Installing U-Channel Sign Posts

Sign PostsThe truth is, not all sign  posts are alike. Sign posts come in different shapes, sizes, styles, and materials.  Choosing the right one depends on the location, the sign, and your general preference.  You can even choose a portable sign post that you can easily carry with no installation needed. In terms of style and shape, there are tubular or cylindrical posts, traditional square posts, and u-channel posts.

U-Channel posts are the most popular choice because they are easy to install and very versatile.  They feature  perforations which means different size signs can be conveniently displayed at almost any height. These posts are available in a variety of heights and colours suitable for outdoors and indoors.

Installing u-channel sign posts in the ground is easy compared to tubular posts where you have to actually dig up the ground. For u-channel posts, all you need are a post driver, level, marker, and measuring tape. You’ll need washers, nuts, and bolts when installing the actual sign to the sign post.

Here’s a step by step guide to installing your u-channel sign post:

Step 1: Find the best location for your sign post. Choose a highly visible spot with no trees or shrubberies that may hide the sign. Make sure no underground utility like electricity or water line is present on the sign post spot.

Step 2: Determine the length of the post that needs to be buried. You need to drive the post far into the ground according the sign post’s height. This is to prevent the post loosening up over time and falling over. Use a measuring tape (start from the bottom) and mark the appropriate length of the post. Here’s a short guide:

  • 4 ft. post – 1-1/2 ft. deep
  • 6-7 ft. post – 2-1/2 ft. deep
  • 8-12 ft. post – 3-1/2 ft. deep

Step 3: Mark the spot for the post with spray paint. This is especially helpful if you need to install many posts in your facility or streets.

Step 4: Aim the bottom of the sign post directly on the mark.How to Install Sign Posts

Step 5: Enlist the help of an assistant. Ask him or her to bring you the post driver.

Step 6: Hand over the post to your assistant as you slip the driver on top of the post.

Step 7: Carefully walk the post up into an upright position with you holding on to the handles of the post driver. Use a ladder if you need one to drive the post.

Step 8: Drive the post manually using the driver by simply pushing the driver up and letting it slide back down, essentially hammering the post into place. Repeat as needed.

Step 9: After burying the post a few inches deep, check to see if the post is straight with a level tool.

Step 10: Install the sign on the correct side of the u-channel post. This is the open side of “u”, the one with the two pairs of flaps that should sit flat on the back of the sign, giving it extra support which prevents the sign from folding. Use the nuts and bolts to secure the sign to the post.


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