their workplace the term radio-assisted is used instead of radio-controlled to let you know that radios are optional and drivers should be aware of vehicles travelling unannounced.
Road Entry signs usually indicate if the road is radio controlled, or radio-assisted and include information like the radio frequency, what road you’re entering and if you’re driving “Up”/”Empty” or “Empty”/”Loaded.”
The first thing to learn is the difference between “Up” and “Down” (BC) and “Empty” and “Loaded” (AB).
You’re driving “Up” or “Empty” when the numbers on the KM markers you’re passing are going up. You’re driving “Down” or “Loaded” when the numbers on the KM markers you’re passing are going down.
“Down” or “Loaded” traffic usually have the right-of-way, with the exception of large trucks like logging trucks. If you’re driving “Up” or “Empty” you need to pay attention to where the other vehicles are.
So if you’re ever lost and unsure on which direction will take you back to the main road or highway, follow the KM markers going down and you’ll find your way back!
KM Markers & Must Call Signs
Kilometer Markers are typically found at every kilometer or every 5 kilometers, indicating the road you’re on, what mile you’ve reached, and if you’re going “Up/Empty” or “Down/Loaded.”
Every so often you’ll come across a Kilometer Marker that has “Must Call” written above the indicated mile or on a separate sign below. Must Calls are there to warn you that you’ll be driving on a dangerous part of the road, like a tight corner or blind spot, and that you must call for that designated mile.
If you’re in a smaller vehicle that either doesn’t have a radio or doesn’t have the right frequency, it’s best to either wait for another vehicle to carefully follow behind or slow right down and move to the far right of the road to avoid oncoming traffic. Don’t be scared if you have to hit the ditch, someone will be kind enough to help you out!
Bridge & Delineator Signs
Bridge and delineator signs go hand in hand, as they are frequently found near each other. Bridge signs are usually found on or near the bridge to indicate the weight limit, as well as a couple of kilometers away to give a heads up that a bridge is coming up.
Delineator signs come in to play when you reach the bridge, being found on either side of the bridge to warn you where the edges are, to prevent accidents. Delineators are a very effective guide at night and during crazy weather because they stay visible when the road/bridge is wet or covered.
Directional signs are an important part to finding the right facility the first time (not the second or third time!)
Commonly you will find signs that state the company or type of facility with the associated kilometers and an arrow to indicate the direction. You will find these signs on higher traffic roads.
By now you’ve probably figured out that driving back country roads aren’t quite the same as driving to the store for a jug of milk. You have to keep your wits about you and drive with extra caution, but now you hopefully feel confident enough to navigate your way around!
Applying a decal can be tricky, especially when you have an audience!
We have a few tips to help you get that decal laid up properly and quickly so you can impress all your coworkers. ;)
High quality, well-made signs sometimes outlive even the best vinyl decals. Not only is opting to replace the decal an inexpensive way to get more out of your investment in quality, but it also means less waste.
If videos aren't your thing or you're looking for a bit more detail, visit our blog Putting A New Decal On An Existing Sign.
Signs are looking a little worse for wear? Maybe you just need a whole new sign. Visit our blog When To Replace Damaged, Old, Or Weathered Oil And Gas Signs.
Still unsure if you should replace your whole sign, or if a decal replacement would be sufficient?
Get in touch! It's kind of our forte.
Signs are definitely the superhero of the group, leaving tags to be runnerup. That's why this month we wanted to highlight some of the signage duties that tags are usually responsible for! (Take a peek at our previous blog on Tag Materials here.)
We handpicked 5 (of what we deem to be our most popular) tags, to dive a little deeper and highlight the 5 W's (What, Where, When, Why, Who) of tags.
Let's get started!
Discontinued Pipeline Tags
Discontinued Pipeline tags are typically ordered by Field Operators and found outdoors, attached to the riser portion of the pipeline. The tag is there to indicate which pipeline(s) is being temporarily or permanently shut down (duh), with information where the pipeline starts and stops, products the pipeline was cleaned with, and what was in the pipeline before being cleaned.
