Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Total Mast Solutions supply over 900 different types of mast to suit every application.

We’ve probably answered your question before, so why not take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

If you can’t find the answer to our question, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Remember, the more information you give us, the better and quicker our reply is likely to be.

Browse F.A.Q. Topics

General Questions

  • I want to leave my mast extended for long periods of time. What precautions should I take?
    The correct use of guys is an essential part of the mast structural integrity. Water ingress can cause damage, it should be regularly retracted and extended using the drain valve at the base of the mast to expel any water. For instances where this may not be possible we advise using an Anti-Ingress Protection Sleeve. More information and images can be found on our Accessories pages.
  • If For example, if I order a 17 metre mast and I only want to extend it to 10 metres, will this strengthen the mast and increase the lateral stability and head load capabilities?
    Yes, this will significantly alter the capabilities of the mast - Please call our experienced sales or technical team for more information.
  • I need full technical details for my specific requirements, can you provide this?
    Yes. Our technical team can provide full detailed drawings, specifications and a computerised readout with graphics on wind loading and deflection along with all relevant structural information. All we need is the mast type required, height, weight, size and type of head load, and we do the rest.
  • How long will the air seals last?
    Up to ten years depending on how often it is used, renewing the air seals is a very easy process and all is fully explained in the maintenance handbook, For example to fully strip down and replace the air seals and rebuild a 17 metre 101mm diameter mast will take approximately four hours, or if you wish we can do this for you either here in the UK or at one of our numerous distributors in other countries.
  • I live in a very hot / cold country. Does this affect the mast?
    Our masts operate in the temperature range of between -25 °C and +60 °C. Cold temperature air seals are available, if required. These allow a lower working temperature of down to -50°C.
  • Do you sell hydraulic masts?
    Hydraulic is a commonly misused term for a mast, our masts are pneumatic and are extended using low pressure compressed air. We also now have a range of mechanical masts that extend via a motor, as well as some ultra-lightweight manually extended options.
  • I want a vertically fitted mast, which vehicle should I choose?
    This depends on the retracted and extended height of the mast you choose. Our compact range is commonly used for this method as it has a shorter retracted height and an integral top head load mounting assembly which doubles as mast section protector as it covers all exposed mast sections when retracted.
  • I want to order a 152mmØ, 200mmØ or 250mm Ø mast in a fast mast roof roller box, which vehicle should I choose?
    Our standard fast mast roof roller box system can be adapted to suit a number of vehicles however we always recommend that you check with us first. Many large 4x4s or vans can be used. For vans we recommend Vauxhall (opel) Vivaro, Nissan Primastar or Renault traffic short wheel base is ok for many masts however long wheel base is better (Standard roof height vans work best and high roof vans should be avoided if possible).
  • Can I purchase the Fast Mast Box or mast in a different colour?
    Yes, however there will be a small extra cost and it will slightly lengthen the order time. The standard colour for the fast mast box is white and all our masts are clear anodised.
  • I want to start my own semi aerial photography business, can you help?
    We have for many years used our equipment to provide a photography service to clients. However in early 2010 we decided that this was a conflict of interests and decided to pass on all our photography contracts to existing customers who have bought our mast systems. When these contracts come in we pass them on free of charge to the nearest mast operator with the correct system to complete the job. This then enabled us to concentrate purely on being the best equipment supplier in the business but also provide our mast clients with a boosted income stream. We have a huge range of knowledge in this field and we are happy to pass on our expertise. We can supply you with a full business start up package Free of Charge, which contains everything you will need to make a success of your new venture. It contains lots of useful information on how to get and service new clients, formatted brochures, hundreds of elevated photos of numerous subjects and dos and don’ts. We are always available at the end of the phone for ongoing support and advice on all aspects of marketing. We are the market leader in this field and regularly talk to our existing clients and therefore keep up to date with new and interesting photography jobs they have been involved in. We also receive regular national photography contracts and pass this work onto clients with our equipment.
  • I do not live in the UK. Does this make a difference?
    No, we export our equipment all over the world and despatch using trusted freight companies. All orders are double checked prior to despatch and packed to ECC standards ensuring safe undamaged delivery (a tracking system is available).
  • If I place an order how long will it take to arrive?
    We stock a large quantity of our most popular systems for immediate dispatch however if you require a large quantity or a non stock item please contact us for anticipated production times.
  • What is a turn able mast?
    This function allows the entire mast (except the fixed base) to rotate even when extended. The mast has a degree counter at its base and the upper fixing clamp has a slip ring inside it. You can order manual rotation which also has a clamp to lock the mast when desired direction is reached. A mast rotation hand wheel which clamps around the mast is also available for automatic or motorised rotation. These are available in 12V or 24V versions with a remote control handset and they have a manual override function.
