Aside from the obvious benefit of strength, a heavier gauge pedestal provides better value; however, there is a point of diminishing return. There’s no need to overkill!
Wherever a pedestal might be installed it is likely to sustain both man-made and natural disasters. Cars, semi-truck mirrors, snow and ice thrown from plows, vandalism, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc. are all common pedestal nemeses. Given that an enterprise will lean on a pedestal to hold up key components of its perimeter access system and security technologies, one may want as much “up time” as possible. So a heavier gauge pedestal makes sense, right?
Furthermore, an insufficient wall thickness allows a pedestal to wobble in the wind– rendering some security devices (such as security cameras) useless. So skimping on the gauge of steel seems quite counterproductive especially when the cost difference between a lower or higher gauge pedestal is so nominal. As a rule-of-thumb, the greater the wall thickness the better the pedestal. Wouldn't you agree?
But there is a sweet spot! Our research indicates that an 11-gauge card reader pedestal tube can survive sustained Category 5 hurricane winds at 157+ mph. This should be compared with 14-gauge card reader pedestal tubes (thinner) that wobble violently in winds under 90 mph resulting in instability, buckling or bending. Unfortunately, this gauge (used by many of our competitors) is simply not trustworthy under many common conditions. So given an estimated 3% price difference between 11-gauge and 14-gauge pedestals it would appear the value is clearly on the 11-gauge side.
On the other hand, heavier duty-gauge pedestal tubes such as .187”, .25” or .375” do not perform any better than 11-gauge steel in Category 5 hurricane conditions– they only increase the cost (both production and shipping costs). We receive requests for these “overkill” pedestals regularly which have no added performance.
Therefore, it is our opinion that 11-gauge tubing is the “sweet spot” that provides the needed performance at the lowest cost (value) for installers and their customers.
We have run the same testing on the other pedestal components too. The following are the results based on the lightest gauge that can survive sustained Category 5 hurricane winds:
Tube = .125” material (11-gauge; proven in 2” tube, 3” tube, and 4” tube scenarios)
Face plate = .136” material (10-gauge)
Base plate= .25” material (1/4 inch)
Cover plate = .074” material (14-gauge)
It would be no coincidence then that Pedestal CEO adheres to these values when producing its stock pedestals. And it would be appropriate to expect these recommendations from us for your custom projects too. With that being said, we are happy to produce whatever gauge pedestals your customer requires.