Line Contractor

The Pole Truth

Published On
Jun 16, 2022

Utility poles are made of wood that is pressure-treated with chemicals. This protects them from insects and weather, and helps them last longer. But on the practical daily side, it makes it harder to hammer staples into them. Anyone who has tried to post a flyer for their missing pet llama will agree. I learned from a line contractor—I’m not going to say who, but he knows who he is—that some workers apply Vaseline to make stapling easier.

Jeff Griffin, the Cool Tools columnist from ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine, catches us up on “Essential Tools for Lineworkers.” Want to learn the difference between aluminum, steel and titanium climbers? Turn to page 14.

Our cover story this month is about installing 500-kV transmission line foundations in the Florida Everglades. Have you ever used an airboat to transport your material? Susan Bloom details Aldridge Electric’s project in “Navigating the River of Grass” on page 2.

The Department of Energy estimates that 14.2% of Native American families living on reservations still lack electricity. Chuck Ross tells us about Native-led programs such as Native Renewables, which is working to train and sponsor solar installation on the Navajo Nation and Hopi reservation. Find it on page 8.

Our final feature is by Jeff Gavin on how digitization has transformed switchgear operation, safety and upgradability. “Switchgear Meets a New Era” is on page 18. The experts that Jeff interviewed say that this progress will benefit from contractor collaboration, education and training.

It’s pretty much summer now, so put on your shot-glass-worth of sunscreen. If you don’t believe me, turn to page 12. I love to learn about the ins and outs of how you do your jobs, so please share more ideas that have worked safely for you at I don’t want to steer anyone wrong or get you in trouble

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