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Recently HPW conducted its seventh annual helical pile industry survey.  This year a total of eight helical pile and helical anchor manufacturers and two distributors participated in the survey.  Six of the manufacturers are based in the U.S. with GoliiathTech and Roterra being based in Canada with a U.S. Operation in Texas. Below is the list of eight manufacturers, one of which requested anonymity for contributing to the article:

Empire Piers - www.empirepiers.com

GoliathTech Piles - www.goliathtechpiles.com

MacLean Power Systemswww.macleancivilproducts.com

Patriot Foundation Systems - www.patriothelicals.com

Ram Jack Systems Distribution www.ramjack.com

Roterra Piling - www.roterra.com

Supportworkswww.supportworks.com

Anonymous Manufacturer

The two participating distributors are based in the U.S. and include:

Danbro Distributors - www.danbro.com  

Viking Helical  –  www.vikinghelicalanchors.com

HPW also contacted or attempted to contact ten 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 2020 Versus 2019
  • Total Number of Leads Sold in 2020 - Round Shaft & Square Bar
  • Private Versus Public Funded Projects for 2020 Versus 2019
  • Square Bar Volume Compared to Round Shaft Volume in 2020
  • Opinions and/or Plans About the Future Market for Larger Diameter Helical Piles
  • Assessment of Solar Array and Wind Turbine Opportunities in 2020 Versus 2019 and Forecasts for 2021
  • Overall Forecasts and/or Predictions for Helical Pile and Helical Anchor Sales in 2021
  • 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 2020 Versus 2019

Overall seven of the ten companies reported minimal to significant increases in sales revenue for 2020.  One company reported sales were flat or equal to 2019, while two companies reported sales below 2019 totals.  The largest year over year increase was 48% reported by one company, and two companies reported increases of 25% and 30%.  The mean or average increase in sales in 2020 versus 2019 for all ten companies was 12.4%.  The median increase was 10%.  

Total Number of Leads Sold in 2020 - Round Shaft & Square Bar

This was the second 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.  All ten companies supplied data for this metric.  The combined total number of round shaft and square bar leads sold in 2020 was 525,000 compared to 304,000 in 2019. 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 150,000 with the lowest being 3,000.

Private Versus Public Funded Projects for 2020 Versus 2019

The general input from all ten participants was that public funded projects in 2020 continued near the same level as in 2019.  The average ratio across all participants was 84% privately funded and 16% publicly funded projects.

Round Corner Square Bar (RCS) Compared to Round Shaft Volume in 2020

Three of the survey participants offered only round shaft helical products in 2020. Of the other seven, one company reported 60% of their sales were RCS.  When all ten companies product percentages are combined, the average percentage of round shaft products sold equaled 86% 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” O.D. (152.4 mm) and greater in diameter.

Larger diameter helical pile sales across the industry increased for five of the companies in 2020 over 2019, while one reported no increase, and two companies don’t currently offer large diameter products.  Companies reported the majority of sales ranged in size from 6.00” O.D. (114.3 mm) to 12.00” O.D. (305 mm), which was similar to 2019, except for one company that had significant sales in larger diameter piles up to 36.00” O.D. (914.4 mm). There was not enough available data on percentage increases in product sales in this category for a meaningful report.  The general consensus from six participants that offer large diameter piles suggests there is anticipated growth in 2021 for this sector.

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 2020 Versus 2019

and Forecasts for 2021


As was the case with last year’s report, there were only a few companies that were aggressively pursuing the solar market.  With the new U.S. President now in office, there is anticipation of significant growth in this sector.  One company reported sales in the solar sector representing a  very impressive 38% of all helical sales in 2020. Another company reported 15% of total sales were into this sector, and two other companies saw minimal increases.  All of these four companies are bullish on this market sector and are anticipating additional growth in 2021.


Of the ten 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 2021.


Overall Forecasts and/or Predictions for Helical Pile and Helical

Anchor Sales in 2021


The outlook for sales growth in 2021 from seven companies is positive, while the other three companies are projecting no growth or a decline in sales.  The mean or average 2021 growth projection for all ten companies is up 12%, and the median projection is up 10%.

Total Number of Dealers / Installers in North America

The numbers varied substantially from company to company with one company claiming to have approximately (300) repeat customers.  Another company reported selling to a total of (10) distributors who in turn have sales to approximately (200) installers. One other company also reported to have over (200) installers.  While the lowest number reported installers was approximately (45), the mean or average number is (138), and the median number is (125).

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.

Summary

Product sales in 2020 exceeded 2019 results for seven of the ten companies participating in the survey.  Seven participants believe 2021 revenues will be higher than in 2020 with two companies forecasting significant growth.  Three of the companies are forecasting 2021 revenues to be flat or below 2020 levels.

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 2021 is positive.

HPW would like to thank the ten 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:


Bill Bonekemper

bbones@helicalpileworld.com

513-386-8158

North America Helical Pile Industry 2020 Review & 2021 Outlook

by Bill Bonekemper

Publisher

February, 2021