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Your online resource for preservative-treated wood utility poles in North America

Updated ANSI standard for wood poles published

The national guide for specifying wood poles has been updated and is now available from ANSI. Standard O5.1-2022 includes numerous updates,improvements and clarifications to the standard used by electric and telecommunications utilities, engineers and wood pole manufacturers.

A key addition to the standard is the Photographic Manual of Wood Pole Characteristics, which was previously a separate publciation. The manual will help users identify permitted, limited or prohibited pole characteristics.

ANSI Standard O5.1-2022 can be purchased on ANSI WebStore for $60 and it is available as a printed guide or downloadable PDF file. Other O5 standards and packages are also available.


New guides available on today's wood pole preservatives

Preservative guides

With the retirement of a preservative used for wood utility poles, there are two new guides available to help utilities review and select other preservatives used to protect poles from decay fungi and insects.

The new Technical Bulletin Preservative Options for Wood Utility Poles reviews the six commonly available preservatives used today. It further details the process each preservative must go through to be approved for use in making durable, long-lasting utility poles.

The eight-page bulletin provides a table of the retentions, or amount of preservative, for each species and respective Use Category that poles can be treated to, based on the conditions where they will be used.

A shorter, two-page guide Pole Principles - Preservatives for Wood Utility Poles offers an overview of the pole preservatives. Under each preservative is the species commonly treated and the companies that manufacturer the preservatives, including links to the manufacturer's website for additional information.

Check out the new guides in the WoodPoles.org Technical Library.


Pole disposal methods, regulations detailed

Utilities considering what to do with wood poles retired from service now have a guide on the variety of disposal methods used in the U.S. today in a new NAWPC Technical Bulletin.

Pole disposal

End of Service Life Disposal of Wood Utility Poles details the traditional ways utilities use to dispose of utility poles removed from service. It notes some 3 million to 4 million poles are removed from service annually.

Traditionally, disposal in landfills has been an option for utilities, but shrinking landfill space and concerns over preservatives in retired utility poles is beginning to limit disposal options. Reuse and repurposing poles offers an alternative with the least impact on the environment.

The 16-page bulletin includes an overview of regulations in all 50 states that impact pole disposal, as well as contact information for state agencies that regulate such disposal.

Review the new bulletin in the WoodPoles.org Technical Library.


Sustainable alternatives explored for overhead resiliency

SustainBigger may not be better -- nor sustainable -- when it comes to increasing wood pole sizes to improve overhead system resiliency. The new Technical Bulletin Sustainable Wood Pole Design for Overhead Systems explores practical alternatives to specifying larger poles.

Utilities should incorporate sustainable forestry into resiliency efforts and can do so by utilizing more readily available pole classes with spans between closer together.

The 12-page bulletin explores the natural growth of trees and its importance in creating larger poles, which are often more expensive due to limited availability. An alternative to specifying bigger poles is to move poles closer together, which enhances reliability while balancing what pole sizes are available in today's renewable forests.

Detailed examples are offered showing how to meet NESC requirements with shorter spans, as well as cost considerations. Take a look at this environmentally responsible alternative to keep electric lines up and working.


Carbon calculator highlights wood pole, crossarm benefits

Utilities eager to tell customers about their commitment to the environment now have a new tool that quantifies the green benefits of preservative-treated wood poles and crossarms.

CarbonCalcThe Technical Bulletin Calculating Carbon in Wood Utility Poles and Crossarms details how to calculate the amount of carbon sequestered in a utility's inventory of wood utility poles and crossarms. The calculations take into account of the volume and mass of the wood, as well as the mass of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere while the wood is in service.

The Wood Utility Pole & Crossarm Calculator is available in an online version or as a downloadable Excel-based calculator. It calculates the volume and mass of the wood, as well as the mass of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere for a utility's inventory of wood utility poles and crossarms.

The calculator allows utilities to determine the amount of carbon residing in their inventory of poles and crossarms. The number of utility poles can be entered using pull-down selections for the class and length based on the standard ANSI pole sizes. Crossarm data is entered by its actual dimensions. Up to 30 different sizes of poles can be entered.

The calculator automatically determines the total volume and mass of the wood, the mass of carbon in Imperial and metric tons and the mass of carbon dioxide removed by using wood. The data can be entered into the online EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator that can convert carbon data into real world examples of the environmental benefits, such as miles driven by an automobile or barrels of oil consumed.

Click here to download the calculator and Technical Bulletin.


New video series explains national wood pole standards

NtlStd-1A detailed overview of the national standards that guide the design and use of wood utility poles is now available in a special three-part video series.

The National Wood Pole Standards video series is an expanded version the most downloaded technical document on the WoodPoles.org website. Commentary is provided by Nelson Bingel, chair of the ASC O5 Committee, which oversees pole standards. Bingel also chairs the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC).

Each video is between 16 and 19 minutes long. Part 1 reviews the standards guiding the production and use of wood utility poles, the scope of those standards and the unique strengths and loading for wood poles. Part 2 discusses wood pole species, applied loads, pole circumferences, and groundline and height stresses. Part 3 reviews the NESC, grades of construction, transverse loading and other design factors.

The videos can be played in preview window on your computer. There are also links to view the videos on YouTube.

Click on play to learn more about wood pole standards.


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Energize your community outreach with customized coloring book

ColorBookUtilities can get an assist in expanding their community affairs activities and communicating important safety information on overhead lines with a special low-cost, customized coloring book.

The 16-page book Electricity from Tree to Me is designed for children from kindergarten through elementary school. It explains how wood utility poles are made from sustainable and renewable trees and includes important safety messages for about overhead lines, including what to do if lines are on the ground.

The book is designed to be customized with utility information on the inside cover page and the back cover. The pages can feature colored artwork, such as a utility or company logo, so it can be integrated into utility community affairs programs.

Utility specific coloring books can be ordered for about $1 each for 1,000 copies or more. Quantities of 500 and 750 are also available at a discounted price.

Click here to learn more about the coloring book.


Crossarms

Benefits of wood crossarms detailed

For as long as there have been wood poles, there have been wood crossarms. The often overlooked benefits of wood crossarms compared to alternative materials our outlined in a new publication Wood Crossarms: Six Overlooked Benefits from a Century of Performance.

The one-page technical sheet reviews the extensive performance record of wood crossarms, which can be found throughout North America. Wood crossarms are a vital component that carry wires and other equipment to bring electricity to the continent.

Common misperceptions, such as wood crossarms are heavier, are explored in the sheet. It also notes that alternative materials are often three to four times more expensive than wood for crossarms that are functionally equivalent.

Click here to review the crossarm publication.