Inspection Torque Tags
Inspection Tags are usually ordered by Maintenance Foremen or HSE Personnel, and are usually found indoors, attached to a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, eyewash station or any other station/product that must be kept up to date. These tags are usually used for multiple years before biting the dust, but can be customized to fit any need.
Flange Inspection Tags (also know as Torque Tags) are similar to inspection tags, but a little bit more elaborate. Typically ordered by Maintenance Foremen or HSE Personnel as well, and can be found in both indoor and outdoor applications. These tags are there to clearly identify the various stages of inspection, modification and maintenance throughout the flange inspection process.
Valve Repair Tags
Maintenance Foremen are typically in charge of ordering Valve or Repair Tags. Valve Tags can be found typically outdoor, or in environments where the tag is exposed to the elements such as chemicals and is typically paired with a lock. They are mainly used for maintenance purposes or going through a turn around to indicate that the valve/line is shut down. Since Valve Tags are mainly used for maintenance purposes you can usually find them paired with a repair or maintenance tag as well.
Do Not Operate/Lockout Tags
Maintenance Foremen usually order Do Not Operate tags for indoor or outdoor uses to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and not able to be started up again until maintenance or repair work is finished. These tags can be put on every valve in the area being shut in to really enforce “Do Not Operate.” Lockout Tags can be paired with a repair tag or discontinued pipeline tag. If paired with a Discontinued Pipeline tag, the lockout tag would typically be attached to the valve, while the Discontinued Pipeline tag would be attached to the pipeline.
Whmis Tags are usually ordered by Field Operators or HSE Personnel, and can usually be found in outdoor and indoor applications, attached to a product, tank or container. Whmis Tags are another way to identify product if a decal isn’t the best solution. These tags are used to identify product with associated hazards and PPE requirements, depending on how it is stored it may be flammable, etc. Gloves, eye protection and boots are typically used on the tags as they’re a daily requirement.
There are many requirements OSHA has for safety signs and tags, and it is important that every one of them are followed. This can be tricky if you order your tags and other signage from a third party every time they are needed, but no need to fret- IDENT knows all the requirements so you don't have to!
Make sure that your facility is labelled properly- give us a call, we'd love to help!
The need for temporary signage is situational, whether it be for seasonality, portability or functionality. Seasonality is a good indicator for when businesses may need temporary signage, especially throughout those winter months. Permanent signage is usually too costly to continuously update and is typically mounted or deep in the ground. Temporary signage is generally lightweight, cost-effective and can withstand frequent handling and Canada’s chilly winter months. Before making your final choice, a few things to consider include: price point, the size of sign needed, how often it needs to be moved, the lifespan of the sign, as well as the base or frame you’re mounting to.
Plastics are lightweight, recyclable, and inexpensive, making it an easy choice for temporary signage, billboards or golf tournaments. As a starting point, some well rounded versatile products include Coroplast, ABS, and Polystyrene.
Temporary or Semi-permanent
Aluminum Composite Material is a lightweight material that combines two aluminum layers with a solid plastic core and comes with a protective film on both sides. This material is best suited for indoor applications or outdoor when mounted flush against a solid surface.
Aluminum is light and extremely durable metal, that doesn’t rust or decompose. This material can be used for any permanent signage applications.
For more information on signage materials, click here to read our other blog post.
Temporary Mounting Options:
A great option for temporary and portable roadside signage. Our Crezone boards are heavy enough that they won’t blow around in the wind, yet light enough for easy handling. The board is essentially a type of plywood, primed, coated and suitable for outdoor use (resilient in Canadian weather.) There are some additional options available such as sign inserts (or how we like to call them, JTRIM) for information changes, or lamination for abrasion resistance, for those days when you want to throw and go. Although sandwich boards come in a variety of sizes, it is generally best for walking traffic, or slower moving traffic, as they are typically lower to the ground.