  • What is a keyed mast?
    The tube has a keyway (or slot) down its length and each collar has a key which fits into the keyway. This stops the tube from rotating. This can be a very important function when the head load needs to be kept in a static direction.
  • What are the clamps on each section used for?
    All portable masts come with clamp able sections as standard, but you can order a keyed mast with or without clamp able sections. The clamps are only required for a mast which is to be extended for a very long period of time. All our masts are fully extended and lent at an angle of 10º and tested for a 24 hour period and proven not to lose air pressure. So if you are only using a mast for shorter periods you may not need the clamps and masts without clamps are cheaper.
  • I want to use my mast for photography, what backups should I order?
    The only two vulnerable components are the cables and pan and tilt so we strongly advise a spare set; if you damage either you will be awaiting supply of a replacement.
  • Which camera, laptop and software should I use?
    Many cameras are compatible, we advise you to check at www.breezesys.co.uk which is our nominated software provider and a list is available under PS Remote software. It is compatible with compact and DSLRs. We also stock CamRanger equipment that enables users to access their camera’s viewing window and controls via a free app installation. Visit camranger.com for full details.
  • I want to take photos from the mast, how does it work?
    We can supply wireless solutions to operate both a DSLR camera and the standard pan & tilt unit - Please see our mast accessories page. At the top of the mast is a 360 degree pan and tilt device which is battery powered. This will allow you to rotate and tilt the camera which is mounted on top of the unit to compose your picture via a wire loom which simply plugs into both camera and pan and tilt at the top and connects to a laptop and remote control of the camera and is very easy to use. Once you have composed your picture and at the click of a button a full screen size image appears on the laptop. It is saved in my documents and is automatically dated and timed. It is very easy to use and you don't need any formal photography training; there is a useful help section on the software. We can also provide wireless solutions for photography.
  • What do I do if my mast gets damaged?
    We stock a full range of spare parts for immediate despatch and also give a 15 year guarantee for supply of spares. We despatch spares very rapidly because we understand you will need to get repairs completed with minimum fuss and loss of time. Alternatively we can undertake repairs for you at our premises.
  • How long is the mast guarantee period?
    Our products carry a two year guarantee. However, we will always listen sympathetically after this period.
  • I want to order a photography mast, what else will I need?
    We supply a full turn-key solution and usually the only items you will need to supply is the camera, laptop and software. We stock a range of optional accessories to make things easier (please see our mast accessories page). When you receive your quotation please study the items listed and if you are in doubt contact our experienced sales team for advice.
  • I know very little about pneumatic masts – will I receive a user/maintenance manual?
    Yes, all is fully explained in our manuals which are provided with every mast. Our masts are in service with a huge range of users including police, military, fire departments etc throughout the world and have proved to be very reliable. The only maintenance which is required is a quick periodic mast lubrication.
  • I have a limited budget, can you help?
    Yes, we have a huge range of masts available to suit all budgets. We sometimes have ex demonstration or part used fully overhauled equipment for sale – please call for details.
  • Do you hire masts out?
    Yes, we are now hiring out masts to customers who need them for one off applications and short periods of time. For more information or to enquire about this service please contact us via email, phone or by filling out the contact form.  
  • Can I come in for a demonstration?
    Yes, we strongly recommend this so you can get a full understanding of the practical use and physically see the difference of the 450 types of masts available. Our showroom is based in the centre of the UK. If you take junction 21A of the M1 motorway it is a 10 minute drive. We are based 10 minutes from the mainline railway station and 15 minutes from East Midlands Airport. We are happy to collect and return you to your transport and we are able to arrange a hotel if you wish to stay overnight. Please call us to arrange a demonstration.
  • Which mast should I choose?
    There are many important factors to consider prior to ordering a mast. We strongly advise you to read the list of points below, consult our product charts and then either call or email our experienced sales team who will be happy to give advice on the best solution to suit your requirements. Kindly taking a moment to try to answer the following questions will help us to specify the correct mast to suit your application.
      • What are you going to use the mast for?
      • What extended and retracted mast height do you require?
      • What weight of mast do you require i.e. portable or vehicle mounted?
      • Are you able to provide the weight, shape and dimensions of the head load to be placed on the mast?
      • What type of mast mounting system do you require?
      • What type of vehicle is to be used if any? (Please send photos or specifications).
      • What is the vehicle’s floor to roof height?
      • Do you require a manual hand pump or electric air compressor?
      • Do you have any other specific or special requirements?

