Pitfalls of Joint Use Utility Pole Management: Project Notification

Posted by Ashley Little on March 11, 2014

pitfalls_project_notificationAs a utility pole owner, one of the challenges you regularly face is coordinating pole transfers. The pole owner must coordinate with each attacher on the pole being replaced to ensure they remove equipment from the old pole and transfer it to the new one by a designated time. 

Of course, there is always the chance that one or two of your partner companies simply do not get the message for whatever reason, or they may forget about the Transfer Notice and do nothing. Either way, you are left with a double pole, which languishes, unsightly and dangerous, by the road, sometimes for years on end.

To manage pole transfers effectively and avoid these incidents, take a look at some of the latest trends for pole transfer management of joint utility poles.


One of the keys to managing joint use poles, through transfers or just in general, is comprehensive location data. Your company most likely owns a number of different utility poles spread out geographically. The only real way to differentiate one from another at a glance is by its location. GPS makes easy work of designating each pole by its precise location.

More important, however, is what you can do with that location information. A Geographic Information System (GIS) allows you to take a map of a particular location and layer information over it based on the data important to you and your company. Note that GIS does not allow you to add attachment information – it is only a map. Of course, there are other overlays that can be added to it.

Once you have the locations of all of your utility poles mapped out, you could use an overlay to get information about who is renting space on which poles, what attachments they have, when they were last inspected, etc. In the case of a pole transfer, you would be able to see at a glance who has made the switch and who hasn't and contact the remaining companies to find out what the issue is. Having this information at your fingertips allows you to resolve those issues more quickly and efficiently and complete the pole transfer process as painlessly as possible.

Notification Systems

Information is important in managing joint use poles, but even more important is communication. Particularly for pole transfers, you need a notification system to remain connected with your partner companies at all times. That way, if they don't receive the message about the time and location of the transfer, you can follow up with them before the designated date and get confirmation. Or, if some do confirm with you, but then forget, you can send automatic reminders to anyone who misses the transfer and get them to switch their attachments ASAP, so that the old pole can be removed.

These latest trends for managing pole transfers for joint utility poles are just the tip of the iceberg. Advancing technology is constantly providing us with new ways to organize and access data and manage joint use effectively. Keeping up with these trends can help you run things more smoothly and stay competitive in the field.

Joint Use Asset Management Basics