Indestructable MailBox

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  #1  
Old 03-03-03, 03:42 PM
FastTank
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Indestructable MailBox

OK, I've had my mailbox & post that sits beside the road hit 4 times this winter by the plow trucks. The 1st 3 times I managed to still use it after the hit, but this last time he demolished the box and broke the pole pretty good. I bought a new box and put it on a temporary pole beside the old one. I called the State and talked to a supervisor about the situation, and he said someone would come by and check out the situation. He also said that if it were caused by the location of my box or pole, he would come in and let me know it was my problem. He never came in, so I assume the height/loaction is fine.

Question is, has anyone ever contructed a heavy-duty, nearly indestructable mail box setup out of steel? I have ideas, but am looking for more. I'd like to see sparks fly when this plow driver comes by my house and still have a mailbox leftover.

Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-03-03, 03:57 PM
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Fast Tank,

Boy can I relate to your situation We had our mailbox demolished by house movers three times last year. I suppose they aren't issuing permits due to all of the complaints since we have had the same box for a whole year, whoo hoo Here is how each of our 'incidents' played out. The moving company sent us a check once, the sheriff's office told us that the contact number the company was required to give was no longer in operation once, and the third time was the worst, we were told that unless we personally witnessed the destruction, stopped the moving vehicle ourself and got the driver to sign a statement saying he was responsible, nothing could be done. Boy was I steamed A neighbor up the road fixed them though, and good too! They welded a big iron pipe to a couple of augers that he just augered into the ground and welded the metal box to the inside of the big iron pipe. They also welded the auger stem junction for reinforcement. The box was welded on to a plate with short turn downs before they welded it inside the pipe. It is comforting to go by their box everyday and cherish the thought of the damage it could do to another uncaring/careless house mover
 
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Old 03-03-03, 04:06 PM
T
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Seeing as your in the same area as I am I know from whence you speak. I've also gone through the same thing that you currently doing right now. I know that you feel that the best way to combat this problem is to build an indestructable mailbox, but what I've found is that your better off to compromise......I even heard tell of one guy that sank a piece of railroad iron into the ground beside his box. All it ended up doing was to rip the wing off the plowtruck, which he ended up paying for. What works for me is to suspend the box on a set of chains so that when the plow goes by it simply swings out of the way. And if you do this don't hook a tether chain to the bottom of the box or the wind will, over time, pull your mailbox apart. Just hook that chain to the back chain instead. I also use a pipe anchored to the ground which is coupled together so that it will turn on itself instead of bending or breaking.Of course you still could build the steel box and suspend that on chains.........Good Luck.
 
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Old 03-03-03, 07:00 PM
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That sounds like a better solution given your area. Fyi, we live way out in the country and county roads are a lot different than city streets!
 
  #5  
Old 03-03-03, 07:57 PM
scrapiron
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Please be cautious when building these "indestructable" mail boxes. If someone hits it with an automobile you could be held responsible for damages. Nowdays most towns and counties use street sign posts that are made to break away on impact. Sure, it cost to replace them but it's cheaper than a lawsuit. I recenty saw a mailbox post made of 2 inch tubing shaped like an L laid over. This allowed it to be anchored several feet away from the edge of the road but the box was still close enough for the mailman to reach. With a little imagination it could be made to pivot to further reduce impact. A few years ago a local teenager broke his arm while swinging a ballbat at a reinforced mailbox from a moving car. The teen was charged with vandalism, he sued the boxowner, they settled out of court. At a local college commencement a judge started his speech with this, " If all the lawyers of the world were laid end to end (pause), it would probably be a good thing".
 
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Old 03-03-03, 09:03 PM
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My Uncle used to do handyman work,,, decades ago. In the country an older woman had mailbox ran down about once a month. Finally he cements in well casing and fills with concrete, puts box on and paints pole white. Couple weeks later they go out in morning and find chevy.
 
  #7  
Old 03-03-03, 10:03 PM
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I'm with scrapiron on this one. No doubt, there are codes in place that prohibit 'permanent' structures within x feet of a public street. I don't think I've ever seen a brick mailbox that _wasn't_ in a subdivision.

I'd certainly rather spend $15 to replace my mailbox than know that my 'indesctructable' mailbox cost someone serious bodily injury who will then probably sue me for putting such an object on the road shoulder in the first place.

Have you thought about moving your mailbox? Either farther off the road, or in a different place, etc. It's obvious it's close enough to the road for the snow plow to hit it. Aren't you glad your car isn't parked there?
 
