How to Safely Secure Utility Poles for Transport
Whether along the East Coast, along the coast of the pacific ocean, or in another area in the United States of America, utility poles transportation can be dangerous. If the poles slide or fall during transport, there could be a major traffic accident.
As a project manager, you want to be sure your steel, concrete or wood poles don't fall off the trailer, slide into the truck or shift in any way that endangers the truck’s stability or maneuverability.
It’s a big responsibility.
But there are some steps you can take to help keep your load safety secured during transport.
Keep reading to learn these pole transport tips!
1. Measure the Utility Poles Length and Weight
Before you begin loading and securing the utility poles, measure their length and weight. Even if you have a general idea of how long the poles are supposed to be, measure them so you know for sure what length they are.
With these important numbers, you can determine how many straps will be needed to secure the load and how many pounds each strap must safely hold. You will also know how long your trailer must be for safe and secure utility pole transport.
2. Inspect the Truck and Trailer
Carefully inspect the truck, the trailer, and the anchor points before loading as well. Even if you believe the hauling equipment is in good condition, you want to confirm that it is ready for safe utility poles transport.
As you check the equipment, look for any obvious damage or distressed parts. Here are some specific things to look for:
Breaks are in good condition and fully functional.
Chains and hooks show no wear or damage.
Hitch parts are greased and have no cracks or pits.
The tires have appropriate pressure and no damaged tread.
Wheel lug nuts are tight.
If you find all these parts to be in good working order, you’re ready to begin loading the utility poles.
3. Add Flatbed Guards or Posts
For best safety in utility pole hauling, add flatbed guards or posts to the flat trailer. These guards should prevent the poles from sliding during transport. They also inhibit the poles from rolling off the side of the trailer, so they are a key piece in securing utility pole loads to the trailer.
Not all trailers are equipped with these posts, unfortunately. If you have a trailer that cannot hold flatbed guards or posts, you should consider investing in a new trailer. You want that extra layer of security in case any straps or cables were to snap during transport.
4. Use Tie-Down Cables
Another more obvious step to safely secure utility poles for transport is adding tie-down cables or straps to the long side of the bed. But your everyday hauling jobs won’t get this job done—you’ll need heavy-duty ratchet straps. These straps should have a working limit of around 5,000 lb with no signs of wear.
According to the DOT load securement regulations, articles longer than 10 feet require two tie-downs for the first 10 feet and one additional tie-down for every 10-foot increment aftward. So, if your utility poles are 40 ft. long, you’ll need 5 tie-down straps.
It’s also a good idea to use a chain or cable mesh to secure the ends of the poles so they won’t shoot forward into the cap or fall backward off the truck.
5. Check Load Security
Finally, after you have your load secured, double-check all attachments to ensure they are tight and safe. You don’t want to make a careless mistake with costly consequences just because you forgot to check your load before transportation.
Tug on each strap to make sure they are tight enough to support the load. You might also drive the truck around the loading lot to allow the poles to shift. Then check the load again and tighten anything if needed.
6. Use Blackwood Resources
Overall, there are a lot of things that must be done to haul utility poles safely, from upkeeping the equipment to finding the appropriate working limit for the straps. These things can add extra stress and more requirements to your already busy schedule. But there is a better way.
You can hire Blackwood Resources, and we’ll take care of safely securing and transporting your utility poles for you. We have been hauling overlength materials, including utility poles, for the utility industry since 2017. During this time, we have remained dedicated to meeting your transportation needs so your utility project can run smoothly.
We have industry-leading trucks for overlength shipping, so your materials will be secure. Our quality trucks are also equipped with cranes for self-unloading, so you don’t have to worry about unloading the utility poles once they arrive at your worksite, saving you more time and money.
With service stations throughout North America, we are ready to help you safely transport utility poles of any length or type! We also offer transportation for transformers, pilings, and pipes.
Don’t worry about utility pole transportation any longer! Contact Blackwood Resources today at 812-676-8770 or email@example.com.