Mast FAQ’s

Which mast should I buy? 

This depends on a few factors; 

  • The height you need the mast to reach 
  • If you want to mount the mast in new or existing concrete, wall mounted or even roof mounted 
  • Tilt over or permanently fixed 
  • Telescopic or fixed height 

With over 35 years of experience in manufacturing and installing all types of masts we are able to recommend or design a bespoke solution to suit any mast requirement that you may have, it is rare that we haven’t seen it before. 

 

What’s the difference between a telescopic mast and a fixed height mast?

A telescopic mast is a mast that can be raised to its full height using a hand winch, when not in use the mast can be lowered to just over half of its full height and even further if it is a 3-section mast. Telescopic masts are very popular in the Amateur Radio world as they can be lowered when not in use making them more desirable for use in residential areas as they are the most discrete masts on the market.  

We also offer tilt over fixed height masts which are as you would imagine have a fixed height; these masts have an abundance of uses such as; 

  • Windsock Masts 
  • CCTV Masts 
  • Lighting Masts 
  • Wi-Fi Masts 
  • Weather Station Masts 
  • Anemometer Masts 
  • Solar Panel Masts 
  • Navigation Beacon Masts 
  •  

As a tilt over fixed height mast doesn’t have any internal moving parts like a telescopic mast it makes them ideal for running cables internally as there is no chance of any damage. A fixed height tilt over mast requires more space to allow it to tilt over than a telescopic mast does. 

  

 Should my mast be guyed? 

We would recommend guying any telescopic mast that is left extended long term in all weather conditions. Telescopic masts require pretty tight tolerances to allow them to telescope properly, if they are left extended long term without guy ropes they can sustain damage that isn’t always visible to the eye, when you then try to lower the mast it will not go back inside the lower section if it has picked up a slight bend due to being left up long term. By properly guying the mast you can dramatically lower the chances of this happening. 

Fixed height masts are slightly different as under normal load conditions these masts are designed to be left permanently raised and free standing. 

If you have any doubts please contact us. 

  

How many winches is on a Tennamast Mast 

All of our freestanding telescopic and tilt over masts use only one winch to tilt and telescope. Tennamast’s clever mast design incorporates safety catches and latches to allow the mast to be raised/lowered and tilted by the same winch. This has the benefit of only having one winch and winch wire to maintain or replace in years to come. Our Adapt A Mast wall mounted range if supplied with the optional tilt kit is the only mast in our range that uses 2 winches. This is simply because the tilt kit is an additional option that not everyone needs or has the space for and can be added at a later date. 

  

Can I use an electric winch on my mast? 

While an electric winch is a very quick and easy way to raise lower and tilt a mast over it is not something that we recommend. Many customers use electric winches with no issues at all but on the rare occasion things go wrong, they normally go very wrong when an electric winch is used. Electric winches, even the smallest electric winches tend to be very powerful. While winding a manual winch the user can feel any resistance which may indicate something jamming the mast, even something as simple as not removing the release catch on the mast would be picked up very quickly. As electric winches are normally designed to pull hard, they don’t feel the same resistance and if it isn’t noticed by the user the winch would keep pulling until something either bent or snapped, normally causing some sort of damage or could even lead to the mast crashing to the ground. Electric winches don’t normally give the user much time to react so while they are an easy way to get the mast in the air it isn’t a method that we recommend. 

 

Can I upgrade my winch wire to stainless steel? 

We only use galvanised wires on all of our mast winch wires as the bending properties are better than the equivalent stainless-steel wire. Many customers expect stainless steel winch wires to last much longer than galvanised version but in our 35 years of manufacturing masts we haven’t found this to be the case. The strain on the winch wire is at its highest at the top pulley which has a relatively tight radius and is normally one of the first places that damaged strands in the wire becomes evident. Tennamast recommend using Lanoshield.co.uk on galvanised winch wires to give many years of fault free service, this can be applied to the cable very quickly and easily to extend the life of the cable. In our experience a galvanised winch wire will outlast a stainless wire when used on our masts.   

 

Can you supply the spares that I need for my mast? 

Yes, we can supply spare parts for any mast that we have ever supplied in our 35+ year history plus many more. Over the years many companies have popped up and tried to copy our products in some sort of fashion before giving up a short time later. Masts supplied by these companies are then very hard to source spare parts for as they are no longer being produced. Many of the components that were used on our very first mast over 35 years ago are still the same as what we use on the same mast today so spare parts are never an issue, as all of our fabrication is carried out in house we can also normally help with parts for any other mast that may be out there. 

 

 Why do we galvanise our products? 

Based 20 minutes from Glasgow, Tennamast are spoiled for choice when it comes to good quality galvanizing with 3 independent galvanizing companies to choose from within a 35-mile radius, this means we can guarantee that our products are always galvanised to the very highest standards. 

Galvanising is a complex process that offers many years of rust protection and is great value for money when compared to other forms of protection. 

Galvanising is made up of 3 stages; 

  • Pre-Treatment 
  • Galvanizing 
  • Inspection 

Pre-Treatment 

There are 4 different stages to pre-treatment 

  • Inspection – Masts need to be inspected to ensure they are safe and suitable to galvanize. Steel is checked for enough vent holes on hollow structures. The steel surface must be checked and be free off paint, grease etc to ensure a good quality finish. 
  • Degreasing – Masts are dipped in a degreasing liquid that removes any oil contamination. 
  • Pickling – Acid strips the steel surface back to clean base steel. 
  • Fluxing – A flux solution is applied to the mast to assist with the galvanizing reaction. 

Galvanising 

The masts are loaded on to jigs and dipped in molten zinc which is around 450 degrees until the temperature of the steel matches the molten zinc.
While being dipped the molten zinc reacts with the surface of the steel to form a series of zinc/iron alloys.
As steel is removed the galvanizing tank, the zinc on its surface will begin to solidify. Work is then allowed to cool. 

Inspection 

The newly coated masts are visually inspected and checked to meet the requirements of EN ISO 1461. Coating thickness is then checked. 

Benefits 

Every part of our mast is galvanised, the steel is even galvanised inside where you can’t see it so you don’t get any nasty surprises like the steel rusting from the inside out without your knowledge until the structure has been weakened too much and you don’t even know about it. 

The galvanised coating is bonded to the steel metallurgically meaning it is unlikely to sustain any damage but to give you piece of mind if it does get damaged for any reason the coating provides a sacrificial protection. If any damage occurs the zinc coating on the steel will sacrifice itself to keep the steel that it is bonded to protected. This protection will continue as long as there is still zinc within proximity as the surrounding zinc has higher electrochemical properties than steel. There is no requirement on galvanised steel to touch up any chips, scrapes or cracks as the coating is self-healing.