Advantages: easily transported, the only option with sign and base in one, available in multiple sizes, double-sided, sign inserts can be added to allow information changes.
Popular Applications: Temporary sites, temporary reflective construction and traffic signage, site supervisor signage at work site entrances, temporary sign locations for mud rooms, temporary directional signage, etc. Also a popular choice for special events and tradeshows.
Quad Stands/ A-frames
A great solution for temporary and portable roadside signage. Our steel stands are durable and sure-footed with four points of ground contact, yet lightweight to make handling easy. Due to quad stands being in a higher line of sight than sandwich boards, they are good for both walking traffic and vehicle’s line of sight.
Advantages: base can last long-term, lightweight base, can change the sign, higher and doesn’t sit on the elements, easily transported, coated in federal safety orange, double-sided, multiple sign orientation options, and can include pole pockets for flags.
Popular Applications: construction sites, road side, active lease sites, active pipeline sites
Used for sensitive zero ground disturbance conditions, these solid and stable bases provide perfect anchors for either a regular or heavy duty post without the need to penetrate the ground. Due to concrete bases usually having a 6ft or 8ft post attached, they are best for a vehicle line of sight.
Advantages: base can last long-term, more stable, don’t need to weigh them down with a sandbag, can pair different sized posts, less susceptible to theft, front and back sign orientation with holes punched every inch, best for vehicle line of sight, option to use a spring attachment
Popular Applications: Zero ground disturbance required areas, temporary applications where you don’t want to install a post, areas where the ground is too hard to penetrate, and temporary sites where the base doesn’t get moved. It is ideal to hold small signs like pipeline or warning signs.
Finding the right base to hold your sign can be tricky, just like finding the right wine and cheese pairing, but don’t worry, we know a lot more about signs than we do about wine.
Give us a call, we'd love to help! 1-800-661-1919
Why are there so many file formats, and how do you figure out what you need?
Part of the reason for a large variety of file types is the need for compression. Large file types mean more disk usage and slower downloads. Another reason for the many file types is the variety of colours the image contains.
This graphic will help you understand what you need for any project.
Not sure what file type you need to send us for your project? Give us a call, we'd love to help!
RGB, CMYK & PANTONE, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Colour is one of the most important aspects of printing, it can attract, influence and increase retention, making your marketing team happy!
Colour is everywhere, and you have probably noticed that sometimes a colour looks different on screen vs. when it gets printed.
Why are there so many different colour modes?
A colour mode is a way to define colour, using different approaches to define colour. The different colour
modes tell the computer, monitor, or printer which colours to print/display.
The 3 colour modes you need to know are RGB, CMYK and PANTONE.
RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue.
All of the colours created are a combination of red, green, and blue light. RGB colour “mode” is used for
anything that is light based or lit, such as televisions, cameras, computer monitors and even iPhones.
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and “Key” colour (black).
All of the colours created are a combination of those 4 colours. The colours are similar to what you remember
in elementary school, Yellow and Cyan make Green; Magenta and Yellow create Red. CMYK is used for
anything printed, business cards, posters, signs. It was used in traditional screen printing, and
is now used in digital printing too!
PMS stands for “Pantone Matching System.”
Pantone is a universal colour matching system used to create colour consistency across a variety of platforms,
materials, and uses. The Pantone Corporation created over 1100 numbered colours, that can all be found
in a physical swatch book. Pantone colours standardize colours, meaning, manufacturers and customers can all
refer to the Pantone book to make sure colours match. Pantone colours are used for maintaining a consistent
colour whether you’re viewing it on TV or in print, usually a logo or packaging.
What does IDENT use?
IDENT uses Pantone and we have a software that interprets CMYK colour codes to match its associated Pantone colour.
Why does IDENT ask for Pantones?
Pantone colours give us a consistent reference point, which allows us to keep the colour you need, regardless
of the project or how many times we print it. Each Pantone colour can be referenced in a swatch book that
contains specific numbers for each colour, along with a CMYK colour chart that best represents that colour.