Photography & Videography

  • I want to start my own semi aerial photography business, can you help?
    We have for many years used our equipment to provide a photography service to clients. However in early 2010 we decided that this was a conflict of interests and decided to pass on all our photography contracts to existing customers who have bought our mast systems. When these contracts come in we pass them on free of charge to the nearest mast operator with the correct system to complete the job. This then enabled us to concentrate purely on being the best equipment supplier in the business but also provide our mast clients with a boosted income stream. We have a huge range of knowledge in this field and we are happy to pass on our expertise. We can supply you with a full business start up package Free of Charge, which contains everything you will need to make a success of your new venture. It contains lots of useful information on how to get and service new clients, formatted brochures, hundreds of elevated photos of numerous subjects and dos and don’ts. We are always available at the end of the phone for ongoing support and advice on all aspects of marketing. We are the market leader in this field and regularly talk to our existing clients and therefore keep up to date with new and interesting photography jobs they have been involved in. We also receive regular national photography contracts and pass this work onto clients with our equipment.
  • I want to use my mast for photography, what backups should I order?
    The only two vulnerable components are the cables and pan and tilt so we strongly advise a spare set; if you damage either you will be awaiting supply of a replacement.
  • Which camera, laptop and software should I use?
    Many cameras are compatible, we advise you to check at www.breezesys.co.uk which is our nominated software provider and a list is available under PS Remote software. It is compatible with compact and DSLRs. We also stock CamRanger equipment that enables users to access their camera’s viewing window and controls via a free app installation. Visit camranger.com for full details.
  • I want to take photos from the mast, how does it work?
    We can supply wireless solutions to operate both a DSLR camera and the standard pan & tilt unit - Please see our mast accessories page. At the top of the mast is a 360 degree pan and tilt device which is battery powered. This will allow you to rotate and tilt the camera which is mounted on top of the unit to compose your picture via a wire loom which simply plugs into both camera and pan and tilt at the top and connects to a laptop and remote control of the camera and is very easy to use. Once you have composed your picture and at the click of a button a full screen size image appears on the laptop. It is saved in my documents and is automatically dated and timed. It is very easy to use and you don't need any formal photography training; there is a useful help section on the software. We can also provide wireless solutions for photography.
  • Can I come in for a demonstration?
    Yes, we strongly recommend this so you can get a full understanding of the practical use and physically see the difference of the 450 types of masts available. Our showroom is based in the centre of the UK. If you take junction 21A of the M1 motorway it is a 10 minute drive. We are based 10 minutes from the mainline railway station and 15 minutes from East Midlands Airport. We are happy to collect and return you to your transport and we are able to arrange a hotel if you wish to stay overnight. Please call us to arrange a demonstration.

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