In North America, wood utility poles are pretty much everywhere. And once installed, they have a definite lifespan which can be shortened through rot and insect infestations. For that reason, most utilities will employ an inspection routine to evaluate the strength left within the pole to determine if or when one should be replaced.
The inspection process can vary, but for the purposes of this blog, we will concentrate on the excavation method where a trench of 18” to 24” is dug around the pole base to expose the wood that has been underground. Once the wood has been exposed, the technician can perform a variety of tests to determine the remaining strength left within and recommend repairs or replacement if needed.
The part where EXAIR product comes into play is in the excavation process. Traditionally, the technicians will use a shovel to loosen the dirt around the pole and set it aside for re-packing around the pole once the inspection has completed. Needless to say, the excavation process is somewhat long and tedious as it must be done by hand to keep from damaging the pole and/or utilities that may be nearby. One customer decided to use a 2” Heavy Duty Line Vac to help speed up the excavation process. Instead of pushing on a shovel and continually swinging the dirt around to a tarp about 10 feet away, the technician can make less of an excavation effort by using hand tools to loosen the dirt and the Heavy Duty Line Vac to pull the dirt out of the hole and over to the awaiting tarp. This gives them ample room for inspection processes without overdoing the excavation which is the part that takes the most time anyway.
Companies who deal with utility pole inspections are judged not only on the quality of the inspection but also the quantity of poles that can be inspected in a given time. For this reason, time is of the essence because once you have demonstrated you can successfully inspect X number of poles, then your company is in line to gain more business through increased number of poles to inspect in the next round.
Heavy Duty Line Vacs have been set up to convey more dense materials as well as abrasive materials over longer distances where other forms of conveying simply can’t hold up or simply are too clunky to give just the right effect as is the case in this application.