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Technical Library

Wood Pole Technical Library

NAWPC is the recognized source for information on preservative-treated wood utility poles. The Wood Poles Technical Library offers a variety of publications detailing key information about preservative-treated wood utility poles and crossarms and their role in carrying electricity to communities across North America. To view or download a publication, click on the PDF icon. Please review the Disclaimer concerning this information.

General Information

Wood Pole Guide App Wood Pole Guide smartphone app
App for smartphones and tablets that provides critical information needed to properly specify and use preservative-treated wood poles. Available for Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets and can be dowloaded from the respective app stores.
Free app
GetApp
Technical Library Sources 10 Features About the Extraordinary Wood Pole
10 reasons why wood poles remain the top choice for utilities across the country.
2 pages, 05/14
PDF
ServiceLife UPDATED! Technical Bulletin - Estimated Service Life of Wood Poles
Overview of the actual service life of wood poles in use, which is often much longer than what is assumed by utilities and others.
8 pages, 03/16
PDF
PentaStatement Statement on Penta-Treated Wood Poles
Statement supporting the use of penta-treated wood utility poles and review of the EPA approvals and long history of performance and safety in use.
2 pages, 07/15
PDF

Supply Sources

W_Sources Western Wood Pole and Crossarm Suppliers
Directory of Western wood pole and crossarm manufacturers, with sales contact information.
1 page, 07/14
PDF
S_Sources Southern Wood Pole and Crossarm Suppliers
Directory of Southern wood pole and crossarm manufacturers, with sales contact information.
2 pages, 02/13
PDF
C_Sources Canadian Wood Pole and Crossarm Suppliers
Directory of Canadian wood pole and crossarm manufacturers, with sales contact information.
1 page, 08/16
PDF

Engineering & Design

ANSI_Dim ANSI Dimensions for Wood Poles
Excel spreadsheet that calculates the minimum circumference of a wood pole 6 ft. from the butt, based on selection of species, class and length. Requires Excel 2007 or higher.
ZIP file (151KB), 03/14

Get this tool for your smartphone or tablet!
Download the free Wood Pole Guide app.
PDF
Pole_Weight Wood Pole Weight Estimator
Excel spreadsheet that calculates range of pole weights for shipping based on selection of species, class and length. Includes estimators for single poles and multiple pole selections. Requires Excel 2007 or higher.
ZIP file (115KB), 03/14

Get this tool for your smartphone or tablet!
Download the free Wood Pole Guide app.
PDF
O51 ANSI O5.1-2017 - Wood Poles, Specifications and Dimensions
FOR PURCHASE ONLY. The minimum specifications for the quality and dimensions of preservative-treated wood poles that are to be used as single-pole utility structures.
Buy for $50 at ANSI eStandards Store
PDF
O53 ANSI O5.3-2015 - Solid Sawn Wood Crossarms and Braces
FOR PURCHASE ONLY. Specifications covering solid sawn-wood crossarms and braces manufactured from coastal Douglas fir and Southern Pine. The specifications are intended to cover communications crossarms, power crossarms, heavy-duty crossarms, and heavy-duty braces.
Buy for $50 at ANSI eStandards Store
PDF
TB_Design NEW! Technical Bulletin - Wood Pole Design Considerations
Explores the basics of wood pole design, including the structural criteria that must be considered in determining the proper wood pole for specified loading, wind, ice and other conditions under the National Electric Safety Code.
16 pages, 09/17
PDF
Equiv UPDATED! Technical Bulletin - "Wood Equivalent" Poles and the NESC
Discussion of issues in marketing thin walled steel poles, prestressed concrete poles, and fiber-reinforced polymer poles as "wood equivalent." Includes details on how the NESC applies different strength and load factors for each material, which means there can be no true "wood equivalent" poles.
8 pages, 05/17
PDF
WPOver NEW! National Wood Pole Standards
Presentation on wood pole standards in the NESC, reviewing the standards process, strengths, loads, groundline stresses, transverse loads and other technical data. Presented by ANSI O5 Committee Chairman Nelson Bingel.
104 pages, 06/17
PDF
JuvyWood Juvenile Wood Concerns in Southern Yellow Pine Poles
Statement addressing juvenile wood concerns and the impact on strength of treated Southern Yellow Pine poles.
1 page, 04/04
PDF

Environment & Wildlife

WhatsLCA What is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?
Review of the elements needed for a proper, science-based life cycle assessment on products such as utility poles.
3 pages, 09/11
PDF
PoleLCA Summary Report on LCA of Utility Poles
Conclusions and summary of an LCA on Penta-treated wood poles vs. steel and concrete.
6 pages, 03/12