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Old 03-04-03, 08:01 AM
NutAndBoltKing
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Smile My two mailboxes

My business is located at the end of a long road in an industrial area, and even though I have a mailbox, the mail carrier parks his truck, brings my mail inside, has coffee, a donut, and tells us his joke of the day. (Today's joke: I bought my kids a couple of boxes of cookies, Animal Crackers, but the box said Do Not Eat If The Seal Is Broken).

My business mailbox stands about 4 1/2 feet tall and is buried in over 4 feet of concrete. Inspired by my business name, it looks like a big hex head bolt supported by 2 big hex nuts. Cut and welded from square tube that was sent out and chromed, it has withstood a car wreck, snowplows, cherry bombs, M-80s, and at least a half dozen theft attemps. It's become a conversation piece and an easy deposit for a zillion chinese take out food menus - but no mail.

Like other folks, I have had to replace my home mailbox a couple of times, mostly from snow plows, but I think I may have finally solved my problem. I got the idea last winter, after the fire department bought and installed steel markers for the fire hydrants. These hydrant markers are just steel rods, about 4 feet tall, that are topped with a large reflective marker, and they get strapped to the hydrant, but they have a tight coil spring near the base. (The marker helps the fire department locate the hydrant in deep snow and helps them to see hydrants from a distance). That tight coil spring lets the rod flex and withstand the snow pushed against it by snow plows and it holds up to other things, like our hurricanes and Nor'easters.

I copied that idea, and welded up a couple of 1 1/2 rods to a coil spring and sunk it in concrete. So far, so good. One day last week we got over 20" of snow here in NJ and my new mailbox withstood all the plowing. Tip: If you decide to make one like this just make sure that the door on the mailbox closes tight. If it doesn't, like mine doesn't, the plow comes and pushes the box one way, and when it springs back the other way it can shoot your mail out in the street.
 
  #9  
Old 03-05-03, 03:00 PM
Portable Welder
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I would recomend that you dont cement a beam in the ground that would hurt some one, it just isn't worth it, I know I've often wanted to do the same thing like that.
Here is a good alternative, go back on your property about 8' and cement a 3" pipe in and then get another pipe that will fit over it and then weld an arm off of the bigger pipe and when it gets hit it will just spin and all you will have to do is go spin it back into place and no harm is done, I hope you take this advise and every one will be a winner and the teenage kids can still have fun.
Remember when you were a kid and some of the silly things you may have done, I know the older I get the more I forget about the stupid things I did as a kid.
 
  #10  
Old 03-06-03, 02:54 AM
FastTank
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Thank you to everyone for their advice and opinions.

What I end up doing will have a pivoting post set back off the road, and the mailbox will be hung by chains from the arm. I may also build a little cage for the box out of angle iron to help protect it from the plow hits.

To be completely honest, I would love to build a rocksolid, nonforgiving HEAVY DUTY pole/box setup and just wait to see the plow come by my house and break his plow for once and not my box. OH how I would love that! But I won't.

When it's all said and done I'll post a pic if anyone is interested.

Sberry, I'd like to do what your uncle did, but I'll resist I suppose.

toni1595, where are you from?
 
  #11  
Old 03-06-03, 04:34 PM
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Same place as you, Central Maine. Near the 45th parallel.
 
  #12  
Old 03-06-03, 06:53 PM
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A pivot post would work well, you can take the pipe on the vertical and cut it at a 45 degree. Then put smaller pipe inside for it to pivot on so it always swings back to the proper location by itself.
 
  #13  
Old 03-07-03, 03:47 PM
FastTank
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Originally posted by toni1595
Same place as you, Central Maine. Near the 45th parallel.
OK

Reason I ask is because I saw that you are a millright in your profile and my father is a millright at the mill in Old Town. Didn't know if by any chance that is where you are also. Just curious.

I live in East Corinth.
 
  #14  
Old 03-07-03, 04:01 PM
FastTank
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Originally posted by sberry27
A pivot post would work well, you can take the pipe on the vertical and cut it at a 45 degree. Then put smaller pipe inside for it to pivot on so it always swings back to the proper location by itself.
Excellent Idea! Hadn't thought of that, I will defintely add that to the plan.
 
  #15  
Old 03-12-03, 11:39 AM
daves_trip
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well it seems you've already solved this but aa much easier solution is to sink a solid steel bar into a milk can full of cement. set it on a flat base and leave it. it should stand on its own save for the occasional drive by assault. will i sned the plow into the ditch on the other side fo the road, no. but it will wake the driver up. and those rowdy teenagers probably won't get hurt but they won't bring the car home unscathed that is for sure. the baseball bat weilders will still win but the mailbox will just fall over. so you out in the am and prop it back up. no muss no fuss.

rgrds
dave in dc
 
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