Used Bleacher Checklist
Are you considering buying used bleachers or grandstands?
Buying bleachers will not only be expensive but it is also a great responsibility. You are purchasing a product that will be used for many years and will have thousands of people using them over the years. It is your duty as a responsible buyer to provide your spectators with quality seating that is safe for use throughout the time they are installed.
When purchasing new bleachers from a manufacturer most of the “guess work” is taken out of the equation. Any reputable bleacher company will provide you with quality seating that meet or exceed all code requirements and will have signed and sealed engineer drawings available for the products they provide. New bleachers should also come with some type of warranty that will cover the parts and if installed by the manufacturer or a representative of them a warranty for the labor as well.
Used bleachers are a completely different story. Because used bleachers are usually sold by the former owner or a person who is not necessarily a bleacher expert you will have to do your homework. Used bleachers can be a huge liability not only for safety but for insurance reasons as well. Below is a checklist of items you should consider when thinking of purchasing used bleachers. Remember that the majority of older bleachers do not meet code requirements for many reasons and it will be your responsibility to bring them up to code once re-installed or they may be usable or insurable. Bringing bleachers up to code is often more expensive than purchasing new so please proceed with caution.
- How old are the bleachers?
- What type of materials are the bleachers made of? Steel or aluminum understructure? Wood planks? Aluminum Planking? If the planks are wood, what condition are they in?
- When was the last bleacher inspection done by a qualified person?
- Are any engineer drawings available for the bleachers?
- What type of foundation will be needed for the bleachers?
- Are the bleachers elevated or non-elevated? Elevated bleachers have a front walkway that will require stairs and ramps to get to the seating area. Non-elevated bleachers start on the ground and go up. Elevated bleachers will require not only stairs, but an ADA compliant ramp as well.
- Does the bleacher have safety fence?
- This is a really easy way to check for safety code issues… Take a softball or any item that is 4” in diameter. If you can push that item in between any spaces on the bleacher that are greater than 30” of the ground then those bleachers do not meet safety requirements.
This by no means is a complete checklist to use when purchasing used bleachers but it will give you a starting point and address a few key concerns. RBI is always available by phone or email to discuss these items with you and answer any questions you may have. We also offer inspection services and engineering reports for existing bleachers and this information can be found on our services page.
We do have both new and used bleachers available for sale and would be happy to quote similar units so you may see the cost difference between new bleachers and quality used bleachers. The pricing may not be as dramatic a difference as you might think.