Without the Pantone reference, your logo colour will come out different across various printing equipment.
Trust us, it’s no fun redoing 300 signs because we didn’t get the colours right!
Will I even notice the difference?
You bet! Although not always drastic, changes can usually be seen between RGB, CMYK & Pantone colours. You may see
RGB colours on-screen, but CMYK will be the printed colour version. Each Pantone in the swatch book includes
CMYK, RGB, and HTML values to reproduce that colour as accurately as possible in print and on-screen applications.
Don’t have a Pantone? No worries – give us a call and we can let you know how closely we can match your project!
Retroreflective vinyl, commonly referred to as reflective vinyl, is not self-luminescent. Its properties aren’t apparent in normal daylight conditions. Its glass or prismatic beads are specifically designed to reflect light back to the source making them visible at night when illuminated with artificial light, such as that from motor vehicle headlights. This reflective property is what makes road signs legible after dark without the cost of electric illumination. Reflective sign vinyl uses a variety of reflective technologies to produce different levels of shine. Two important considerations when choosing a reflective vinyl are how much light will it reflect (measured in candlepower) and how wide of an angle can it be viewed at (referred to as angularity).
Engineer Grade (Glass Beaded)
This material is specified for use on non-critical street and road signs, such as parking signs. Engineer grade reflective sheeting is also used often for reflective stickers and decals. Engineer Grade signs reflect at night when light hits the sign. The retro-reflective beaded material has a lifetime of (5/7) years.
Popular Applications: Parking signs
This material is a non-metallized micro-prismatic lens reflective sheeting that is used mainly for reflective traffic and road signs, barricades or other road construction zone devices. High Intensity sheeting is highly reflective, and its durable topcoat protects signs and other traffic control devices against scratches and abrasion. It is used for more permanent traffic signs, and work zone devices.
High Intensity signs are used in areas where the street lighting at night might interfere with a sign’s reflection.
Popular Applications: Traffic Signs
Diamond Grade is a reflective sheeting that returns almost 60% of the available light to vehicle drivers which is about double what High Intensity reflective sheeting reflects.
Diamond Grade reflective material is at the highest level of reflectivity for traffic signs and is most commonly used on interstate highways and construction projects- and in areas where high visibility is critical.
Popular Applications: Pedestrian Crossing, Stop Signs
The following images provide a side-by-side comparison of the three different levels of reflectivity outlined above.
For more information on the different grades of reflective vinyl, give us a call, we'd love to help!
So you've just started a new project, and now it's time to go to print. But have you thought about how you'd like your work to be finished? Did you consider that your project could use some UV protection or graffiti resistance? Below, we have highlighted your lamination options and their common uses.
Lamination is the process of applying a thin layer of film or liquid coating to a material, to enhance and protect the printed matter. There is a wide range of laminates available, all presenting different finishes.
Liquid lamination, also known as UV coating, is an excellent way to add fade durability. This coating protects from moisture, dirt, fingerprints, and sun exposure. This options for lamination is used on all our aluminum signs unless otherwise specified.
Popular Applications: Any & All Signs and Decals
UV + Anti-graffiti
This laminate is an overlaminate designed to protect digitally printed images and signs from a wide variety of stains and chemicals including paint and permanent marker. Graffiti can be easily and repeatedly removed using common economical cleaners without damaging the surface of the laminate. I-lam is the best option for long-term outdoor signage with limited anti-graffiti properties and anti-fade properties.
Popular Applications: Signage in high graffiti areas
UV + Abrasion
Lexan laminate is a great option for signage that takes a beating. It has a velvet finish that reduces glare, is scratch and tear resistant, and can handle heat. However, because continuous exposure to UV rays tend to discolour the film, it isn't recommended for long-term outdoor use.
