Poles

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Problems with poles generally fall into the following categories:

  1. The poles are being physically damaged.
  2. The poles are now "homesteads".
  3. The guy wires are being uprooted and the poles are beginning to lean.
  4. The poles are being used as "ladders" to gain access to the overhead system.
  5. Raptors (eagles, hawks, ospreys, owls, vultures) are being electrocuted.
So you think some of your poles look like they've been pulled up, put through a shredder, then stuck back in the ground? Or perhaps your poles are beginning to resemble Swiss cheese? Then again, your poles may have been re-zoned as residential subdivisions.

We have some suggestions for each of these problems, so we'll start with damaged poles....if the pole really looks like it was put through a shredder, more than likely you have a problem with bears. Now, before you say that isn't likely, we would like to point out that the results of our survey (details in the Manual) indicate that bear-meets-pole is becoming more frequent. This is true not only in the parts of the country you might expect, but places like South Carolina as well. There is a slight possibility that a large horned or antlered animal is using the pole as a "head rub", but it's more likely that it takes sharp claws to do serious damage to a treated pole. Considering that bears are very large, very strong, and very dangerous (not to mention stubborn), solving this problem will take drastic action.

If your poles look like Swiss cheese, there's no question that you have a problem with woodpeckers. We know of at least one utility that had over $900,000 in woodpecker damaged poles in less than a year. Utilities with chronic woodpecker damage have developed some innovative methods for solving this problem.

If you should happen to notice large messy piles of branches sprouting on top of your poles, chances are ospreys have moved into the neighborhood. Ospreys are raptors (birds of prey) and protected by state and federal law. Although these nests may be inconviently or dangerously located, they can't be touched or moved without the assistence and kind permission of the federal government (i.e. a federal permit). Once that is done, install a new pole nearby with a nesting platform mounted on top and move the nest. This seems to have worked well for most utilities.

If you suspect raptors (eagles, hawks, vultures, owls, ospreys) are being electrocuted, read this.

If your poles resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa because the guy wires are being uprooted, there are usually cattle, horses, or even bison around. We have some suggestions that have worked for other utilities...

Some utilities also wrap the guy wire with barbed wire, however, we do not recommend this particular method. If the animal is injured, the utility may be held liable for damages.

 

Now, for the trickiest problem, poles being used as "ladders" or means of access to your overhead system. We've identified the animals most likely to be climbing your poles in our discussion under Overhead Devices, and made some suggestions that might help.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
If you would like some help in designing and implementing a comprehensive program for getting your animal-caused outages under control, drop us a line. Don't forget to check the Bulletin Board. If you don't see anything there to help, leave a questionand we'll post it. Be sure to check the Product Catalog to see what commercial products are available.

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