It should go without saying that concrete is pretty tough, so much so that utility companies prefer to use concrete poles instead of cheaper wood poles and rust-prone steel alternatives.
What are the benefits of concrete poles? When should they be used? How can they be hauled?
This article will teach you everything to know about concrete utility poles.
Concrete Utility Poles Basics
Concrete utility poles are generally made from gravel, sand, cement, and water. Concrete poles are typically stronger than steel and wood poles, making them a durable option.
Benefits of Using Concrete Utility Poles
Despite not being used as often as wooden utility poles, concrete poles are a popular choice for utility companies for several reasons.
Concrete poles can experience normal wear, severe weather, and wet climates and still outlast their wood and steel counterparts. For example, concrete poles can survive a hurricane whereas wood poles would be the first to fall.
Concrete poles are physically stronger than steel and wood poles. They can resist rot that would normally degrade wood poles and rust steel ones. Their placement in humid areas is ideal.
Everything can burn, even concrete poles. However, they can resist fire better than the other types of utility poles. Their fire resistance can keep electrical and communications infrastructures intact during forest fires.
Wood utility poles can fall prey to termites. Concrete poles are not as appetizing.
How Long Do Concrete Utility Poles Last?
Depending on their composition and location, concrete poles last at least 50 years. The strongest type of concrete pole, spun-cast concrete, can stand longer than every other type of utility pole.
When to Use Concrete Utility Poles
Since their strength and durability are their greatest assets, concrete poles can be used:
To Hold Heavy Weight
Concrete poles are not only meant to be sturdy. They must carry heavy weight. Their strength means they can potentially hold more lines than other types of poles.
In Areas Prone to Severe Weather
Coastal areas that often bear the brunt of devastating storms can be better off with concrete utility poles. Wood poles that experience constant gusts of wind will probably fall, leaving residents without electricity and communication services. Concrete poles can withstand wind, rain, and fire. Residents do not have to worry much about staying connected when utility companies install concrete poles in their neighborhoods.
As a Cost-Effective Option (eventually)
Concrete utility poles are not inexpensive. Manufacturing, hauling, and installing them costs a lot of money. However, the initial investment can pay off in the long term. Their long life cycles and low maintenance costs make them more affordable than they first seem.
Hauling Concrete Utility Poles
Each type of utility pole presents project managers with a different set of challenges. When it comes to hauling concrete poles, managers must acknowledge that the size of the job is immense. An average concrete pole can weigh approximately 2 tons. The job will probably require special equipment and considerations to ensure safe delivery. Their size can raise transportation costs. Add the other aspects of hauling them and you can see why some project managers like to outsource this responsibility.
The entire process is filled with nuances that can quickly overwhelm a busy project manager. A successful concrete pole hauling job entails:
Renting All the Equipment
Trucks, forklifts, cranes, and more must be obtained before loading and unloading the poles. As previously mentioned, concrete poles weigh a lot so project managers will have to research the best equipment for the job.
Hiring Safe Drivers and Operators
Since concrete poles are so massive, following safety procedures is essential to protect team members and the public. Hiring safe drivers and equipment operators takes time and costs money.
Getting the Right Permits
A hauling job might require a permit. Project managers have to perform their due diligence to find out if they need one. If they do, then they have to go through the application process.
Loading the Concrete Poles
With safety in mind, the project team must work together to load the concrete poles onto the truck. Riggers must work closely with the poles to secure them for transport. That job can be dangerous so only skilled experts should perform it. Finding one can be difficult but it’s essential for such a high-risk operation.
Delivering the Concrete Poles
Drivers must follow all the traffic laws to get their cargo to its destination without incident. Project managers might have to acquire a pilot car escort, which is just one more duty on their list.
Unloading the Concrete Poles
Once the concrete poles arrive at a job site, the team has to unload them from the truck’s flatbed.
Doing It Again
If project managers have to handle another concrete pole job, they have to do all of this again. They must endure headaches and complications to make sure their projects are completed on time, within budget, and without injury.
One of the Best Ways to Haul Concrete Utility Poles
Although concrete pole hauling sounds relatively simple, it can be anything but. Assembling the right team and equipment is just one aspect. Permits, pilot cars, and more can add stress to an already beleaguered project manager.
One of the best ways to haul concrete utility poles is not to do it at all. Outsourcing the entire transportation project to Blackwood Resources can eliminate most if not all of the job’s hassles.
We have specialized in utility pole transportation and distribution since 2017. Our team of drivers and operators is waiting to load, haul, and unload your concrete utility poles and other freight.
When we take care of each step of the grueling process, we’re freeing you to focus on everything else you have to manage. Don’t worry about hiring more employees and renting equipment. Don’t worry about whether or not your poles will be promptly delivered with care. We have all that covered. We can do the heavy lifting. Please contact us today so we can get started.