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U.S. Helical Pile Manufacturing Market Size Continues to Grow at a Very Impressive Pace
by Bill Bonekemper
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
If you were to ask nearly any helical pile manufacturer back in 2000 or so what they thought the size of the U.S. helical pile marketplace was at the time, it was difficult to project the number close to $100 million. Of course back then there were far fewer players in the game compared to today. The leading manufacturers in those days included A.B. Chance, Dixie, Joslyn (now Dixie and Joslyn are brands owned by MacLean Power Systems), Grip-Tite, Faststeel, Cantsink, AnchorPipe International and Ram Jack. Soon after 2001 the flood gates opened, and new players started entering the market almost every year. These new players included Magnum Piering, Earth Contact Products, Heli-Pile, Cantsink, Pier Tech, Helical Anchors Inc., Foundation Supportworks, IDEAL Manufacturing, Empire Piers, Patriot Foundation Systems and Geotech Enterprises. As most industry insiders know, there are other companies making helical piles and anchors, but these companies generally make and install proprietary helical products for their own projects rather than selling through distribution or direct to other installers. In addition, some Canadian-based manufacturers began distribution into the U.S. market – companies including Cyntech, Almita, Helical Pier Systems and Techno Metal Post to name a few.
Looking at all this industry growth in a relatively short period of time is impressive to put it mildly. Many of us in the industry have been scratching our heads recently trying to figure out what the size of the U.S. market really is today. HPW decided to reach out to the U.S.- based manufacturers to seek cooperation in coming up with a reasonably accurate annual market revenue number. For the purpose of this survey, no attempt was made to separate sales of helical piles and related products for the civil market versus the utility market, so the number is for both markets combined. HPW reached out to all U.S. manufacturers seeking annual sales volume for helical piles, helical anchors, terminators (pile caps) and brackets. Sixty percent of the manufacturers responded with annual sales numbers. For the remaining forty percent of manufacturers that declined to provide data or did not respond at all, HPW gathered estimates from a variety of sources in order to come up with estimated revenue numbers that we believe are reasonably accurate. Consequently, HPW determined that a variable of plus or minus 5% is appropriate to apply to the total annual market revenue.
It is also important to note that there was no attempt made to distinguish between sales of helical products delivered within the U.S. versus delivered to other countries. So the annual revenue number represents all helical pile and anchor products manufactured and sold to customers both in and outside of the U.S. The approximate total annual revenue for U.S. manufacturers comes in at $280 million. Applying the 5% accuracy variable, the revenue range is $266 - $294 million. As stated earlier, these numbers do not include products manufactured in Canada and sold into the U.S. market, nor do they include proprietary products manufactured and installed by the same company.