Popular Applications: Quad Stands, Decals With a lot of Handling, Large Indoor Displays
This laminate is a dry erase clear laminate, that is easy to write on and erase. It has a UV hard coat and a clear gloss surface that safeguards against ghosting or staining from dry erase markers. Dry Erase also has anti-graffiti qualities, that can cleanly remove the accidental use of a permanent marker with the help of rubbing alcohol.
Popular Applications: Charity Cheques, Task Board, Incident Board
A clear overlay protects writing on the tag from dirt, grease, moisture and alterations. Lift overlay, write message, peel off the liner, and press overlay over the tag.
Popular Applications: Car Seal Valve Tags
If you’re looking for a quote or you’re unsure of the best solution for your lamination needs, get in touch.
We’re always here to help.
We’re taking the “overwhelming” factor out of your decision-making process by compiling a list of materials showing what your tag material options are. Once you know the basics like, where is it going, will it be indoor or outdoor, is it temporary or permanent, you’ll be ready to make your selection.
Cardstock is a paper stock that is thicker and more durable than normal writing or printing paper. Cardstock allows the option for perforation (perforation gives you the ability to tear off a portion of the tag), and can be written on with pen or marker. It is by far your less expensive option, but with that comes restrictions to it’s use; it is very temporary, and can only be used indoors.
*Recommended to use standard sizes with a reinforced hole
Popular Applications: Temporary Maintenance Tags
Polyart is a flexible, water, scratch and tear resistant paper-like material. It is largely used for perforated tags as it is more durable than Cardstock and also economical. It can be written on with a pen or marker, but isn’t ideal for permanent outdoor applications as it is likely to yellow from the sun and has a tendency to fade over time. Grommet or eyelet options are also available to reinforce holes.
Popular Applications: Perforated Tags such as Repair Tags
ABS is a thermoplastic material, that holds it’s shape, has the option for over-laminate and can be written on with a permanent marker. ABS is a great option indoors, and is a better outdoor material than Polyart or Cardstock, but has the possibility to snap in very cold temperatures (like Canada ☹). Grommet or eyelet options are also available to reinforce holes.
Popular Applications: Lock Out Tags, Valve Tags
Bannerstock– most popular- 5-year warranty
Banner Stock is a great option for tags, as it is tear proof, cost-effective, durable, flexible, can handle hot and cold weather, and can be written on with a pen or marker. Although Bannerstock is a great option, it cannot be perforated – leaving you to choose between Polyart or Cardstock for perforated applications. Grommet or eyelet options are also available to reinforce holes.
Popular Applications: WHMIS products, Lock Out Tags
Lamacoid is a lightweight non-conductive 2-ply and 3-ply plastic material for engraving, that comes in a variety of colours. Lamacoids are easily mounted with standard adhesives, and there are outdoor versions with uv stable properties available.
Popular Applications: Engraved Nameplates, Engraved Power Panel
Aluminum, White Vinyl, Subsurface Print, Metalphoto or Laser Engraved – All aluminum signs have a 5-year warranty at IDENT
Aluminum is a solid metal material, that is durable, lightweight and doesn’t rust or decompose. There are four types of printing options available, White Vinyl, Subsurface Print, Metalphoto or Laser Engraved.
-White Vinyl Aluminum has an adhesive vinyl overlay allowing us to print in colour, print double sided if desired and the tags can be written on with a marker.
Popular Applications for Vinyl: Valve Open Close
-Subsurface print is an electrochemical process that changes the finish of the metal, leaving the option to only print in black or standard colours. Subsurface print is usually used for the purpose of being engraved, can be used for 10+ years (when printed in black), and can only be written on with an engraving pen.
Popular Applications for Subsurfaced print: Pipeline Abandoned
-Metalphoto is a photo-sensitive anodized aluminum used for applications where permanence, resolution, variable data or a combination of these characteristics is required. It is almost identical to Subsurfaced print, but is more effective and photo-sensitive. High resolution makes it possible for barcodes, QR codes or other symbology that may be required.
