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5 Challenges Utility Managers Face

One of the most important roles in the utility industry is the utility manager.

In a recent article, we talked about the many responsibilities of a utility project manager.

For example, the utility manager must oversee all of the logistics of a project. They assess and mitigate risks, coordinate staffing, develop the budget, and more.

Given the many demands of this position, there are certainly some challenges for those managing projects in utility companies.

Let’s take a closer look at the top challenges that utility managers face and how Blackwood Resources can help!

Cost Reduction

Based on the challenges facing the utility industry overall, utility managers are often tasked with cost reduction. They deal with major cost pressure, alongside battles to incorporate renewable energy and more.

One project they may undergo is to reduce the overall cost of production. Of course, this is a major challenge.

The manager must assess the current tools and techniques the company uses and look for areas to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Cost reduction also applies to specific projects they may be dealing with. Oftentimes, the managers are asked to trim down an already-tight budget to serve the best interest of the company. When you consider all of the aspects of the project that require budgeting, this is no easy task.

Increase Productivity

Utility teams deal with a ton of data and many different goals. The significant challenges managers face includes increasing team productivity. A successful project manager must be able to implement digital transformation and operational technology to help their team increase performance and productivity.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are a common issue in the utility industry. For one, they cause outages and damages that may lead to the new projects in the first place. When a natural disaster strikes, a utility manager may be forced to shift his focus and even start a new unplanned project.

Furthermore, natural disasters can put quite the wrench in ongoing projects. Extreme storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and more can lead to damage and delays. They can disrupt the material yard, slow down utility pole transport, and even obliterate new poles.

Ultimately, utility managers must be able to respond to significant challenges quickly, calmly, and efficiently.

Asset Management

Utility business models include asset management of distributed energy resources. Managers must keep track of new and use utility poles, equipment, data, and more. A core part of their job is asset management and properly organizing the data on the assets, including predictive maintenance.

Utility Pole Hauling

One of the most difficult parts of a new utility project is getting the poles to the material yard. This is a task that the manager must handle. The utility manager must sort out the best strategy for pole hauling and make the necessary arrangements.

This means that the managers are responsible for renting any necessary equipment, hiring haulers or other workers, and coordinating the aspects of hauling/ delivery.

Unloading Poles

Part of what makes it so challenging to coordinate utility pole hauling is the unloading. The vast majority of pole hauling companies do not unload once they get to your material yard. That means that on top of hiring a hauling company, the manager often has to rent a crane and hire a rigger and more help.

Given the cost pressure, time constraints, and other challenges above, dealing with unloading the poles is just another headache. Overall, pole transport and unloading are major challenges that utility managers face.

Blackwood Resources Professional Utility Hauling

How can you overcome some of these common challenges as a utility manager in real-time? Turn to Blackwood Resources. Our professional operators offer utility hauling services you can count on!

Founded in 2017, Blackwood Resources is an overlength hauling company that can help you with your new utility pole hauling needs. Our asset-based trucking company uses specialized trucks to haul steel poles, concrete poles, wood poles, utility transformers, and more. When you work with our dedicated team, you can count on skilled, trained, professional operators and a track record of safety.

We help you save more money and time with our self-unloading utility hauling services. That’s right, once we get the poles to your material yard, we unload them ourselves. There’s no need for you to hire additional help or rent expensive equipment.

So far, we’ve hauled over 100,000 tons in the utility industry, and we’re ready to help you with your hauling needs. Learn more about Blackwood Resources and our utility hauling services today.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have! Learn more now by contacting us at 812-676-8770 or



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