Before you buy a Glen Martin tower.

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R. J. Cleve:
Look at my product review comments dated 4/17/2003 under Towers/Glen Martin.

David McKinnon:
    Question, having dealt with and presumably being satisfied with US towers and Rohn, what led you to deal with GM?  

keith y mortensen:
Ditto!!  See my review from Oct. 28, 2002.  I also sent a letter to Sandy Martin, and never even got a response! I never did get the torque arms, nor any suggestions to make the tower stable.   THIS IS THE LETTER, VERBATUM.

November 11, 2002

Glen Martin Engineering
13620 Old Highway 40
Boonville, MO  65233-2617   USA

Attn:  Sandy Martin

Sandy:

It has now been a year since I ordered my Glenn Martin 1870 tower, and I have to tell you, I am a very dissatisfied customer from a product perspective and a customer support perspective.  Glenn Martin rates this tower at 18 sq. ft. at 80 miles an hour.  This is wish full thinking at best, a total misrepresentation at worst.  I originally installed a Tennadyne T6 log periodic and a six element Hygain 6 meter beam.  Together they represent a total of 9 sq. ft. of wind load.  (1/2 the towers rating)  The first good wind we had after the installation had gusts reaching 40 miles an hour.  The tower reacted with such violent twisting; I moved the cars out of the driveway fearing the tower would shake itself to collapse.  Fortunately, it was still standing the next day.   Unfortunately the constant twisting of the tower caused enough ware between all the bolted joints that they all became loose.  I had to climb the tower and retighten ALL the nuts and bolts.  This is no menial task, there must be close to 1000 bolts, it took hours.  The stainless steel used in the bolts is soft, so they can't be tightened down hard enough to stop movement of the crosspieces.  Climbing the tower is also no picnic.  I weigh 140 pounds and had to very carefully step to the outside of each rung so as not to bend it.  Step in the middle and it will bend.  I also thought of preloading the guy wires with more tension, but the guy mounts on the tower are so flimsy I was concerned they would not take any more and still handle a heavy wind.  A third set of guy wires has been installed on this tower.

I have been a Ham for 16 years, this is not my first tower.  I've had experience with a Triex steel crankup, an Aluma Tower aluminum crankup, Rohn 25 and an old unknown brand steel tower.  None of which were so limited.

Obviously, I’ve placed many calls to Glen Martin, few got returned.  I was told by one individual that the twisting problem I have is due to the boom of the beams, and that stacking the six meter beam above the T6 was also a problem.  I don't know how Glen Martin figures anyone can get 18 sq. ft. of antenna up on a tower with NO mast and NO booms.

Glen Martin did promise to send me torque arms over six months ago, I still have not seen these.  I have spoken to Tatum about these on four or five separate occasions.  Tatum has always been polite and always promised to take care of it right away, but I still have not received them.  If my understanding of torque arms is correct, it means I will have to sink new ground anchors, and place 2 guys on each torque arm.  That is a total of 18 kevlar guy wires!  This is going to get even more expensive.

I have not even touched on the quality issues I ran into when I first received the tower.  The hinged base is grossly inadequate for a structure this size.  The holes in the base did not match up with the hinge unit and had to be re-drilled.  Hundreds of bolts were loose, really loose!  When lowering the Voyager, the cable jumps off the guide rollers and jams unless it is lowered VERY slowly.  Poor design, or poor alignment, I’m not sure, but it is very annoying.  Although not a quality issue, I would strongly suggest you modify your marketing collateral regarding the 1870.  It is NOT possible to WALK this tower up, even if you had twenty people.  A crane is a must.

In all my interactions with Glen Martin, I have always been professional, friendly, polite, even gracious, and have never raised my voice.  I have been more than patient and understanding to this point.

Summary:
I purchased this tower with the intent of installing a Hy-gain TH-11with my 6 meter beam on top as a performance upgrade to my little T6.  My investment in this tower, including concrete base and crane services, exceeds $5,000, and I can’t upgrade my antennas.  I have also had to climb this tower more than any tower I have ever owned.  While it still bounces around with a 40 mile an hour gust, I think it will stay up.  Since it still does twist, I suspect I will have to climb it once a year to tighten all the bolts as the joints ware.

To say I am disappointed would be a gross understatement.

I would strongly recommend that your Engineering and Marketing people get together and re-review the true performance of this product vs the advertising claims.



Best regards,
Keith Mortensen


R. J. Cleve:
To N3BIF above:  I chose the GM tower over the other products primarily because of its much lighter weight and ease of erection with minimal pain and strain.  A fifty foot welded steel tower (which usually comes in three 20 floot long sections, either crank-up or crank-up tilt-over, are very heavy and usually require the assistance of an expensive crane (which I can not get into my property) and a crew to raise it into position not to mention the astronomical cost of freight shipping.  One additional factor which influenced my decision was the availability of the Hazer system for use with this tower.  You can get a Hazer for a Rohn guyed tower but not for the crankup tiltover towers (as far as I know, but I may be wrong about this).  I hope this provides the answer you were looking for.

dave cretty:
I looked at the Glenn Martin Tower for years. I e-mailed them a number of times and got no responce to my questions. That and the comments on the Webb had me buy a Trylon tower from Champion.  Steve answered all my questions even at the time he didn't know I was going to buy his tower. I am very happy with my decison.

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