14 Dec 2017

Checklist To Consider When Ordering Aluminum Bleachers

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If it is time to order aluminum bleachers, the best advice is to order early.

By Robert Caston

When it comes to ordering aluminum bleachers, as we approach the end of the year, everybody knows once we turn the corner, spring and summer will come quickly. That means getting those ballfields up and ready for the next baseball, soccer, football, lacrosse, track, tennis and other seasons.

If you want to optimize your bleacher buying experience, here are a few items our team recommends.

Lead times for aluminum bleachers

  1. Calculate number of seats – the basic formula for determining the size of bleachers is that one seat equals 18 inches of space for a person is to sit on a bench or plank seat. Two more inches are required for chairs with armrests. To determine capacity, multiply the number of rows (5 for example) times the length of the bleacher plank (15 feet for example) times 12 inches. That equals 900 inches. Then divide by the seat space of 18 inches. The result is 50 seats for a 5 row by 15-foot set of aluminum bleachers. (This is the gross seat count and does not include space for aisles and guardrails or ADA requirements which are necessary for larger grandstand bleachers. Ask for spec sheets for exact dimensions).
  2. Lead times for 3-4 row aluminum bleachers – most orders for smaller bleachers take about two weeks. However, some 3-4 row bleachers can be shipped out in as little as 7-14 business days. Call for availability.
  3. Lead times for 5-row bleachers – this will usually take the standard two weeks.
  4. Lead times for 10-row and 15-row bleachers – figure about 3-4 weeks for the shipping to start for these large bleachers.
  5. Permanent or portable – what events will you be using your bleachers for? Perhaps you can opt to go with transportable bleachers which allow you to relocated bleachers, such as 10-row or 5-row configurations, to different fields for different sporting events. These portable aluminum bleachers can be towed with a tractor (but cannot be towed on a public road.)

    portable aluminum bleachers with tractor

    10-row portable bleachers

  6. Be sure to place your order early so bleachers can be built on time – like any product, there are busy seasons and slow seasons. To be on the safe side, be sure to order your aluminum bleachers as early as possible. Another factor is installation. Weather is a factor. A late snow can delay construction of the bleachers as well as heavy rains. Also, you will need to figure in the schedule of the construction company or whoever is contracted to build the bleachers.
  7. How bleachers are shipped – Most aluminum bleachers are shipped LTL. The shipment is in bundles.
  8. Custom aluminum bleachers – obviously custom bleacher projects will take longer. Every project is different, so it is difficult to estimate lead times for special orders. The time frame could be as early as three to six weeks. Depends on the project. Be sure to call early to get the process rolling. Also, many times custom bleachers may require the use of a flat-bed.
  9. Color bleacher planks – you can now order colors for your bleachers that are powder-coated and fused into the aluminum. Standard colors are blue, green, red and navy. Figure longer lead times for colors. If you want customized colors, the lead time increases even further.
  10. Local building codes – what are the code requirements in your town, county or state? What agency is the governing body for that location and what code requirements do they have?
  11. Sightlines – what type of sightlines will you need? Will your project require elevated bleachers?
  12. Spectator flow – what will be the spectator flow pattern – front exits, rear exits, etc.
  13. Do you need ADA bleachers? – The American with Disabilities Act is a federal law concerning access and accommodations for people with disabilities. The governing body will have specific requirements for ADA seating. There is a requirement for wheelchair accessible spaces based on the number of seats. For example, for every 4 to 25 seats, one wheelchair space is required. For 26-50 seats, two spaces are required; for 51 to 150 seats, four spaces are required and for 151 to 300 seats, spaces are required.
  14. Bleacher accessories – will you need other associated items such as aluminum benches for the teams or press boxes? (We have those).
  15. Installation – do you have a list of contractors who can build and install your bleachers?

Also, keep in mind the importance of ordering bleachers from a reliable manufacturer. Use a manufacturer that builds bleachers that meet Live, Wind, Seismic and Dead engineering load requirements, meets slip-resistant standards according to the National Floor Safety Institute and anodizes or coats the aluminum correctly to withstand all that outside exposure to the elements.

Be sure the bleachers are also compliant with International Code Council standards.

When it comes to adding aluminum bleachers to your facility there are many options. Not only can you choose from 3-row to 15-row bleachers, but you can also choose elevated bleachers for better sightlines of the playing field. Other options to consider are transportable, portable bleachers that are multi-purpose and can be moved around a facility by a common lawn tractor for different events. Tip and roll bleachers are handy for moving a small set of bleachers around a gym.

For assistance with your bleacher projects or any questions, call our expert staff at 1-877-960-0568 or click here to request a quote.





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