top of page
  • alison1830

Fun Facts About Utility Poles and Pole Hauling

The utility industry in the United States is a key industry for power and electricity.


As such, power poles are sprinkled throughout the North American landscape.


They tower over the roads, looming much like large trees, carrying electricity and holding up power lines.


Whether for replacement or a new utility build, steel, concrete, and wooden utility poles must be hauled to material yards and job sites. ‘


For utility project managers, dealing with new power lines and poles is a common occurrence.


Still, it can be interesting to reflect on some of the interesting facts about utility hauling.


Today, we’ll share some fun facts about utility poles and pole hauling.


How many are there?

Throughout North America, there are roughly 150 million active utility poles.


The Value of the Utility Poles Market

Poles that conduct electricity may not seem like a hot commodity, but the market sure is. According to Allied Market Research by GlobeNewswire, the Utility Pole market is set to reach $58.8 billion by 2026! It was already at $45.6.


Some of the top factors fueling the growth of the industry include:

  • Increase in energy consumption

  • Telecommunication adoption

  • Implementation of steel as an ecofriendly option


The First Utility Poles

How long have utility poles been around? The first known ones were telephone poles used in the mid 19th century for transmitting telegraph wires.


As electricity became more popular, they acquired insulators and were used for power lines.


Height

Most commonly, utility poles are between 30 and 60 feet long. Some that are along the major highways may be up to 120 feet tall.


But, what about the tallest utility pole?


The tallest utility poles are 1,137 feet tall. The tallest power line suspension towers reside along the Yangtze River in Jiangyin China.


Utility Poles Were an Accident?

The first attempt for carrying electricity was underground. Samuel Morse attempted to use underground transmission lines back in 1843. The underground power lines did not work, and he was fast approaching a deadline. One of Morse’s team members suggested trying wood poles with telegraph wires for the telegraph system. This was the birth of the first utility poles!


Types of Wood Used

Wood utility poles are still incredibly popular throughout the nation. But not every type of work works for utility poles. The top types of wood used include:

  • Western cedar, because it is naturally durable and fairly easy to climb.

  • Southern yellow pine, since it naturally grows upwards of 100 feet and can be treated for longevity.

  • Pinus sylvestris is an option from Scandinavia that is sturdy and straight.

  • Douglas fir, is a very common choice that’s abundant, sturdy, and light.


Mickey Mouse Pole

What does the classic Disney character have to do with utility poles? Disney World has its very own Mickey Mouse utility pole with a 230-kV powerline. It’s over 100ft tall and they light it at night. This special utility pole, the Mickey Pylon, is part of the true Disney magic!


Animals vs Electrical Power

Ospreys and bears can be problematic for utility poles. Osprey like to create their nests on top of them, which poses a risk for the poles and the animals. Some companies try to keep these birds off by adding Rapto Deterrent or constructing alternative nesting areas above the poles.


Bears often see the poles like trees. They try to mark their territory by gnawing and scratching the poles. This is a common issue in areas with many bears. Rather than removing all of the poles, it often works well to leave the marked poles up when adding new ones. The bears often stick to their previously-marked poles.


Speaking of animals, here’s another fun fact. Atlanta, Georgia has a law against tying a giraffe to a street lamp or utility poles.


Time for Some Serious Facts

The fun facts above are entertaining and shed some interesting light on the utility industry. But it’s not all fun and games.


One serious fact about utility poles is that they can be difficult to haul.


Here’s what you have to consider before for pole carrying to your material yard:


Equipment

Standard trucks won’t work well for these. Pole trailers are ideal for hauling utility poles. Utility pole trailers are often narrower, making them easier to maneuver while driving. You should also opt for an adjustable trailer so that you can ensure proper weight distribution.


Weight Distribution

Proper weight distribution is key for hauling utility poles. Incorrect distribution of a heavy load can lead to accidents and mishaps that will slow down your project. Ensure that the center of the load is at least 10% in front of the axle.


Capacity

Utility poles are extremely large and heavy. Therefore, you need equipment that can handle the overlength load. Furthermore, you’ll have to consider loading and unloading the poles. Capacity is a common challenge for hauling utility poles.


Blackwood Resources is Here to Help

While there are a lot of interesting facts about utility poles, the not-so-fun fact is that they are difficult to haul. Hauling in new utility poles is a major challenge that utility project managers often face.


Blackwood Resources is the solution for your utility pole hauling needs. Our dedicated team has the equipment, expertise, and dedication to helping you haul new concrete poles, steel poles, wood poles, and transformers.


As an asset-based utility hauling company, we leverage industry-leading equipment to help you with your hauling needs. Our specialized trucks and highly-skilled drivers can handle the many challenges of hauling utility poles. We also include self-unloading with all of our hauling services, so you won’t need to worry about hiring additional help to unload your new poles.


Our specialty trucking company is here to help you. Learn more about our utility hauling solutions today. Contact us now at 812-676-8770 or jamie@blackwoodresources.com.


16 views0 comments
bottom of page