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Recently HPW conducted its sixth annual helical pile industry survey. This year a total of nine helical pile and helical anchor manufacturers and two distributors participated in the survey. Eight of the manufacturers are based in the U.S. with GoliiathTech being based in Canada. Below is the list of nine manufacturers, one of which requested anonymity for contributing to the article:
Empire Piers - www.empirepiers.com
GoliathTech Piles - www.goliathtechpiles.com
Grip-Tite Manufacturing Co. - www.griptite.com
Helical Anchors, Inc. - www.helicalanchorsinc.com
MacLean Power MPS Civil Division – www.macleandixie.com
Patriot Foundation Systems - www.patriothelicals.com
Ram Jack Systems Distribution – www.ramjack.com
Supportworks – www.supportworks.com
The two participating distributors are based in the U.S. and they include:
Danbro Distributors - www.danbro.com
Viking Helical – www.vikinghelicalanchors.com
HPW also contacted or attempted to contact eight additional manufacturers and one distributor in North America for the survey, but they either did not respond or declined to participate.
Topics of the Survey
- Helical Pile and Anchor Sales for 2019 Versus 2018
- Total Number of Leads Sold in 2019 - Round Shaft & Square Bar
- Private Versus Public Funded Projects for 2019 Versus 2018
- Square Bar Volume Compared to Round Shaft Volume in 2019
- Opinions and/or Plans About the Future Market for Larger Diameter Helical Piles
- Assessment of Solar Array and Wind Turbine Opportunities in 2019 Versus 2018 and Forecasts for 2020
- Overall Forecasts and/or Predictions for Helical Pile and Helical Anchor Sales in 2020
- Total Number of Installers/Dealers in North America
Note: For this survey, HPW did not seek to distinguish between sales to the civil construction market versus the utility market. Although some but not all participants sell helical products to both markets, the survey results do include sales into both markets.
Helical Pile and Anchor Sales for 2019 Versus 2018
Overall ten of the eleven companies reported minimal to significant increases in sales revenue for 2019, while one company reported no increase. The largest year over year increase was 28% reported by one company, and two companies reported increases of 20% and 28%. The mean or average increase in sales in 2019 versus 2018 for all eleven companies was 12%. The median increase was 10%.
Total Number of Leads Sold in 2019 - Round Shaft & Square Bar
This was the first year HPW included this request for companies to supply the total quantity of helical lead sections, round shaft and square bar, to be included in the survey. Seven of the manufacturers and one distributor supplied data. The combined total number of round shaft and square bar leads sold in 2019 was 304,001. Obviously the differences in company sizes varies greatly, so median and mean numbers are of little to no value. The highest reported lead sales number was approximately 100,000 with the lowest being 6478.
Private Versus Public Funded Projects for 2019 Versus 2018
The general input from all eleven participants was that public funded projects in 2019 continued at the same level as in 2018. The average ratio across all participants was 81% privately funded and 19% publicly funded projects.
Round Corner Square Bar (RCS) Compared to Round Shaft Volume in 2019
Four of the survey participants offered only round shaft helical products in 2019. Of the remaining seven companies that offer either RCS or hollow square tube products, the percentages of RCS or hollow square tube were 60, 35,18,10,10, 6 and 5 percent of total volume. When all eleven companies product percentages are combined, the average percentage of round shaft products sold equaled 87% of all sales.
Opinions and/or Plans About the Future Market for
Larger Diameter Helical Piles
Note: For this survey, HPW considered larger diameter helical piles as 6.00” (152.4mm) and greater in diameter.
Larger diameter helical pile sales across the industry increased for eight of the companies in 2019 over 2018, while two reported no increases, and one company doesn’t offer large diameter products. Companies reported that the majority of sales ranged in size from 4.50” (114.3mm) to 12.00” (305mm), which was similar to 2018. There was not enough available data on percentage increases in product sales in this category for a meaningful report. The general consensus from eight participants suggests there is anticipated growth for larger diameter helical piles in 2020.
Note: HPW realizes there are several additional large helical pile manufacturers in North America that are aggressively pursuing large diameter helical pile markets, however these companies chose not to participate in this survey.
Assessment of Solar and Wind Turbine Projects in 2019 Versus 2018
and Forecasts for 2020
As was the case with last year’s report, there were only a few companies that were aggressively pursuing the solar market, and they expected to see minimal activity for the year due in part to the tariffs placed upon foreign solar products. However, one company reported sales in the solar sector representing an impressive 30% of all helical sales in 2019, while another company reported a 17% decline in sales of helicals to this sector. In this year’s survey the opinions and forecasts are similar as last year with just three companies actively pursuing the solar market in 2020.
Of the eleven companies reporting, only two reported that they are actively pursuing the wind turbine foundation market. Neither company is projecting any significant growth for this sector in 2020.
Overall Forecasts and/or Predictions for Helical Pile and Helical
Anchor Sales in 2020
The outlook for sales growth in 2020 from the eleven companies is quite positive. The projected revenue growth ranged from a low of 0% to a high of 40%. The mean or average 2020 growth projection for all eleven companies is 12%, and the median projection is 10%.
Total Number of Dealers / Installers in North America
The numbers varied substantially from company to company with one company selling to a total of eight distributors and thus did not submit a number of installers. The highest number of dealers / installers from one company is approximately (350), while the lowest number reported was approximately (50). The mean or average number is (137), and the median number is (121).
After discussions with several companies participating in the survey and also with installers, it does appear that some dealers / installers are buying helical products from more than one company depending upon product availability and pricing.
Product sales in 2019 exceeded the 2018 results for all but one of the companies participating in the survey. Nine participants believe 2020 revenues will be higher than in 2019 with a couple of companies forecasting significant growth. Two of the companies are forecasting 2020 revenues to be flat. The participants in our survey vary greatly in size and annual revenues, and our readers need to consider this when contemplating the data. Absent any significant economic calamities, the outlook for continued growth for our industry in 2020 is certainly positive.
HPW would like to thank the eleven companies that contributed to our survey. However, we urge the non-participating companies to reconsider their decision for next year’s survey, as a larger data sample is very important for accurately reporting results and for making accurate projections for our industry.
Please send comments or questions to:
North America Helical Pile Industry 2019 Review & 2020 Outlook
by Bill Bonekemper