Managing Joint Use Utility Poles Attachments: Overloading

Posted by Ashley Little on February 7, 2014

pole_attachments_overloadingUtility pole owners are responsible not only for the pole itself, but also for all of the attachments and equipment on placed on it. It is the pole owner’s job to keep track of what and how many attachments are on each utility pole, so that no single pole gets overloaded. Overloading weakens the pole structurally, and will eventually cause it to fail. Pole owners must also ensure that all pole attachments have proper permits and updated contractual paperwork. Owners must ensure that pole transfers are executed efficiently, and in a timely manner to avoid double poles or “doublewood.” In addition, there are many other pieces of information in a pole’s asset record that pole owners need to track from day to day.

Think about this: If you were the only company adding attachments to your own poles, then keeping everything in order would be much simpler. For joint use pole owners, you know those days are long gone. For each pole you own, you probably have several different renters or tenants, each with a separate contract. As the pole owner, you are ultimately responsible for the liability of the attachments added by other companies. In order to keep joint use management under control, you need (and deserve) the ability to remain continually aware of what each attacher has attached to every single pole at any given time. When dealing with utilities, it is not difficult to see how challenging it can be for pole owners to manage so many attachers and different sets of equipment on joint use utility poles.

Joint Use Notification System

The secret to establishing effective partnerships between parties who jointly share or own assets is clear communication. You need to remain constantly connected with each of your attaching companies, so you remain in the loop. It is essential to know what attachments are on any given pole in order to prevent overloading. You also need to be able to contact your attachers quickly with any important information or status updates. You need a joint use notification system.

When you think "notification system," you probably think of sending messages and reminders. Indeed, you can use a joint use notification system to message your partner companies, inform them of upcoming pole transfers via a Transfer Notice, send automatic reminders, and more. However, that’s only the beginning of what a high quality notification system can do.

A great joint use system will allow you to open conversations with any or all contacts at your partner companies, keeping the lines of communication open during all projects, workflows, work requests, etc. This gives you and your attachers the ability to contact each other at any point with questions or updates via a centralized software system. Additionally, anyone related to the project can check status, reference contract information or view other pertinent asset information at any time.

What makes a joint use notification system even better is the ability to organize work request “conversations,” making jobs easier to track. You can keep an infinite number of conversations going at the same time between several different companies, without confusion.

A joint use notification system allows pole owners and attachers to easily search and access asset data and perform any necessary actions directly from that search. Talk about working smarter and not harder!  Data can then be used for audit purposes and reporting in order to track specific make-ready, billables or custom details to  ensure projects are running smoothly.

A notification system is how pole owners can better manage renters/attachers on their joint use utility poles on a day-to-day basis. A great joint use system facilitates both information and communication, to ensure that each utility pole is legal, safe, documented, and loaded up only with properly permitted equipment. A Joint use notification system is your key to managing both the utility poles you own and your attachers efficiently, while preventing overloading.

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