Stanchion Installation

These instructions are only for installations that have been reviewed by Pin Foundations, Inc. They are intended to be generic, but may require revision for specific projects or unique applications.


  • A two or three person crew for installation

  • Foundation Frame stanchions , each including the corresponding bearing pins and caps

  • Framing p osts (if specified)

  • A square - edge shovel

  • An automatic driving hammer with driving bit

  • A sledge hammer or sliding post driver

  • A small level with magne tic edge

  • A ratcheting wrench

Check all Foundation Frame stanchion bases for pin fit before installing. The locking bolt and corresponding Force Plate® are factory set for proper pin slide, but may have been altered during shipping or handling. If pins do not slide easily through the holes, loosen the locking bolt. If the bolt is loosened and the pins do not slide easily through the holes, the supplier or manufacturer must be notified, and the base replaced .

Check for buried utilities before beginning to dig or driving pins. Wear safety goggles, ear protection, steel toe work boots, and rubber-insulated work gloves.

Dig a square hole slightly larger than the size of the s tanchion base and 8-12 ” deep, depending on your project parameters. (On sloping terrain, dig the hole deeper on the uphill side so that the base sits plumb.)

Following safe lifting procedures, position the stanchion in the hole, plumb and centered on its alignment. (Note: For most frames, alignment will be based on the final sill beam position, which is typically wider than the stanchion or embedded post to allow for field adjustments. The stanchions should be positioned accordingly.) Replace just enough of the removed soils back around the sides of the stanchion at grade, without packing too hard, to maintain plumb and alignment during pin driving. See “Notes” below.

Slide opposing bearing pins through the holes in the stanchion, and set the pins a foot or two into the soil with the sledge hammer or sliding post driver while checking and adjusting for level and alignment. Do not attempt to drive the pins all the way down just with the sledge hammer. Using the automatic hammer, drive each pin alternately in increments, continuing to monitor level and alignment. Do not hit the stanchion with the automatic hammer.

Finish driving each pin with the automatic hammer, leaving 2” protruding from the sides of the stanchion and being careful not to damage the stanchion coating or upper ends of the pins.

Once the dead loads of the structure have been applied, use the ratcheting wrench – or similar tool – to tighten the locking bolt. Then cover the exposed end of each pin with a cap.

Repeat steps 1-5 for the remaining Foundation Frame stanchions.

Note 1   
Do not drive a pin all the way down at once if this causes the stanchion base to be pulled to one side. (The stanchion should not be installed more than 5 degrees out of plumb.) If this begins to occur, stop driving that pin and continue to rotate around the stanchion, driving the pins in increments, until the growing strength in the pile group is sufficient to allow final driving. If loss of plumb is not a problem, the pins may be driven all the way down one at a time. Do not continue to hammer away at a pin that is bouncing or rattling against an impassable object if it causes the stanchion to ride up the pin, pushes the stanchion to one side, or risks damaging the stanchion. Ensure that the stanchion will remain in place when encountering difficulties in the soil and when following the steps in Note 2.

Note 2
If a pin meets substantial resistance in the soil before it has been driven its full length, it may be left in this partially driven position and cut off, provided it has been driven at least 60% of its length* and (1) using caution to avoid damaging the stanchion, the pin cannot be driven more than half an inch during a full 30 seconds of uninterrupted automatic hammering, (2) using caution to avoid damaging the stanchion, attempts to drive the pin with single sudden sledge hammer blows have been made, and (3) after a reasonable period, attempts to redrive the pin using both methods have been made without success.  

*In frost zones, the pin must be driven to at least 85% of its length if it is to be cut off. If this is not possible, the obstruction may be close enough to the surface that it may be dug up and removed, the soils recompacted, the stanchion reset and the pins redriven. The pins may also be removed, and, provided your bracket/bearing requirements will still be met, the Stanchion may be relocated within the parameters of your superstructure design. Length and location of cut pins should be recorded, mapped, and forwarded to PFI and the project engineer or project design professional.

Temporary Product Storage
To avoid the bulky white deposit known as “wet-storage stain,” all galvanized products shipped in bundles, stacks, or cardboard cartons should be protected from moisture until they are separated and put to use in exposed environments. If products are shipped wet, they must be separated and thoroughly dried before restacking or rebundling. If indoor storage of the products is not possible, they must be kept off the ground, covered with an opaque plastic or canvas tarpaulin covering, and the bundles or stacks slanted slightly to allow condensation to drain. (Reference: American Society for Metals, Metals Handbook Ninth Edition, Vol. I [USA, 1978], p. 169.)