The Pole Has To Go: Utility Pole Transfer Designations

Posted by Ashley Little on October 16, 2014

that_pole_has_to_go_pole_transfer_designationPicture this: Two poles stand where only one should be. You may call it “double wood, but utility pole owners and municipalities alike call it a danger and a hassle. It even has the potential to be an Ordinance violation.

The removal of double wood is a primary issue for utility pole owners across the nation, and before a transfer can be put into motion, someone must designate what type of transfer it is likely to be, generally by visually surveying the situation at the location. Sounds fairly simple, right?  The public may not realize it, but as pole owners and joint use professionals know, there are actually four pole transfer designations.

We have the list. Read on to learn more.

1. Simple Pole Transfer

Consider this the basic manner of transfer—the type that every joint use department hopes for. This is the type of pole transfer and pole removal that can be performed in a minimal amount of time with basic line crew and truck, without the need for heavy equipment or complicated splicing. A simple transfer would, however, include copper splicing of drops and c-wire, as well as simple underground work that can be performed with a hand shovel.

2. Complex Pole Transfer

As its name implies, a complex pole transfer requires a little more work on the part of the pole owner and in some cases, the use of heavy machinery and specialized knowledge. This type of transfer refers to any utility pole transfer that requires splicing of copper cable other than drop cable or c-wire, splicing of fiber optic cable and/or underground work that cannot be completed with a hand shovel.

3. Idle Pole

An idle pole is just the thing joint use departments, city governments and pedestrians alike do not like to see in the landscape—a pole with no attachments and no obvious use standing next to a fully hooked-up, functioning asset. However, to a pole owner this type of transfer is close to a best-case scenario in that it means less work for the company’s crews. This designation means that all attachments, aerial cables and/or plant facilities have been removed, and it is a bare pole waiting for removal. Again, even without equipment on them, this type of poles can be a liability, as its structure may be damaged, necessitating the transfer. A damaged pole could fall, causing damage that the pole owner would be liable for, regardless of who left the pole idle.

4. Corrected

A corrected designation means all has been completed and all is well in the pole world—all transfers have been made and construction is finished. Noting this in a pole owner’s joint use management solution software will ensure that the full circle of pole life has been recorded and acknowledged, and that all records are up to date on that particular asset.

Think eradicating double poles is simple? Think again: it can be a bit complex. Knowing your pole designations is important, but knowing what to do to fix double wood instances is even more so. The key: finding out for sure what state your poles--single or duplicated--are in, and correcting any issues as soon as possible. Getting a good look at each pole via a field inventory and keeping good records of each pole's status can help you say adieu to double wood.

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