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Wood Utility Poles

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What are Wood Utility Poles?

Wood poles used as wood power poles and utility lines have been a vital component of America’s electrical and communication infrastructure for over a hundred years. This includes wooden power-treated poles and wooden street poles for lighting. They are sometimes referred to as telephone poles.

There are roughly 150 million poles in place in the United States, and it’s safe to say that you will find them wherever you go. It’s not uncommon to see power lines, transmission lines, or telegraph wires in conjunction with wood-treated poles.

These treated poles are made of particular types of pressure-treated southern yellow pine that are meant to prevent damage from insects, rot, and harsh weather conditions. On average, treated wood poles have a service lifespan of 50-plus years. This is an extremely long life and is comparable to other durable pole types. Other wood species include Douglas fir poles.

Other pole materials, such as steel utility poles and concrete utility poles are available, and they have their benefits. But wood poles have certain advantages as well.

  • Wood is not a synthetic ( man-made ) material. It is grown naturally and is renewable.
  • Wood poles are inexpensive compared to steel and concrete poles. They are also quick and easy to install. Wood poles need to be treated. The treating process infuses the wood cells with a consistent supply of preservative fluid. This process allows the poles to last for decades.
  • Wood poles do not require maintenance. This maintenance-free feature adds to the already low installation cost. All things considered (product price, installation costs, maintenance costs), wood comes out on top compared to the others.
  • Steel poles require painting and there are considerable corrosion issues with road salt and salt air.
  • Concrete is a strong material but is expensive and installation costs are high.
  • Steel and concrete poles require more components such as bolts, wires, etc.

What Kind of Wood Species is Used in Utility Poles and Telephone Poles?

There are three main types of wood used for wooden transmission poles and utility poles:

Southern Yellow Pine Wood Poles

  • Southern yellow pine utility poles are the most common type of tree used by wood utility pole manufacturers.
  • It is one of the most popular types of wood used in housing construction.
  • It is exceptionally dense and strong yet lightweight.

Douglas Fir Wood Poles

  • Douglas fir utility poles are distinctive for their ability to keep stable. This includes when it is cut in an unseasoned condition.
  • It is known for its ability to bear enormous loads without bending or breaking under pressure. This makes it an ideal construction material for poles.

Western Red Cedar Wood Poles

  • A western red cedar utility pole has a better-than-average resistance to decay and insect activity. This means that less money is spent on adding preservative chemicals to the wood and maintenance of the poles over time.
  • It is more expensive than other types of wood used for poles but saves money in the long run.

How are Telephone Wood Poles Made?

The process of making wooden utility poles begins by choosing the right trees for the job. This occurs while they’re still standing. They are judged by traits that affect their load-bearing abilities. These traits include straightness, length, and taper. Less than 10 percent of trees in a typical stand of timber will have the acceptable traits to become a utility pole.

These trees are then harvested and transported to a lumber yard and/or utility pole companies.

After transport, the bark from the trees is removed. After that, the poles are shaped to make them as straight as possible. Each pole is examined, categorized, and given a class as specified in the ANSI standards. The attributes reviewed include the presence of decay, knots, grain orientation, and splits.

Next, the poles are carved, conditioned, or bored to prepare the wood to get a preservative. This preservative treatment forms a chemical barrier that shields wooden poles from threats, such as decay, fungi, insects, and mold. This allows them to stay in service for many years.

The preservatives are not just applied to the surface of the pole. They are infused deep into the wood to provide long-lasting protection. By doing this, the useful lifespan of a wood pole can be lengthened up to 70+ years.

Holes are bored on the pole to be used for hardware that will be added later. This will maintain the protective preservative coating by letting the treatment penetrate every opening. The poles are then ready for treatment.

Once the preservative process is completed, core samples are taken from the poles and analyzed to ensure that quality and durability standards are met. The poles are then ready to be shipped to customers by utility pole companies.

Wood Poles Installed

Are Wood Utility Poles and Wood Telephone Poles the Same Thing?

Yes, for the most part, there is no difference. It's just two ways of labeling the same product.

Do You Have Utility Poles for Sale?

When some people think about purchasing wooden utility poles, they imagine that they must go to a lumber yard to do it because they are big and bulky.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you are looking for wooden utility poles for sale, you've come to the right place. You can order utility poles, power poles, and telephone poles from LED Lighting Supply and then shipped directly to your project site. Contact us today for a detailed quote from one of the most reliable utility pole companies in the USA.

What are the Advantages of Using Wood Utility Poles over Steel or Concrete Poles?

There are several advantages of using wood utility poles over other types:

  • The initial cost of wood poles is significantly less than that of steel due to commodity costs.
  • The installation of wood poles is much faster than steel or concrete.
  • Utility pole manufacturers in the USA use only American wood, meaning the products will always support American jobs.
  • The costs of installing wood poles are generally less thanks to the simplicity of direct burial.