How to Haul Wood Utility Poles
Updated: Feb 10
Wood utility poles are a long-standing piece of North American electrical infrastructure. They have been the most commonly used option for over 100 years, and continue to be a common choice for utility projects. There are an estimated 130 million poles throughout the continent.
Of course, wood poles are not small nor light, so getting them to your utility site can be challenging.
Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to haul wood utility poles, and the best way to do so.
Types of Wood Poles
Wood poles can be made from several species of wood. Here are some of the most common American wood pole species:
Southern Yellow Pine
Western Red Cedar
To ensure durability and longevity wood companies like Pentachlorophenol Penta use wood preservatives for treating wood utility poles. Most wood preservatives include Copper naphthenate which helps kill wood decay fungi and insects. This preservative treating helps the wood poles withstand the elements since pressure-treated lumber is more durable.
Hauling Wood Utility Poles
Wood poles are still commonly used in the utility industry, despite the fact that other materials (like steel) arose. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks. While steel is an excellent choice because of its environmental benefits and cost-effective lifespan, wood poles are easy to climb and transport compared to alternatives.
Ultimately, each company and project has unique requirements and should carefully consider which type of pole to use based on the considerations including service life.
Regardless of material, hauling utility poles is not an easy feat.
So how do you haul wood utility poles? Let’s take a closer look:
Load the Poles
You need to start by loading the poles onto the truck or trailer. Note that your average truck is far too small for new utility poles. You must ensure that you have a large enough truck to safely transport the poles.
Assess the local traffic laws. For the very long new poles, you may need a permit for hauling. Other laws require a spotter car in front and behind the load.
Align the truck bed parallel to the poles.
Place long logging chains beneath the pole with levers and wedged. This will lift it slightly. Secure one end of the chain to the truck side opposite of the pole, so the chain stretches across the truck bed and beneath the pole.
Fasten a pulley to a stable object on the side opposite of the pole.
Attach the loose ends of the chains to the cable.
Crunk the pulley cable to pull the chains to the truck. The chains will pull the pole onto the truck bed.
Secure the Poles
Once you have the poles in the truck bed, you must secure them for transport.
Set up poles at each corner of the flatbed to prevent the cargo from rolling off.
Use tie-down cables to secure the poles.
Attach a bright of cable, mesh cable, or chains around the ends of the poles to keep them from sliding back and forth.
If the poles stick out of the back of the flatbed, then attach a bright flag to alert other drivers.
Driving and Unloading
Even if you manage to load and secure the poles, you can’t forget about the driving! Hauling such massive materials is difficult and requires a trained driver. Less than ideal weather, traffic, or tough road conditions only make it more challenging.
Even if you do make it to the material yard, then you have the headache of unloading these poles. While the methods above do work to load them, they are not the most efficient methods. If you load the poles in this way, you must then undo all of the chains and ties to release them. Not to mention, actually lifting them out of the bed and onto the job site.
The Best Solution for Wood Utility Pole Hauling
At a first glance, hauling wood poles yourself seems cost-effective, but in reality, it is dangerous and time-consuming. The size and weight of the poles make them immensely difficult (and dangerous) to haul.
The best option is to hire an experienced, reputable hauling company for your utility pole transportation needs. Blackwood Resources is here to help! Our certified women-owned specialty trucking company meets all of the national standards for utility hauling.
We use specialized equipment that is designed to handle utility poles. We have the tools and experience to haul wood poles, steel poles, concrete poles, and more. Our equipment includes components for unloading, which means you can also count on us for self-unloading.
You can always count on the dedicated team at Blackwood Resources for efficient, safe pole hauling.
Learn more about our hauling services and how we can help with your new utility poles transportation. Contact us at 812-676-8770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.