Concrete is one of the most widely consumed materials–second only to water. When it comes to utility poles, however, it is by far the least common. This is largely due to the weight of the poles which can increase the cost dramatically.
This is because concrete offers a tremendous amount of logistical challenges. This is the case for all stages of the process. Whether it has to do with creating, transporting, or installing them, it's harder with concrete.
While all telephone poles are heavy in their own right, concrete poles are by far the heaviest. Though they are more expensive and heavier, the benefit is that they are much longer-lasting. Longevity is the number one benefit of going with a concrete pole.
As we move into 2022, we wanted to take a closer look at the world of concrete utility poles. In this article, we will discuss the costs associated with, the benefits of, and the different forms of concrete utility poles.
How much will a Concrete Utility Pole Cost?
On average, concrete utility poles cost around $4000 to produce and another $4000 to install. There are a lot of variables that can contribute to or take away from this total, however. The ease of transportation to the location, the type of utility pole, and more can influence the total price of one.
Concrete is the most expensive material commonly used for utility poles. Though the price can seem excessive, they require far fewer replacements or repairs. Depending on the location the pole is for, this can be the number one deciding factor.
Concrete is far from convenient in most circumstances. Between the high costs and the heavy product to transport, many may decide to go with wood or steel. That's okay! Concrete is not the right option for every utility pole need.
Many situations warrant considering concrete poles though. Some situations even require the strength of concrete. While no solution is universal, concrete utility poles serve an important function.
The heavier material of concrete is far better for extreme environments. Concrete doesn’t carry wood’s ability to rot or steel's ability to corrode and rust. This makes it a fantastic option for wet or salty environments or in volatile weather conditions.
Good examples of areas where concrete poles would be wise include:
Swampy or wet environments
Very cold or hot environments
Remote areas where repair and replacement may be difficult
While there are very few situations in which you cannot use concrete utility poles, these are the times it is most beneficial. In these situations, concrete can stand up to the elements far better than its wooden or steel counterparts could.
Types of Concrete Utility Poles
After deciding to go with a concrete utility pole, deciding which form you want to go with is the first step. There are four main types of concrete utility poles:
Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages. The right answer will depend on your situation. Let's go over each option and some of the situations in which each of these is best:
Spun concrete poles are the utility pole with the most long-term potential. Any number of things can lead to the corrosion of a utility pole–concrete stands up to them better than any other material. This material is strong enough to handle it all with unmatched durability.
The name comes from the centrifugal (spinning) process during the casting operation. This controlled spin assists the concrete in compacting itself repeatedly. In doing so, it increases its strength. Through this process, the pole will be pre-stressed and made significantly more durable.
Spun concrete is the most expensive option as well since it will be the strongest. These are also the heaviest option, meaning they will likely cost more on a shipping and handling front as well. The payoff is a pole that will stand up to the majority of elements that nature and humanity can throw at it.
Within the variable concrete utility pole prices, this one will be the most expensive to install but will last the longest.
With a static-cast concrete pole, the price is significantly lower. They will not be as strong as spun concrete but they offer a lot of the same advantages. Like spun concrete, static-cast poles are resistant to water damage, fire damage, moisture, and salt. This makes them an extremely durable material for most utility pole needs.
Static cast concrete is also easier to make, meaning it’s better for operations requiring utility poles of longer lengths. In a similar vein, situations requiring large numbers of utility poles might elect for this option.
On top of this, they have a tremendous visual appeal. Static cast poles are likely the most aesthetically pleasing option for concrete.
Hybrid poles are a mixture of steel and concrete. With this option, a concrete base holds the steel pole. Hybrid poles are a great option for times when you need poles that reach taller heights.
The concrete base helps it to stand firm for years to come. It also enables the placement of the poles in a variety of harsh conditions. Swamps and other demanding environments are the places these poles are most often seen.
Another benefit with this type of pole is that it will usually be lower than the cost of concrete utility pole options that don’t use steel. Steel is a less expensive material to produce utility poles with, utilizing it for much of the pole saves on costs.
These poles are often quite rapidly available and offer an easy installation. For remote and harsh areas, these are often the best choice.
Splices are great for times when size restrictions keep you from being able to install a spun concrete pole. In situations where a pole of your preferred height will not fit, splices save the day. Splices are modulated sections of spun concrete. The module element allows the transportation of your pole one piece at a time.
Once they reach the destination, they install together to your preferred height. One thing that is interesting about most splices is that they do not require flanges or bolts. This makes them easier than most to install and increases safety for the entire project.
Choosing the type of pole you want is only the beginning. After your pole has been fully manufactured, somebody is going to need to drive it to the location and install it.
One of the problems with concrete utility poles is their excessive weight. A concrete utility pole can weigh as much as 4000 lbs, making them very difficult to transport. Finding a company you can trust to haul something that heavy can be a challenge.
Luckily Blackwood Resources is here to help! With experience hauling every type of utility pole there is, we’re confident that we can help you too. Our women-owned company boasts a staff of the best-certified truckers available and we’re here to help!
Call us today at 812-219-5821 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to ensure the smooth transportation of any utility pole you would like!