The International Code Council (ICC) approved the Acceptance Criteria for
Helical Foundation Systems (AC358) in June 2007. Ram Jack was the first
helical manufacturer to meet all the requirements and receive their Evaluation
Service Report (ESR-1854) on February 1st, 2011. It took 3 1/2-years for
Ram Jack to receive their ESR. It is a very long and thorough process.
Only three of our competitors have been able to meet the stringent requirements
of AC358 since Ram Jack’s report was issued.
When AC358 was first approved in 2007, it was based on the 2006 IBC. Since
most of the country has now adopted the 2009 IBC it was necessary for
ICC to revise AC358 to bring the acceptance criteria date with the 2009
and 2012 IBC. This was done in December of 2012. When ICC revised AC358,
they mandated that existing report holders had to update their ESR reports
to the new AC358 by December 1st, 2013 or have their reports suspended
until compliance with the new AC358 could be shown.
Ram Jack has not only met the mandated deadline to update their ESR report
by ICC, we also added our 3 ½” diameter pile to the report.
The 3 ½” pile includes a new construction bracket, side load
bracket and has a 14,000 ft-lb torque rating. The torque rating on our
2 7/8”diameter piles was also increased to 8,200 ft-lbs. ICC-Evaluation
Services also increased the capacities of several of Ram Jack’s
There are several reasons why engineers and building officials demand ESR
reports. Here is a list of only a few that allows an engineer to specify
a helical pile system with confidence:
An ESR report includes the load capacity of the product that has been independently
verified by an accredited testing laboratory and reviewed by ICC-ES.
- The report verifies the product is compliant with the model building code (IBC).
- Conditions of use which highlights aspects of use or compliance of the
product with the building code are also reported.
- The Manufacturer also has to demonstrate that a quality control system
is in place that will ensure that their products remain consistent. The
ICC-ES also require the Manufacturer to have quarterly inspections by
an independent accredited inspection agency to verify compliance with
the ESR and quality control system in order for their ESR to remain valid.
Many helical manufacturers are starting to advertise that their product
has been tested per AC358. However if they do not have an ESR report issued
by ICC-Evaluation Services, ICC doesn’t recognize their product
as being compliant with AC358 or the IBC. Why should you?
By: Darin Willis, P.E.