View Full Version : Pole Changeout
05-21-2005, 10:22 PM
Anybody want to give me their version of a pole changeout on energized 138 KV without using a bucket and just having a digger and a pickup with a hotstick trailer? Tell me yours and I'll tell you mine. dbrown20
OLE' SORE KNEES
05-22-2005, 04:13 AM
I am assuming your talking H-Structures possibly Spars but I'll go with the first..........setup digger to setup "gin pole" or pole that is around 8-10' shorter than pole being replaced or same depending on what you have, set wood reel end around where pole is to land where arm and brace meet,place butt of pole on reel end ,have man climb up "gin pole" or original depending on condition of old pole, rig up steel sling and hoist with other steel sling around arm and "gin pole",take up hoist to bear load,float static or overhead ground wire to arm, drift bolts from top arm down to bottom brace,if double braced maybe rig another hoist from brace to brace, anyway if not work your way down drifting bolts, after last bolt is drifted,start at top, chainsawing out pole until stub if left,once your gin pole is in digger is cleared up to pull old pole,pull old pole,set new pole,install static or overhead groundwire, line up arm with new pole drill and install hardware working way down with braces also until all hardware is in (tightened too :)setup digger to take down gin pole which is more hairy coming down than going up being circuit is hot,(safest way is for another truck to winch butt in while pole is coming down) but all we have is 1 truck so rig up pole to take down while lineman on pole comes off hoist and sling transfering load to new pole,lineman climbs down fixing to rest them dogs,then we come down nice and slow riding static as a guide nice and slow until "gin pole "is on the ground, done this also with a flextrack and A-frame also in the Florida Swamps with a few "gators" as spectators.Now a days crews take a crane and just rig the arm and start drifting away.By the way the first hotstick was'nt used:)
just say no
05-22-2005, 08:41 AM
give it to the contractors....
05-22-2005, 09:01 AM
It intrigues me to see the different methods that folks come up with. I have participated in 3 methods and the following is the best I think.
Most of the poles I helped change in this manner were eaten up by Pecker woods but were still climbable.
The new pole was laid out with the top pointing in the direction selected as the most practical to bring it up. Since there is a lot of wiggle in these types of structures we just set some pieces of cutup arms "butt boards" in the direction we intended to move the butt. The offending pole was chain sawed high enough, level with the butt boards, and lifted with the digger and set on the boards.
Then the old butt was pulled with the digger and the old hole reamed to the proper depth. Hot line tag ropes were attached to the top of the new pole about 15 " down. One man was placed on the end of each tag rope. A tag rope was placed on the butt with 2 ends present and a man on each end there also. Also might mention that the new pole was spotted of course with the balance right at the hole position. The foreman took position past the top of the new pole and down the line where he could observe the pole going up between phases. As the pole was raised between the phases and the top reached the static the man on the outside tagged the pole top against the static and the other man dropped his tag rope and assisted the people on the butt.
After the pole was down in the hole it was backfilled about half way up. To actually transfer it took one man on the off pole and two on the new pole side. The two men on the new pole, sometimes one climbed the sawed off pole and one the new pole, detached the x braces on the way up and tied them up with short rope slings. Upon reaching the phase level the outside phase was put on a lift stick and link stick and undinged. The middle phase was put on 2 link sticks and undinged usually with the assistance of the man on the off pole. The man on the off pole the went on up to the arm position and loosened the thu bolt. He then tied a bull rope to the end of the arm. The 2 men on the new pole side then called for the pickup to pull down on the bull rope and when the proper tension was reached the thru bolt was drifted out. A small hydrolic jack was place between the double arms and they were spread. Might mention that at some point the new pole was tied securely to the old pole. Anyway after removing the bolt the arm was pulled down on until it reached the static. When the proper tension was reached the pickup was stopped until the static was undinged. Static was tied to the arm and continued on up until free of the old pole. Then the arm was just sissored down on the old pole, leveled and drilled etc. Usually had to take a block and a set of grips to pull the new pole level via the static.
Here's the part I liked best of the whole thing. Everything is back in place except old pole remains tied to the new pole and setting on the butt boards. Remember the top tag ropes? They are transferred to the old pole. Then the two tag men take up their ropes and walk a little ways down the line. A man on the pole unties the old pole from the new pole and moving it back toward the tag men gets the feel of which way the pole wants to go. He adjusts the tag men and then lets the old pole go. It falls like a tree down between the phases. Only saw a guy make a poor judgement once doing this. Came very close to the phase. Fun!
