Are you curious about what makes Hercules Truss Arch Buildings the best choice for indoor riding arenas? Riders are increasingly choosing fabric structures over traditional wood and steel arenas and, naturally, they have a lot of questions at first. Here are some of the most common questions we get. Hopefully the answers help you understand why fabric arenas are the top choice, but don’t forget—our specialists are just a phone call away if you’d like more information!
I saw some applications that appear to be open ended. Do you install a lot of these? What is the advantage?
We install a lot of open-ended arenas and there are some good advantages. For one, without adding end walls you will save a bit on the cost of the building. A lot of people like it just for the airflow. Some people, especially in southern states, don’t want the whole arena covered. They want the airflow coming through and are really looking to just keep the rain off. Some people like to use an open-ended structure over their arena. They may have a large outdoor arena and only want it partially covered. An open-ended structure is also easy to add on to. Some people don’t know how long of a building they want and so they leave it open ended to have the flexibility of adding on to it later.
Yes, we do offer a package for roll-up sides. It is definitely an option. Some people like to make the building more like a pavilion in the summer, with open ends and roll-up sides, to get the airflow from all four sides.
Do I have to have the site prepped before construction or do you have a crew that can do that?
We will do everything except the site excavation. That is something you will need to do yourself or with a local contractor, but we can give you some recommendations on the site prep. We usually like to construct these buildings a little bit above grade for drainage purposes. We can discuss with you how large of an area needs to be excavated and what else will be necessary based on the building you purchase and how it will be anchored.
What are the wind ratings of these buildings?
We design these buildings to withstand wind loads of up to 150 mph. We have a building in Miami Dade County, Florida, which has the highest wind loads in the country and we engineered a building to withstand it. We can engineer these buildings up to hurricane-force winds, if necessary.
What is the best method of heating these structures in the winter, if necessary?
A lot of times, heating is not necessary in these buildings because they tend to stay a lot warmer inside during cold weather. If heating is necessary, we like to use infrared heaters in either propane or natural gas. These heaters heat up objects, unlike forced hot air. There is a lot of volume inside of these structures because of the ceiling height. It is much easier to heat up objects instead of the air. The objects will radiate heat, making infrared heaters the best choice in these buildings.
What sort of maintenance is involved over the lifetime of these buildings?
The most important thing is tightening the ratchets on the cover. You will usually need to tighten them two or three times a year. As long as your ratchets are tight, your building will be sturdy and functioning properly.
How far off the ground are the ratchets placed? Can they be reached from the ground or do you have to be able to reach the top of the building?
The ratchets are very accessible and easy to use. If you have a building that mounts on the ground, anchors or piers, the ratchets are right on the inside by the base. If you have a building that mounts on a wall, the ratchets will be right at the top of the wall. Depending on how high the wall is, the ratchets should be reachable from the ground.
Do you offer repair patch kits for tears?
Yes, we have a number of ways to repair the cover if you have any issues, including patch kits.
How long can I expect the fabric cover to last?
The cover has a 15 year warranty, but they will usually last much longer than that.
Climate Control and Lighting
Are fans needed during the summer?
We install fan packages in a lot of these arenas to help circulate the air, but many people will just open the doors to get airflow through the building. If you are in an area where it gets very warm, ceiling fans are a good option to circulate the air and help keep the building cooler.
Yes, you will need lighting inside the building during the evening and at night. You don’t need a lot of lights because the fabric is very reflective so a couple of lights will go a long way.
Is there anything else that you’d like to know? Feel free to post any additional questions or call 1.866.643.1010 to speak to a Truss Arch specialist.