Rebar Supplier Is, Literally, the Foundation of the Tower Business

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There’s not likely a better barometer for buildout in the macro tower business than tracking the guys who supply the rebar. Alan Streetman, the CEO of Bama Steel in Birmingham, AL, admits to seeing better days since he started furnishing his product to tower builders in 1998, but still finds it to be an active sector. “It comes in spurts,” he told Inside Towers. Initially furnishing the rebar for the construction industry, Streetman said they were approached by tower developers those many decades ago who needed a quick turnaround. “Once people in that business are awarded a contract, they are on demand and digging a hole,” he said. Bama Steel’s niche developed because larger rebar suppliers had trouble meeting the short time frames and smaller, sporadic custom-supply orders, according to Streetman.

Although the bar itself is not customized for the industry, Streetman said the tower industry requires him to have everything that’s needed for the buildout at the right place, at the right time, and in the right quantity. “If a customer needs 215 bars at a certain length, and delivered to some mountaintop, it can be a big problem if they don’t have what they need to finish the job.” 

Streetman said no two orders are alike, although he wishes they were. Depending on whether they are furnishing steel for a self-supporter or guyed tower, the length can vary from 25 to 45 feet. The self supporters can use a three-pad foundation or one massive square pad. They have also supplied pre-built cages for quicker deployment. 

Bama Steel is not limited to its namesake territory as, Streetman said, the company ships all over the U.S. “if you’re willing to pay the freight…because shipping ain’t cheap.”

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