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Pros And Cons Of Steel Utility Poles

Utility poles are so much a part of the backdrop of our streets that we scarcely give them a thought. They are an integral part of the quality of life we experience, and the convenience that having immediate access to electricity assures us. A failed utility pole gets our immediate attention, especially when the power goes off. Fortunately, we at Critter Guard have solutions for keeping the lights on when local wildlife inadvertently threatens to interrupt the service.

steel utility pole with many power lines

Types Of Utility Poles

Utility poles provide more than overhead support for electrical lines - they also provide the infrastructure for carrying telephone lines, communication cable, optical fiber cables, streetlights, traffic equipment, and broadcast equipment. Some cities use poles dedicated to carrying the wiring for fire and police communications. What all utility poles have in common is being anchored securely into the ground and supporting a network of cables and wires at a height that is beyond the range of normal reach.

Advantages Of Steel Utility Poles

In the past, utility poles were made from treated wood, but as technology advanced, steel became the material of choice, even over concrete and fiberglass. Some advantages of steel utility poles include:

  • Same or better load bearing capacity as wood
  • High strength
  • Long lasting
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Resistant to wear and tear from the wind and UV rays

Disadvantages Of Steel Utility Poles

Steel is subject to the corrosive effects of chemicals and pollution. Early in the manufacturing of steel utility poles the metallurgical processes produced a type of steel that was resistant to corrosion. Later, as the poles were produced with a thinner coat of galvanized zinc, their lifespan decreased. It has also become costly to regularly inspect and maintain these poles. Plus, the expectation that steel poles would discourage squirrels and other critters from climbing did not pan out as hoped.

Protecting Overhead Lines From Wildlife

No matter what type of utility pole, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, and other climbing wild creatures can cause substantial damage to utility poles and overhead lines. Chewing through a high voltage wire could interrupt power and potentially kill the animal. Critter Guard's humane Pole Guard and Line Guard systems are designed to prevent damage to the infrastructure and safely discourage wildlife from climbing, chewing, and nesting on all types of utility poles and lines. Contact us today to learn more about long lasting protection for utility poles in your area.

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