Later had a crew with a boom truck that had enough reach that they didn't even put a stick on the wire. Just caught the end of the arm and lifted it up and over. dbrown20
05-22-2005, 01:25 PM
Yep, I did 'em very similar to your method, 'cept we used reel ends to set the old poles down on.
Lotsa tricks can be used on transmission. The smarter you work it, the easier it is on your sore back.
Now here's my question to you:
Change out a dead grounded "H" structure , assuming the poles are already set. You have a steel arm and a steel static arm. 2 linemen, no boom truck. Just a tracked machine.
05-22-2005, 02:10 PM
I'm gonna assume 138 with 14.6 centers. One man on each pole. Unding it with a hoist or handline, bull line or something and tie each phase to the poles or just let them float. After everything is taken loose just chain saw the arms off or what ever and let them fall. New arm is pulled up via winch to the top of the pole where it is end doed and swung over to the other guy. It is stabbed and a level is put on one side and that side is drilled and stabbed. Static bar is then sent up and leveled and stabbed. There is some ground help? dbrown20
05-22-2005, 03:21 PM
Right, float phases, marking them against the new pole so the grunts can move the armor rods.
Move the statics up to the top of the new poles.
Hang the static bar, clip in the statics. Drill for the x-arm, using a line level.
1 man hangs his handline by the static bar, then splits it, throwing the end to his pole buddy, who ties it off at the static bar.
The 1st lineman feeds a bite of the rope down to the ground, where the grunts put a small snatch block on it, attaching the hook to the half arm with a strap.They tape the snap open and attach a tag rope to the hook.
They then put the fall line through a snatch block at the base of the pole, snub it off to the machine.
The operator backs up, lifting the arm, the static bar keeps the poles separated.
The linemen stab the arm. The grunts pull the block back down as the machine comes forward, then attach it to the other arm half and repeat the process.
The rest is pretty much the same. I came up with this after wrestling with 2 handlines, twisting the dozer to raise one side, etc.
05-22-2005, 04:36 PM
Yeah, we used to do it similar. We usually just took a carpenter's level and used it on one side to level the arm for drilling. The reel end sounds good also as we just took pieces of arm and sometimes stacked them quite high in order to cut the pole off with enough butt to pull easily. Every situation sometimes calls for a different solution. On pole changeouts we used to climb the old or new pole and detach the X braces and let them dangle temporily with just a sling rope and drill and bolt them permanent once we had the new pole plumbed and the old pole down. We did this to keep that little saddle brace in the center of the X braces from sliding down and getting in a bind. I mentioned this once to an old hand and he said what they did to keep the saddle brace from slipping was to just take one of those large molding staples and drive in into the brace in order to keep the saddle from slipping down. Never had opportunity to try it but I know he was giving me a good tip.
That old thing of using a barrel to dig your hole in also works in sandy or swampy regions, but I had a guy tell me once that they just acquired some concrete conduit and used it. As they dug the conduit would sink and they just keep adding pieces until the hole was proper depth. This was on the Texas coast. Said it worked like a charm. dbrown20
05-23-2005, 06:58 PM
I kept a string level on a chalkline tool so we could use it and then just wind it up.
Far as setting poles in sand, a trick I learned in Cape Hatteras was to dig a starter pit, set the pole in it and use a long pipe attached to a compressor trailer, just jet that puppy right down.
We refined it to include an exhaust pipe made of 3" pvc strapped to the pole. The sand really flies out! To controll it some, we put a 90 fitting at the end so we could aim it.
And you should have seen how much sand I blew into my buddy's bucket truck cab before he got his window up!
05-25-2005, 01:23 PM
I tipped up a few spars over on the East side too............the mantra is "my bolt first" lol... the hammer for that work is a 5 pound sledge with the handle cut to "carpenter hammer size".
If you apped around Johnny Meyers or Chuck Baker or Rex Whitlesy you DID some transmission.
I think the whole spar arm method was in Apprentice Step 12 workbook...
Swampy... I am "distribution" too... but back in the 80's the FPL company hands still did all the 138 and 230KV they could in their area's.
