Pole Barns » How To Build A Pole Barn » Soil Bearing Capacity

Soil Bearing Capacity

Soil bearing capacity refers to the ability of soil to support load applied to the ground. Bearing capacities have a safety factor built in to prevent failure. So, the ultimate bearing capacity would be its perceived point of failure with no safety factor built in.

Pole embedment depth is calculated based upon frost heave depth, whether there are "open walls" or not, and the size and design of the building it must support along with anticipated wind load.


Soil Bearing Capacity Table
Type of Soil Load Bearing
(Pounds Per Square Foot)
Rock w/ Gravel 6,000 psf +
Gravel 5000 psf
Sandy Gravel 5000 psf
Sand 3000 psf
Silt Sand 3000 psf
Silt Gravel 3000 psf
Gravel w/ Clay 3000 psf
Clay 2000 psf
Sandy Clay 2000 psf
Silt Clay 2000 psf

Our pole barn kits include construction drawings providing all needed drawings to construct the bulding. This includes the post embedment requirements for the jobsite.

The hole diameter is calculated to spread the dead load (building materials) and live load (snow and ice) across a footer that contains enough surface area to prevent your building from settling.

To ensure that high winds don't jack the building out of the ground uplift cleats or rebar are placed near the bottom of each post to keep the post embedded in the ground.

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