A Texas utility stays ahead of outages by inspecting the distribution poles in their service area annually.
Consistent and reliable service is the priority for every utility. Ensuring service requires year-round care for the utility poles and lines connected to them.
One electric utility in Texas inspects and restores distribution poles annually to stay ahead of potential outages and maintain the integrity of the poles. Since 2019, Davey Resource Group, Inc. (DRG) has performed the utility’s inspections and pole restorations.
DRG crews perform a battery of visual and internal inspection tasks to determine any decay in the distribution pole. Depending on the result of the inspection tasks and the age of the pole, crews then excavate 18 inches around the pole. Once excavated, DRG uses a tool to chip away decayed wood and apply a preservative treatment. During the inspection, crews will collect measurements to determine the remaining strength of the pole and its capacity to continue in service. If the pole falls below the minimum strength requirements defined by the utility, DRG will evaluate the options. If the pole can have its strength restored by affixing a steel truss, DRG will perform the restoration work, saving the utility the higher cost of replacing the pole.
If the pole is decayed or damaged beyond the point of having its original strength restored, crews tag it for replacement.
A simple and consistent routine pole inspection ensures maximum pole longevity by catching issues such as pole decay before they can affect utility reliability. Every year, DRG checks 21,000 poles and restores around 3,000 of them.
By conducting yearly inspections, DRG has helped the utility avoid outages through early identification of decay and pole restoration. The utility is satisfied with DRG’s work and plans to continue working with DRG for future inspections.