Popular Applications for Metalphoto: Nameplates, Labels, and Control Panels.
-Laser Engraved Aluminum can be seen as a selective laser material removal, because the laser removes the anodized layer from the aluminum piece. Laser engraving leaves the material with a matte finish, black lettering, and allows the option to be written on with marker or engraving pen. (Can only be printed in black)
Popular Applications Laser: Pipeline Abandoned
Still feeling stuck? Regardless of the location you’ll be placing your tag, we’ve got a material that will work in both terms of practicality and functionality. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need a recommendation, or if you would like to place an order!
The decision-making process is never easy, we make so many quick decisions unconsciously; others we agonize over. We want picking a material for your signage needs to be easy, so we’ve compiled a list of materials showing what your options are. First, you need to ask yourself: where is it being applied, will it be located indoors or outdoors, how long is it going to be up for, and any additional factors you might need to consider.
All materials we offer at IDENT, can be printed double sided, and other than the banner stock, come in sheets of 48” x 96” or smaller but can be made larger with 2 or more pieces.
Coroplast is lightweight, recyclable and inexpensive, making it an easy choice for temporary signage, billboards or golf tournaments. It can be used both indoors and out but isn’t ideal for a long term sign as it is easily damaged.
Popular Applications: Temporary signage such as temporary lease signs, temporary directional signage, temporary reflective construction and traffic signage. Also a popular choice for special events and tradeshows.
ABS is a lightweight, thermoplastic material that isn’t recommended for outdoor use as it can snap in very cold temperatures (like Canada ☹). If you’re looking for a material that gives you a good balance of cost and performance, ABS will often be a good choice.
Popular Applications: TDG Placards, Indoor Wallcharts, Indoor Tags, and Indoor Safety Signs.
Banner Stock is a great option for regularly transported signage, as it can be rolled up and is fairly lightweight depending on size. Banners are often mounted using ropes, screws, bungee cords, etc. inserted through metal grommets along the edges. It also makes an excellent outdoor tag, as it can handle Canadian winter and is tear resistant.
Popular Applications: WHMIS and Do not disturb tags, and large signage for special events.
ACM is a dense lightweight material that combines two aluminum layers with solid plastic core and comes with a protective film on both sides. This rigid composite material isn’t ideal for all signage needs, as it should be mounted flat. Mounting ACM to a post is a gamble, as it can bend, snap and raise the protective film.
Popular Applications: Outdoor wall mounted safety signs, display and exhibition and architectural signs.
Aluminum – Most popular & All aluminum signs have a 5-year warranty at IDENT
Aluminum is a solid metal sign that is extremely durable, lightweight, and don’t rust or decompose. This material can be engraved, stamped and comes in multiple colours with the option of 3 different reflectivity’s: Engineer Grade, High Intensity and Diamond Grade.*
Thinner aluminum options are available and make for great tags!
Popular Applications: Pipeline Signs, Wellsite Signs, Facility Signs, Out of Service Tags/Stamped Valve Tags, and any long-term outdoor application.
* Things to consider when choosing a reflectivity: how often is the road travelled at night, and the speed. If you still aren’t sure what reflectivity would work best for your project, we’d love to help you narrow that down.
Still feeling stuck? Regardless of the location you’ll be placing your sign, we’ve got a material that will work in both terms of practicality and functionality. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need a recommendation, or if you would like to place an order!
Wildlife signs have their purpose all year round, but we’ve seen a spike in orders recently and thought we’d lend a hand, so bear with us while we cover some basics. Typically speaking there are 4 types of wildlife signs: Stock Crossing Signs, Stock Warning Signs, Wildlife Information Signs, Invasive Species and Wildlife Warning Signs.
Wildlife signs aren’t just used for National Parks and highways, there are many reasons you would need to put up Wildlife signage. Some reasons include, but are not limited to: Wildlife Management, Fisheries Management, Water Management, Vegetation Management and Security. If your company has a license/lease to use public lands for oil-related uses, you are required to have these signs at the road entries so the roads can be easily closed if needed.
