Pit sourcing

Yea CD, our team is looking at updating our pit by exchanging our current frame made of aluminum diamond plate angle iron for those lighting trusses that we see on a lot of high end pits. However they are very expensive to buy and we were not around in 2014 to got them from decommissioned fields like some other teams. Are there any hidden gems of websites or distributors out there that sell these for a good price? If so please link them in a comment. Thanks for any help you can offer and good luck this season from 5464.

Here is a picture of a pit using these lighting trusses.

Googling for “lighting truss triangle 3m” I find low end 3 meter trusses to run around $250 to $300 plus shipping. Not exactly cheap, but less than I expected. Is this the price point you’re trying to beat?

I’m a truss-skeptic, but I searched Amazon and found this:

Two of the former and one (or two, depending on height) of the latter, and you’ve got a very portable setup on about $300. Is it quite as cool as the Poofs’ pit? No, and I’ll concede that the tripod stands eat space in places you may not desire (including extending out into the aisle). But truss is [strike]heavy[/strike] freakin’ heavy (source: have helped dismantle AndyMark’s at Championship) and you’ll appreciate the ability to get in and out quickly.

The cheapest we could find was right at $2k from a company called DisplayExhibits.com. Couldn’t be happier with it - light and easy to setup. We were lucky enough to have a sponsor pay for it.

Here’s what our pit looked like at GKC

If budget is what you are looking for, perhaps an alternative to trusses. It looks like you build a truss-emulating pit with steel or pvc pipe and plumbing joints. That would be much cheaper, but serve the same purpose I would think. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on why manufactured trusses are ideal.

The lighting truss is designed to minimize deflection and weight for a given amount of load being supported. These considerations are important when trying to support thousands of watts of illumination across many tens of feet. However, there are far lower cost solutions if you’re only doing a ten foot cube or smaller, and only need to support a few pounds.

We just went with a 8.5” aluminum TRI-truss from Global Truss. It was as stated before a little over $2k. Seems slightly better than the 6” TRI from displayexhibits.com

FYI - The one we purchased from displayexhibits.com was 10x10 M222 Trio for $2,044.00. PN - S010MT

Another question. How do teams with trusses store and transport them?

I see for bigger trusses the common thing to do is strap a furniture dolly on each end and stack them using spacers.

Any other ideas?


Found this on the first Google result (and some subsequent clicking-throughs of the products):
https://famousstages.com/aluminum-triangle-truss-8-inch-12-foot.html?category_id=204 ($188 for a 10ft section). If you want 8 sections like in the image, that’d come out to $1.5k

Don’t forget your corner brackets. That brings you closer to about $2150 before tax and shipping.

We got our pit from Esto Connectors(http://www.estoconnectors.com) and it was fantastic. Super friendly company to work with, and we even won a best pit award from 2834(Thanks guys!), and a pit safety award.

Interesting product. Did you use the .06" wall tubing, and how well did it handle a 10’ span? Do you have any pictures to share? Fair to assume you didn’t load the horizontal spans with anything heavier than banners or signage? Any details you can share will be well appreciated:D

This looks like an interesting discussion… I’ve shared it with our group in BC, about half of whom have never been to an FRC competition before and really have no idea what a “Pit” looks like.

For the record, we had good luck using 2x4s with the occasional 2x6, along with some custom connectors. For events that we drove to, we’d strap the painted studs to the roof rack, but when we flew to events we’d pack our custom connectors in our crate, and then just pop out to Home Depot and spend about $30 on lumber that we’d donate to a local team at the end of the competition.


The permanent structures on our pit(like the corner walls in the pictures) were made with the 0.065" tight fit tubing, and all of the removable components to break down the pit and put it back up were done with 0.06" slip fit on quick disconnect connectors. It handled the 10’ perfectly without issue, but we ended up being forced down to a smaller pit size due to constraints at the competitions. To adjust the dimensions we used different length tubes for our sides that we could swap in and out. These were the 0.06" slip fit tubes. The front corners were 10’ tall and the back corners are 8’.

Here’s a picture of our pit at St. Louis this year


Thanks for the helpful picture and additional specifics!