It’s the holiday season, and amid the fun and festivities, here’s a practical question for all you roofers out there: can the average roof support Santa’s sleigh?
As makers of the industry-leading roofing software tool JobNimbus, we’re used to thinking in-depth about the practical side of things, so join us as we get into the nerdy, nitty-gritty of this important seasonal question.
This question is for everyone—believers or non-believers—because it’s a simple examination of the facts: pounds versus structure. But no matter the question’s verdict, the believers can still go on believing (maybe Santa hovers or lands somewhere else than tradition tells us) and the non-believers can save it as additional proof to cite when playing the role of buzzkill at their next holiday party.
The Weight of Santa and His Ride: Tricky to Reconcile
According to information in a fun 2013 write-up by The Telegraph, the roofing industry might not be helping Santa with his merry modus operandi. Either Santa has another way to create those “up on the housetop, reindeer paws . . .” or it’s your teenagers sneaking out again, because even the strongest roofs strain under dead, live, uplit, or other load types above the 15-25 pounds per square foot (psf) range.
Last year, we calculated Santa’s sleigh (carrying 700,000,000 Optimus Primes and dragged by three million reindeer) to weigh 1,232,300 metric tonnes. However, this year, thanks to the success of Toy Story 3, he will have to be carrying Buzz Lightyears, which have a boxed weight of 1.2kg compared to Optimus’s comparatively puny 659g. So that’s 840,000 tonnes of toys, which will require 5,600,000 reindeer to pull. Given each reindeer weighs around 272kg (600lb), the whole procession (assuming a weightless sleigh) will have a mass of 2,363,200 tonnes when standing still. Last year, however, we failed to take into account the relativistic increase in mass caused by the speed of the sleigh. Travelling at 10,703,437.5km/hr, or 0.97 per cent of light speed, the whole thing will have an apparent weight to a stationary observer of 2,363,310.33 tonnes.
Santa may also have a few time-related tricks up his sleeve, allowing him to deliver the world’s packages in batches. But even with the traditional eight or nine reindeer, the roofing industry is probably not building to “Santa Code”.
A Second Opinion: NORAD
We may need to look at some different analysis such as NORAD’s weight assessments. This is a yearly effort between United States and Canada, and as Business Insider reports:
“According to NORAD’s fact sheet, the top speed of Santa’s sleigh is “faster than starlight.” NASA lists the speed of light as approximately 186,000 miles per second. . . NORAD also said Santa’s sleigh can carry about 60,000 tons . . .”
Incidentally, NORAD’s fact sheet for Santa’s sleigh includes several unique specifications to consider incorporating into your next roofing job, including those often-overlooked units of measure: gumdrops, candy canes, and lollipops:
Length: 75 cc (candy canes) / 150 lp (lollipops)
Width: 40 cc / 80 lp
Height: 55 cc / 110 lp
Note: Length, width and height are without reindeer
Weight at takeoff: 75,000 gd (gumdrops)
Passenger weight at takeoff, Santa Claus: 260 pounds
Weight of gifts at takeoff: 60,000 tons
Weight at landing: 80,000 gd (ice & snow accumulation)
Passenger weight at landing: 1,260 pounds
Propulsion: Nine (9) rp (reindeer power)
Armament: Antlers (purely defensive)
Fuel: Hay, oats and carrots (for reindeer)
Climbing Speed: One “T” (Twinkle of an eye)
Do with this important information what you will, but if you want to secure your place on next year’s Nice List? Maybe start designing your roofing projects to support antler armaments and that small matter of a world’s-worth of gifts. As a roofer, you’re already building fewer chimneys than ever, thanks to modern technologies. Something’s got to offset these trends!
But Does Santa Really Notice the Roofing Industry?
Santa notices everything, but the good news is, all this doesn’t necessarily mean the roofing industry is on the Naughty List.
There’s always solar roofing, right? When it comes to industries moving toward environmental niceness, roofing has been racking up lots of Nice List points, and it’s only picking up speed.
Santa is all about solar. It may seem like he’d be competing for roof space with all those panels, but thanks to some insider information, we know that just the opposite is true. What we don’t know is how he manages it. Just another mystery along with the weight of Santa’s sleigh–it’s not clear how he maneuvers around all those sustainable roofing structures, but he does! Solar modules rather than panels, perhaps, like Dow suggests in their fun infographic?
At any rate, f course Santa notices roofing businesses; he’s running his own kind of business! You can bet Santa runs an efficient organization. We can neither confirm nor deny his inclusion on our JobNimbus client list, but we will point you to where you can confirm our industry-leading roofing software’s capabilities for yourself. Check out our 14-day free trial today.
And happy holidays from JobNimbus!