For all those eager beavers wondering if there are any rules or regulations, for private property, the answer is no! You can pick a standard wildlife sign such as a Warning sign, or something more custom.
But in Alberta, for example, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) co-manage public lands under the Public Lands Act. Under this act, the AEP can require the installation of signs for a variety of environmental controls at roadway entrances to the public land being used for energy operations.
These signs have some requirements that must be followed in order to be compliant:
- The signs must state the appropriate land notice
- Text must meet the minimum height requirement
- Signs must meet a minimum size requirement
- Signs require a level of reflectivity
- Signs require a border
If you want to ensure that you are compliant with the AER and AEP regulations, give us a call. IDENT has been Canada’s leader in oil and gas signage for over 35 years. We pride ourselves on being the experts on regulatory and compliance signage so that you don’t have to worry. We’re in your field!
Signs are, without a doubt, our first love. We obsess over making sure we produce the highest quality of signs we can, putting the knowledge and experience we’ve gained from our 35 years in the industry to work. Like every superhero needs a sidekick, every sign needs a solid foundation to keep it upright and visible.
When it comes to the structural support for your signs there are several options, each optimal for a different setting. There are zero and minimal ground disturbance methods, as well as regular and heavy duty posts. We’ll walk you through each type so that you’ll be confident which option is best for your project.
Posts - Regular & Heavy Duty
Posts are by far the most popular and reliable method of putting up a permanent sign in a location with no restrictions on ground disturbance. ⅓ of the post is typically put into the ground, which usually equates to roughly 2-2.5 feet for an average post. The reason you’ll want to make sure that you get this deep into the ground is that this ensures that the post is beneath the frost line which will prevent the likelihood of the post shifting during a frost heaving.
While there’s little difference between regular sign posts and heavy duty sign posts aesthetically, when it comes to function you’ll want to make sure you have the right post for the job. Regular posts are used for smaller signs (up to 2 sq ft) in places where the ground is relatively soft and there isn’t a lot of wind. And, just as we figure you’ve assumed, heavy duty posts are best used for larger signs and in places where the ground is rocky or harder, and they are much better for areas that tend to be windier.
Our minimal disturbance bases are designed for easy transport and are made up of 2 90 degree “V” brackets, each with 6” spikes on the end that penetrate the ground and provide a solid foundation for the signpost. Another bonus for minimal disturbance bases is that you don’t have to worry about locating lines with MGD.
There are a couple of scenarios when placing a permanent post a couple of feet into the ground isn’t a viable option. First, there are times when permission is required to put anything into the ground more than a twelve inches. Second, perhaps you need a semi-permanent solution for putting up a sign. In other words, you need the sign to be secured but you want to be able to easily remove it easily after the project has been completed.
For situations where the ground is just way too hard for a post, or you simply need a temporary sign, we’d suggest you go with zero disturbance options. We covered quad stands in our blog post What You Need to Know About Temporary Road Signs, but there is a second option that we’d like to tell you about: concrete bases.
Concrete bases are a solid option (pun definitely intended) for putting your signs where they need to be. These solid and stable bases provide perfect anchors for either a regular or heavy duty posts without the need to penetrate the ground, plus they’re great for windy areas. These bases can be custom made, giving you total control over the diameter, thickness, and weight.
Regardless of if you’re putting you’re using a minimal or zero disturbance option, if it’s going to be put in a windy location you may want to consider adding a spring assembly. A spring assembly will allow for the sign to be temporarily pulled toward the ground, providing just enough give in your sign to reduce the stress on your post to prevent the sign from shearing off or the post to be uprooted. Spring assemblies also work well for parking lots or farmland with animals since the flexibility it provides lends itself well to minor bumps and nudges.
Regardless of the location, you’ll be placing your sign we’ve got a post option that will work both in terms of practicality and functionality. Take a look at our posts and bases and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need a quote or would like to place an order!