Six Tips for Better Stop Signs
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3. How to Mount Your Signs – Sign Posts
What good is a durable sign, if the post or fasteners let you down?

The cost of a post is often more costly than the cost of the sign itself. Then, when you look at the labor and time needed to hammer the post into the ground and then suspend the sign itself, it is easy to understand why the post and fasteners matter

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Breakaway Posts
Car Crash
The FHA has established criteria that breakaway posts should be used for stop signs and other traffic signs. The two measurements are critical. First, the post must not slow the car by more than 15.4 feet per second (after an impact). In addition, the stub height of the post that remains after the impact must be no higher than 4 inches. This is the easy part of the rules.
Yet, much depends on the soil and how the posts are buried. For strong soils, the standard posts are considered breakaway. For sandy or "weak" soils, a specifically engineered breakaway posts is needed. Most soils, however, are considered to be strong and, for a majority of sign installations, standard posts are acceptable.
As you can see, though, the rules here get very complicated very quickly. So, please call up our sign experts and check out how the signs in your area are already installed. Finally, make sure to consult with your local rules for further guidance.
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Right Height for Posts
The eight-foot tall posts are the most popular. Sign posts are installed at depths of 1.5' to 3' into the ground. Our posts have holes that are 3/8" id that are spaced 1" apart (on center). The holes in the signs line up with these posts. Generally, the head of the bolt goes through the front of the sign – with the nut and washer connected at the back. Posts can be inserted into the ground with a sledge hammer. Drive caps are a great way to make this faster. Or, as about our special installation tool, the Drop-N-Drive. See the right column.
Note that there is a limit on the size of posts that can be shipped via UPS. Sign posts that are 8' or shorter can be shipped via UPS. 10' and 12' posts must be shipped via truck (and often incur higher shipping charges).
If greater height is needed, customers often order our two-part breakaway posts. In this system, a short, 3 or 4 foot “base” or bottom post is installed first into the cement, pavement or dirt – leaving just 4” of this post above grade. Then, another post is attached to the base. Upon an impact, the posts breaks away at this point. For some, this system is easier in that you do not need a ladder or platform to help you get high enough to pound a 1-piece post into the ground. Also, this system allows you to obtain a UPS-shippable post that gives you greater sign height.
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Convenient Sign Bases
Supplemental notice of proposed amendments to MUTCD, May, 2006.
Sign Base

Portable sign bases allow you to move your sign to just where it is needed. The Stop Sign message cannot easily be ignored. Order a post along with the base. Cast iron bases are heavy enough to resist tipping in the wind. And, if you want, you may even bolt the sign to the pavement or concrete.

Note, however that the MUTCD warns that portable or part-time STOP signs shall not be used except for emergency and temporary traffic control zone purposes. Signs bases, though, are found everywhere – inside factories, temporary traffic control for a school event, valets, parking lots, etc.

Post Pounder for Sign Posts
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Have a lot of sign posts to install? Save time and energy with a heavy post driver to simplify the process.