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How Long Do Utility Poles Last?

Nothing lasts forever.


When it comes to utility poles, electric and communication companies want to prove that statement wrong. The stronger poles are, the longer they can stand against the ravages of time and weather.


Steel and concrete poles can be relied on for decades. Even a wood utility pole can last many years when properly treated.


How long do utility poles really last?


First, it's important to remember that there are multiple utility pole materials used today. The poles may be made from steel, wood, or concrete. As you might imagine, the different materials have different lifespans. How long does each type of utility pole last?


This article answers that question so you and utility project managers around the United States can prepare to replace old and damaged poles.


Keep reading to learn more about the expected lifespan of various utility pole types.


How Long Do Steel Utility Poles Last?

Steel utility poles are typically made from an alloy of iron with carbon. They are extremely resistant to a variety of conditions, especially in certain climates. Utility companies can confidently use steel poles along the coast and other humid regions because they can resist water, wind, and heat.


The corrosion resistance of steel poles allows them to last for 50 years or longer. Their long lifespan makes them a very durable option. This is just one reason why many utility companies are leveraging steel poles for new projects.


How Long Do Concrete Utility Poles Last?

Concrete utility poles are made from a mixture of gravel, sand, cement, and water. Concrete poles are generally stronger than steel and wood poles so they can last longer than those alternatives.


Depending on the type of concrete pole and its location, poles can last at least 50 years. The strongest type of concrete pole is spun-cast concrete. This type can outlast practically all other types of utility poles.


How Long Do Wood Utility Poles Last?

The least expensive utility pole option is the wood pole. They are made from several types of trees including, the southern yellow pine, Douglas fir, and western red cedar. Although they are a cost-effective alternative, they are not as durable as the other types of poles.


Wood utility poles can last between 25 and 50 years. When they are well taken care of, wood poles can last quite a long time. Wood poles in North America are treated wood, as wood preservers help them to last longer.


Still, they are more prone to weather damage, rot, and insect infestation than other materials. In very wet or harsh climates, wood poles may not be able to last nearly as long.


What Commonly Damages Utility Poles?

Weather plays a significant role in damaging utility poles. For instance, wood poles, a common choice for utility companies, are prone to decay caused by rain and humidity. Wood poles can also become homes and food for termites and other insects.


Utility poles that lean because of wind or ground damage need to be replaced as soon as possible. It could only be a matter of time before they fall, causing service interruptions and possibly bodily injury to people on the ground.


Fire can also damage poles, especially wood ones. Concrete poles can prove more fire-resistant than wood and steel poles. However, if concrete poles are constantly exposed to fire, they will need to be replaced.


Blackwood Resources is Here to Help

Utility poles need replacing for numerous reasons. Even if poles can last for decades, severe weather, fire, vandalism, and more can destroy them, placing our country’s infrastructure at risk. Utility companies and project managers have to figure out how to transport them so they can reconnect people to the resources they need.


Renting trucks, cranes, and other transportation equipment and hiring drivers, riggers, and other crew members can cost time and money. Plus, more people and equipment on your job site typically means more liability risks for your project.


What if your project’s budget was not calculated correctly? What if you do not have the money to get everything together yourself? What if your project’s deadline is closer than you thought?


Utility pole transportation does not have to be such a stressful burden. You can outsource your delivery needs to Blackwood Resources for a cost-effective and quick solution that not only gets the job done but also mitigates your liability risk.


Whether you need to transport wood, steel, or concrete poles for your project, our dedicated team of experienced utility pole haulers is here to help. You can count on us for exceptional service.


Our Services

Blackwood Resources offers comprehensive new utility pole hauling services including:

  • Wood pole hauling

  • Steel pole hauling

  • Concrete pole hauling

  • Rail-car Transloading

  • Self-unloading

  • Relocation services

  • Storm response


Since 2017, we have offered utility companies comprehensive transportation services that get the job done safely and promptly. We own and maintain our trucks. You do not have to pay for maintenance and repairs. We also hire our drivers and operators. We are responsible for our trucks and employees so you do not have to be.


Our specially-designed trucks have attached cranes. Our drivers and operators can easily unload poles and other materials and move them onto the truck. Once they reach your job site, the same equipment will unload the material.


Not every hauling company uses the same special equipment. They can load their haulers but not unload them, giving the job to project managers like you to figure out. We will not leave you with a job half done.


Our Commitment

With fast-approaching deadlines and tight budgets, your project’s success might depend on how fast materials arrive at your location. We are committed to helping you finish your project on time and within budget.


A power pole might not mean much to some people. To you, it is an essential piece of your job. Without it, your project could fall apart. We can deliver your utility poles and other equipment so you can successfully meet your deadline.


Please contact us today.


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