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Need Help first squaretube w/ breakaway anchor & sleeve install, tomorrow morning

Discussion in 'Installation Equipment & Techniques' started by Doug Allan, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. Doug Allan

    Doug Allan Member

    Apr 28, 2017
    probably should have posted this a bit earlier, but here goes...

    I have 3 sign posts to install & have never used these square tubes with the 2 sleeves, but I want to provide the breakaway functionality that is present on other traffic signs in this subdivision.

    I saw one video of someone using some hydraulic tool that beats the post into the ground, but I don't have access to that.

    I know i can just dig a hole, drop posts in, and backfill but I have two concerns about that.
    First, I know i can replace the dirt alone (plus a strategically placed rock or two) & in many field conditions this can be quite secure.

    The concern here is the same as my larger concern with possibly adding concrete (if i find the need for it) as well, and that has to do with the possible need to replace a sign post.

    I understand the anchor(s) should be able to withstand the impact of a vehicle breaking off a sign post, and the anchors would remain in the ground, however the bottom of the sign post needs to be extracted, so even the packing down of dirt has me wondering about tips from any breakaway pros... but the concrete issue is even more challenging.

    I'm certain I don't want concrete flowing into the holes of my main square tube, so I'm at a loss how to best secure the anchor, first, leaving an easy path to drop in the long heavy signpost after.

    I'm imagining wrapping some vinyl or duct tape, or something in between that can easily cover all the holes on the anchor post, with tape strong enough that weight or pressure from concrete wouldn't push in the holes all down the anchor post sections.

    I found a pic online, showing my same set of materials.
    My 10' post outer dimension (2"x2") fits inside a larger 36" long anchor.
    The 36" anchor fits inside an optional 18" sleeve. (as in the SSPI-02 drawing below)

    This neighborhood seems as though it might have some very loose soil, judging from a number of signs that are, or have been loose, leaning, or bent. I've never needed to dig there before, but plan to bring digging tools, as well as water, Quickcrete & buckets, just in case.

    If I cover the holes on the bottom 18" of the longer 36" anchor section, I'd like to believe that could be secured nice & plumb and then drop the other 18" sleeve on (or not use it) & finish with just dirt.

    This is the best idea I have so far, but if anyone did this already with concrete especially, I'd bet you could give me a few tips...

    Thanks in advance (I'm leaving around 11am Pacific Time, but I'll check here first!

    Attached Files:

  2. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    Normally street sign posts are just driven into the ground. If you have to put a sleeve in practically flush with ground level, you'd be using a sledge hammer.
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Dig out he hole to fit the 36" piece and cement it in. We generally leave I think about 3" or 4" stick out above the ground level. Maybe even 6" above. Your main pole will fit into the sleeve and the bottom of the sleeve will fit over the remaining post sticking out, but does not get cemented in. They get bolted together and if anything goes, it will be the break-away sleeve. In this way, you just put another break-away and post on if it gets damaged.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

    Jun 8, 2005
    Sunny Florida
    This is what we do. In certain areas, we HAVE to do breakaways per code even if it is only a street sign.
  5. StarSign

    StarSign Active Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Southern Utah
    Find out what the local code is, don't just guess and think it will be OK. If you install it incorrectly and there is an accident you take a percentage of fault.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Doug Allan

    Doug Allan Member

    Apr 28, 2017
    That's my plan, but what's the best trick to keep cement from entering the holes all up & down all 4 sides of the 36" anchor"
    I decided to wrap with garbage bag & just a little duct tape, but wonder what others have done
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Like this. Remember sleeve.jpg , a few inches will stick above the ground. That's what your break-away sleeve will go over. The break-away will break before the buried in cement piece, therefore, never having to dig it out again, if it gets hit. Just another top piece. No more digging.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    buffalo ny
    If you put tape over holes and your post slides all the way down into piece with concrete and then bolt it together, when a car hits it you will have the whole piece with concrete and post be torn up. No tape. I just sledge them down as others say and leave like 6" sticking up and slide in and bolt together. Its suppose to "break away" from bottom piece so for easy replacement.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Spida

    Spida New Member

    Mar 28, 2019
    West Valley, UT
    Typically the breakaway spec from the FHWA is the anchor has a max of 4" out of the ground. The holes are on 1" centers, so just expose no more then 4 holes and you will be compliant.
  10. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    must be nice, digging post holes in Maui ....i only say that assuming endless fair-weather & scenery, but I'd imagine you frequently get patches of lava-rock.

    oh, and yes....duct tape to "seal" your post, just wrap it like a hockey stick handle. the weight of the concrete might push on it a bit, but hardly enough to deform the duct tape into the inner dimensions of your post.

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