Skip to the content

Pole Depth Testing

At various stages in the last 60 years, electricity wood poles have been installed in the UK without a ‘birth mark’ (aka scarf mark). This mark is normally made at manufacture 3m from the butt of the pole, so that once the pole is erected any operative or engineer can measure the height of this scarf mark from the ground in order to ensure that the pole is planted at the correct depth per the safety specifications for that particular pole size and conductor type. Poles with uncertain planting depths cannot be climbed and consequently are normally replaced in the UK even if the pole itself is in sound condition, often resulting in very costly work especially if there are cables, plant, tee-offs or stays on the pole.

At PBS Utility Services we work closely with a specialist sub-contractor who have patented a unique system which utilises a pneumatic mole and a key-hole camera in order to measure the exact planting depth of a pole and thus enabling a new scarf mark to be retrospectively added at the appropriate height.

Whilst there is currently no direct allowance from OFGEM payable to DNOs for utilising this innovation, it can avoid some very expensive pole changes for the reasons described above. Therefore, our clients using this service have found that it can invariably turn an inefficient work scheme into one that covers costs, with lower capital expenditure, and crucially less customer disruption in the form of CMLs. For more information or to arrange a demonstration to your safety authorities please contact us directly.