OLE' SORE KNEES
05-25-2005, 07:49 PM
I was lucky enough to run with a good group of Transmission lineman that took me under their wing as an ape. I was a 2 month ape up a 80 footer changing a spar with the boys when I knew it was for me,older now and wiser I am in distrubution where my body will last longer,the days of climbing inspection from sub to sub has taken it's toll on knees and back,but I would'nt change it if I could go back.You can almost tell ex-hi-liners by the way they climb.For everything has it's season and that 1 is over for me unless I get a wild hair, been known for that occasionally............LOL...take care
05-26-2005, 03:59 PM
For those who dont know....back in the day first year FPL apprentices spent most of that year on "climbing inspection" or service trucks.
The Hiline climbing inspection was 4-pole structures a mile...climb up, tighten hardware, sound wood for rot... we'd try to get 2 miles a day or more. 80's 90's...we did some water crossings in around Stuart once....80's on little islands in the river and bay.
When you got off 2 or 3 moths of that you worked with the Serviceman... running OH services, testing and setting meter or doing urd services...
If you still had time left over... working for a line crew or chasing a backhoe on URD
After one year you could work on a Dist. Hotstick crew... we didnt get to glove from isolation untill year 3.
Hahaha.. I think you can tell any old time FPL hand by the way they walk!
06-10-2005, 02:48 PM
Did you burn that truck up on Military Trail..on that old 69kv copper line...back in 85 or 86? Out near the Boynton- Delray city limits line.
Or were you that guy from Kohler who wore those 16" Wesco tucked into the courdouroy pants all the time?
Just 'cause you "contracted' from time to time dont get yourself confused about bein' part of FPL
OLE' SORE KNEES
06-10-2005, 06:33 PM
DB, Just curious, How long did it take you doing it this way? Our's took about 1 -1 1/2 hours with the right crew,one that was used to each other and had it down pat right to the staple.(could'nt do it today everyone is busted up now) I am always looking for a better way.How long did it take?Thanks for the info.
OLE' SORE KNEES
06-10-2005, 07:28 PM
I would say about that or maybe a little longer. I remember we used to start from scratch and finish in time to drive somewhere and eat lunch. We didn't carry a lunch pail. Of course that's including drive time etc. The crew was very accustomed to doing this particular method.
Typically Knees we used to haul and spot some poles before setting and transferring them. dbrown20
OLE' SORE KNEES
06-11-2005, 10:08 AM
We spotted them before too,I think the biggest part of the battle of any job is the right crew make-up where everyone knows and trust thier pole buddy.Everyone is scattered across the state in different places and different roles now,we all say this was a once in a lifetime crew make-up,everybody has there's too if they think about it,can't go back but you can think about memories.
10-10-2005, 02:12 PM
You guys are talking about speed try this one.
We had a job to do increasing the weight of counter balance weights on a transmission line along the tracks in Saugus, Mass. Originally the engineers predicted that 150 lbs. of weight (3 only 50 lb. cast iron discs would be enough).They thought another cicuit would be installed on the opposite side of the pole in the future. It didn't happen.
The X-arms were sagging. We had a Condor telescopic boom 125'. The rental cost $6,000 per month and the least was terminating.
We panicked. The weather was calm and we had an operator, three linemen and a grunt. Once level we had to go up and do the following:
1. Ground the phases on 80-90 ft. poles (we tested for potential the first time)
2. Lift the existing 3 weights on each phase, remove the cotter key, unscrew the nut, lower the weights and add two = 250lbs., now raise it up and reapply the nut and cotter key. All three phases vertical construction.
3. Remove the grounds and return to the ground.
We took the bottom boom vertical and the top boom horizontal and just rotated and used the lower boom telescope feature to work it essentially as an elevator.
Total time (timed by the operator) from ground to ground was 13 minutes, no crap.
Some will say "your crazy" but imagine trying to do that off a ladder after we lost the Condor. Of course we were young and full of p--- and vinegar in the early 1970's.
The Old Lineman
06-19-2006, 09:27 PM
You can almost tell ex-hi-liners by the way they climb. You can always tell an old troubleman by the way they recoil everytime they close a door... I watched in horror one time as an exhighliner choked up on a stick and closed in on an xfmr on 19.9 after a storm... two feet away from the switch is way too close for my taste...
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