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Steps for Replacing a Utility Pole

Electric systems throughout the United States still rely on utility poles. New projects still leverage wooden poles, in addition to steel poles and concrete poles.


While all three materials are fairly durable and long-lasting, power lines eventually require replacement utility poles. Extreme weather, accidents, and long-term wear and tear all damaged poles. If a pole is damaged beyond repair, it may require replacement.


Some utility projects do not involve an entire stretch of new poles, but they instead require replacement utility poles for only certain ones.


How does utility pole replacement work?


Keep reading to find out the main steps for replacing a utility pole on a power line.


Evaluate Damage

First and foremost, you must determine if you do need replacement utility poles. Damage to the poles does not necessarily mean that they can’t be salvaged.


In general, here are signs you may need to replace the utility poles:

  • Decaying wooden poles

  • Leaning poles

  • Damage to the power lines


If you notice the signs of damage above, then your utility poles likely need repair or replacement. But how do you know which is necessary?


Assess the severity of the damage, how many poles are damaged, and the possibility of repair. Consult a utility pole expert if necessary to find out if the poles can be repaired, and how much repair would cost. Then, you should also consider the lifespan of the pole. If the pole is near its projected lifespan, replacement often makes more sense.


Ultimately, you must weigh the cost and effort of repair vs replacement to determine which makes the most sense. If you determine replacement is the best option, then proceed to the following steps.


Secure the Area

Replacing a utility pole can be hazardous. That’s why you must secure the area. Securing the area means protecting vehicles and pedestrians from the utility work. This may require signs, blocking off certain areas, or even closing the road for a set time.


Set your crew for the job, making sure you have the right equipment and personnel to safely replace the security poles. Your crew should be well-versed on the necessary safety procedures and processes.


Gather Supplies

Collaborate with your crew to ensure you have all necessary equipment and supplies at the work site. Depending on the type of pole, you may need different equipment. Ideally, plan ahead so that you will not have to delay work to bring more supplies. List out what you will need beforehand and make sure you have it readily available.


Restore the Power Line

Once your crew has all necessary equipment ready to go, they can begin the new pole replacement. First, they will need to safely remove the damaged pole and get it out of the way. Then, they can bring in the new pole and get it up and running.


Here’s a rundown of some basic utility pole replacement steps:

  • Secure the area following all necessary safety protocols.

  • Remove the broken pole and any equipment. This may require hydraulic equipment to pull out the buried section of pole.

  • Bring in the new pole.

  • Place the new pole.

  • Most poles must be buried 6 feet underground.

  • Lift the power lines in place.

  • Mount the lines on the new insulators.

  • Remove protective gear.

  • Restore power.



What About Power During Pole Replacement?

In some cases, you must turn off power to replace a utility pole. This is one key way to keep your crew safe. However, power outages are never ideal and can affect many people. In some cases, you may be able to redirect power to limit outages.



How Long Does Utility Pole Replacement Take?

Replacing utility poles is a fairly routine part of a utility company’s job. With favorable weather and no surprises, it generally takes around 4 hours to replace a pole. Of course, if unforeseen circumstances arise, or weather does not cooperate, then it may take longer.



Don’t Let Pole Hauling Slow You Down

As a utility project manager, you probably already know a lot of what it takes to replace utility poles. One key consideration is how you will get the new poles to your work site. While you may already have the equipment it takes to install a new pole, getting the poles to the job site is a major consideration.


That’s why it’s so important to choose a quality utility pole hauling company. You need a partner that will help keep your project on track. Never let slow pole hauling delay your pole replacement. Instead, turn to an experienced pole transport company to get the job done right.


Blackwood Resources is Here to Help

Are you dealing with broken utility poles? Is your utility company planning pole replacement soon?


No matter what your project is, Blackwood Resources is here to help with your utility pole hauling needs. Our goal is to help your utility project run as smoothly as possible.


Our dedicated hauling team has over 5 years of experience hauling new utility poles of all materials. You can turn to us for your wood pole, concrete pole, steel pole, and utility transformer hauling needs. We’ve provided overlength hauling services for several different material types and project needs.


Better yet, we offer self-unloading. That means you won’t have to stress about how to get your poles off of our trucks. We do it for you! Our specialized overlength trucks include unloading equipment, so we can easily and efficiently unload your utility poles in minutes.


We’ve already hauled over 100,000 tons of materials in the utility industry, and we are here for your next haul. Let’s chat about how our experienced team can assist you with your new utility pole hauling needs. Contact us today at 812-676-8770 or jamie@blackwoodresources.com to learn more about our professional hauling services.


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