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Common Utility Hauling Delays and How to Prevent Them

Delays are frustrating no matter what product you’re waiting on. When the payload is expensive utility equipment, irritations are likely to rise further.

Utility companies count on the timely delivery of their equipment and resources to keep their projects flowing. Any backup in delivery can cost money, effort, and time – especially when required to hire additional help for unloading or travel.

The three main causes of pole transport delays include:

  • Overtired drivers

  • Disruptions to the planned route

  • Unknown or unobtained permits

Any of these has the potential to delay pole hauling from on-time delivery. While hauling delays are often unavoidable, there are ways to help prevent them from happening.

With that in mind, here are the top three causes of delays in utility hauling and how to prevent issues when hauling poles:

Driver Fatigue

Driving long distances is not uncommon for truckers. Often, these travels carry a heavy burden to be on time and can lead to them over-stressing themselves. Driving while drowsy is responsible for as many as 21% of fatal car crashes, making it a significant problem.

Many compare the effects of driving while drowsy to the effects of driving while drunk and they aren’t too far off. While there are many differences, both lead to unfavorable attentiveness while driving.

Drowsy drivers may have difficulty staying in their lane and are likely to weave between them. They often are unable to maintain an appropriate speed and distance from other drivers, and they may not react effectively to obstacles in their path. All of these are true for both fatigue and drunkenness.

While these issues seem obvious for long-haul truckers that are weeks into work without a break, they aren't alone. Even mild or short-term sleepiness can cause impairment. AAA released a study in 2016 that showed missing even 1-2 hours of sleep a night could double the risk of crashing.

When it comes to truckers, sleep deprivation is often a sign of poor working conditions. Many trucking “companies” operate as brokers and connect you with drivers they don’t actually employ. In doing so, they get a percentage of the fee.

For many, the project completes without a problem and works out well. However, since they don’t actually hire their own people, there’s no real control over the quality of their truckers. Asset-based companies like Blackwood Resources are usually better options. This is mostly because they invest in the employees they hire.

Unlike brokers, these trucking companies will spend time vetting their drivers and ensure they’re highly qualified professionals.

Route Disruptions

Even the best of plans can go awry. Several elements of a long journey are not within any person’s control. Many of these factors can form hauling hazards, disrupt shopping routes, or delay travel. This category most commonly includes:

  • Natural Disasters – Natural disasters can shut down entire sections of the country. When this happens, trucking hazards become abundant, causing logistics concerns. If nobody can travel through a particular state or region, traffic will back up and create a delay nationwide.

  • Inclement Weather – Similar to natural disasters but on a smaller scale. Heavy rain, snow, or wind can cause delays in travel if the roads become temporarily unpassable.

  • Pandemics – It hasn’t been nearly long enough for us to forget the many shipping delays of the pandemic. These world-scale events are not common but they do happen occasionally.

  • Supply Chain Shortages – We recently saw this with vehicles and the microchips they require. Vehicle suppliers were making entire vehicles and parking them to wait for specific microchips. A shortage in one thing can quickly spiral into affecting a large part of the economy.

While these are largely unavoidable problems, there are ways to prevent them. Top-tier logistics companies like Blackwood Resources will monitor these variables and enact plans to avoid slow-downs or stoppages.

Hiring a trucking company you trust is important and shouldn't get decided on lightly. You’re delegating the task of transportation to an outside party and that is no small task. Companies like Blackwood Resources take this fact very seriously and do everything they can to meet the deadlines given.


Particularly in the case of oversized equipment like utility poles, permits are often a crucial piece of the puzzle. Depending on the distance that the utility hauling company is going, these can often get complicated.

Different states and counties have their own restrictions and regulations placed on utility hauling. As such, trucking companies may forget or not know about the need for different permits.

This is usually a concern for companies without much experience or brokers. When it comes to a nationally recognized company like Blackwood Resources, they will manage the entire process on their own.

Utilizing their expansive expertise, they will acquire all the correct permits needed without a need for you to intervene. It shouldn’t be up to you to know what specific laws a state or county has for transportation.

Rather, that s something that should the company that is hauling on your behalf should address.

Blackwood Resources

While these problems often haunt the subconscious of utility workers, they don't have to. Hiring the right company can remove them altogether. While we can’t control the weather or prevent natural disasters, it is possible to take steps in preventing delays.

Blackwood Resources has the equipment, staff, and knowledge necessary to get your project done on time and without a problem.

Our certified women-owned business is asset-based and invests heavily in the drivers that we bring into our family. Our professional drivers have a track record of safe utility pole hauling and will even unload your utilities after delivery.

We’ve been proudly assisting the utility industry since 2017 and can boast:

  • 98% retention rate for our drivers

  • 100,000 tons of equipment hauled

  • Average fleet age of 31 months

Not many places can mention stats that amazing. Our number one focus as a company has been around building a solid fleet of operators that you can feel comfortable trusting.

Call us today at (812)676-8770 or contact us online to see how we can help build your confidence in utility hauling.



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