In this flag story, we take on an in-depth journey into installing a 20 ft. commercial aluminum flagpole with upgrades. From part 1 to part 7, we will remove an existing flagpole and check up on the flagpole after 21 months of flying the same flag!
In our previous tutorials we covered how to remove an old flagpole, pick the best flagpole location, tools you will need for the job, how to dig the hole, set the foundation with a pedestal and back fill to make the job clean as if the flagpole was always meant to be there. Once you've let the foundation set up, it is time to prepare the flagpole for installation. At this time, we would like to cover some proper care and maintenance tips for the flagpole shaft. Here, we will discuss how to receive, store, and handle the flagpole to prevent the shaft from scratches or staining.
How a Flagpole is Shipped
In this tutorial, we'd like to take a moment to stress how important it is to receive your flagpole correctly. For commercial aluminum poles, the best method of shipment is via truck freight known as LTL. At the FlagDesk warehouse, we double spiral wrap the flagpole shaft in a heavy craft paper. Then the wrapped flagpole is put in a corrugated cardboard tube. For large flagpoles, wooden blocks are screwed into either side to prevent the shaft from sliding out in the truck bed during transportation. For smaller flagpoles, a tin cap plugs both ends and is tapped closed.
How to Store a Flagpole
Now that you have received the flagpole, you want to be sure to unwrap the shaft from the spiral craft paper. If the paper is left on the shaft and the flagpole gets wet, the dye in the paper will set into the aluminum. If you let it stain, it will never be the same. Unfortunately, there is not way to clean the shaft 100% once this has happened. If you have a safe dry place to store the flagpole from any exposure to water, you can store the flagpole in the wrapping. If you don't, remove the wrapping and store the flagpole elevated on both ends. Where the flagpole meets the braces, use plastic to protect the flagpole.
Flagpole parts can stay in the box until assembly. Just remember! don't forget the flash collar when raising the flagpole! It is the most common flagpole part left in the box.
How to Receive a Flagpole
When the truck arrives, you will be given the shaft (as described above) as well as a box of parts and a sleeve (steel or PVC). Before you sign the receiving ticket, make sure you check for any signs of damage to the contents. Trucking companies have to move a lot of cargo between trucks in transportation hubs. Bring a camera to document the areas of damage. Never accept the shipment unless you are satisfied. Once you sign the release ticket, trucking companies are not liable for damage they may have caused.
It is also a good idea to check the box of parts. A packing list should give you an idea of what to look for. While it is rare, it is possible we missed something. If there is an item missing in your container, you can accept the package and contact us. We will send out a replacement quickly.
How to Unwrap a Flagpole
To get the flagpole out of the cardboard tube, you have to locate the bottom of the shaft. This should be marked. Remove the block or tin cap from the tube. If you have a tin cap, use a hammer to dent the cap and it will be easy to pull out. Make sure you wear gloves as the cap is sharp. To remove the wood block, unscrew both sides. Gently pull out the flagpole from the bottom. You will need two people for this, one for the flagpole and one for the tube.
If you start on the wrong end, unwrapping the flagpole will be difficult. We wrap our flagpoles from the bottom of the flagpole to the top and then back down. There is a ring of masking tape you can cut and unwrapping will be fairly simple. Tip: Save the paper and use it to support the flagpole and keep the clean aluminum shaft out of dirt or grass.