Click to purchase full LCA report
PDF
WoodEnviro Technical Bulletin - Wood Poles and Our Environment
Summary of the science and risks associated with the common wood preservative systems used to treat wood utility poles.
8 pages, 09/99
PDF
Green Technical Bulletin - Reducing Greenhouse Gases with Wood Utility Poles
Review of the lower energy requirements associated with wood utility pole products in reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) compared to steel and concrete poles.
8 pages, 10/01
PDF
Bird Technical Bulletin - Raptor Electrocutions and Distribution Pole Types
Review of pole material choices and design elements to mitigate raptor electrocutions, minimizing the potential fines levied by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
20 pages, 10/00
PDF
Best Best Management Practices
Guidelines and specification recommendations to assure preserved wood products are produced and installed in a manner which minimizes any potential adverse impacts to aquatic environments.
36 pages, 04/12
PDF
Aqua Treated Wood in Aquatic Environments
Specification and environmental guide for selecting, installing and managing wood preservation systems in aquatic and wetland environments.
36 pages, 12/12
PDF
Impacts Carbon Impacts of Wood
A U.S. Forest Products Laboratory overview of calculating the carbon footprint of wood products.
4 pages, 01/13
PDF

Performance

PoleFire Performance of Utility Poles in Wildland Fires
Review of research on the performance of wood and steel utility poles in wildland fire hazard areas.
12 pages, 05/14
PDF
CRS Weather-Related Power Outages and System Resiliancy
Congressional Research Service report on weather-related outages, the economic cost of such outages and recommendations on minimizing power disruptions.
18 pages, 08/12
PDF
SteelFail Steel Poles Recalled After Failures
A U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission order to recall steel poles used for stadium lighting due to 11 instances of failure.
4 pages, 07/10
PDF
Kentucky Hurricane Ike and Ice
Kentucky Public Service Commission report on impacts of a hurricane and the worst ice storm in state history on the power grid in the state.
178 pages, 11/09
PDF
Brunswick Case History: Brunswick EMC Pole Purchase
Review of the savings and benefits in choosing wood poles for upgrading a 5.2 miles distribution line in North Carolina.
4 pages, 03/98
PDF
BC Case History: Columbia Power Pole Purchase
Details on the significant cost savings of redesigning a line for wood poles instead of steel in British Columbia.
4 pages, 05/01
PDF

Undergrounding

UG Technical Bulletin - Undergrounding: Hidden Lines, Hidden Costs
NEW! Overview of the costs and other challenges placing utility lines underground. Includes cost comparisions of underground lines vs. overhead systems with utility poles.
8 pages, 4/17
PDF
OSO2 Out of Sight, Out of Mind 2012
2012 update of Edison Electric Institute study of the costs of undergrounding overhead power lines.
71 pages, 1/13
PDF
OSO1 Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Original 2003-06 Edison Electric Institute study of the costs of undergrounding overhead power lines.
32 pages, 07/06
PDF
TBHardening Technical Bulletin - Hardening of Utility Lines: Implications for Utility Pole Design and Use
Despite calls for "hardening" utility systems in response to storms, qualitative evaluations indicate current sytems perform as expected and potential actions to harden the system are expensive and offer questionable benefits.
8 pages, 11/07
PDF
Dirt2014 UPDATED! DIRT Report on striking underground utilities
Report from Common Ground Alliance on the 288,346 events in North America where underground utilities were struck or damaged during 2015.
32 pages, 10/16
PDF
Fla Florida Utilities Research: Undergrounding Electric Lines
Three-part report analyzing the costs of placing utility lines underground vs. the marginal benefits in protecting distribution systems.
Phase 1 - Literature Review and Analysis - 40 pages, 02/07
Phase 2 - Case Studies - 40 pages, 08/07
Phase 3 - Ex Ante Cost and Benefit Modeling - 97 pages, 05/08
PDF
Texas Cost-Benefit Analysis of Hardening Utility Lines
Report by Public Utility Commission of Texas analyzing costs and benefits of placing utility lines underground.
10 pages, 03/09
PDF
Mara Cost-Effectiveness of Undergrounding Utility Lines
Presentation by Kevin Mara, PE, of HiLine Engineering on the trends and economic costs in placing utility lines underground.
16 pages, 10/06
PDF

Maintenance & Disposal

Pole_Insp Wood Pole Purchasing, Inspection and Maintenance
Reprint from the Forest Products Journal reviewing utility practices on purchasing, inspecting and maintaining treated wood poles.
8 pages, 11/02
PDF
WDisposal Management of Used Treated Wood - West
Synopsis of state disposal regulations for preserved wood products in the West.
6 pages, 02/10
PDF
PoleDisp Utility Solid Waste Guidelines for Treated Wood
Guidelines developed by an electical utilities group for use and management of treated wood waste.
7 pages, 07/02
PDF
End-of-Life Preserved Wood Management - A Case for Reuse for Energy
Summary of the energy and greenhouse gas ramifications of end-of-life management options for preserved wood products.
7 pages, 11/10
PDF