4 Considerations When Buying Utility Poles

Utility poles are everywhere in developed countries, but buying them isn’t always as easy as spotting them on the roadside. If you need a little help finding, selecting and installing utility poles, here are just four things to keep in mind as you start your search.

1. Know Your Material Types

Most utility poles are made of wood or metal, but there are endless varieties available within these subgroups. For example, do you want coastal douglas fir or southern yellow pine? Are you determined to have genuine stainless steel, or are you open to engineered hybrid metals? Consider all of your options before you whip out your credit card.

2. Hire a Single-Source Service

If you’re looking for a utility pole manufacturer, you’re looking for someone who actually cuts and creates the poles. This may or may not be the same person who sells, packs, delivers and markets the poles. If you want to cut down on the middlemen, your best bet is finding a “single-source service” that handles everything from pressure-treating the wood to delivering it to your doorstep. They’ll make the whole process easy for you.

3. Consider Your Coatings

The three best treatments for wooden utility poles are Penta, CCA and CCA-ET, so you should look for a company that offers at least one of them. If you aren’t sure which coating is right for you, call the company and ask. Provided that they know their stuff, they should be more than happy to walk you through the strengths and weaknesses of each type. They might even have recommendations for you if you’re willing to share details about your project needs and installation desires.

4. Balance Your Budget

Utility poles are usually sold as individual products, but don’t be afraid to ask about bulk pricing if you need more than one. You should also ask if there are any discounts available for things like shipping, installation, insurance and future repairs. You can often find deals that aren’t listed on the company’s website when you talk to an agent directly.

These are just a few tips for buying utility poles. The most important thing is that you take your time and don’t rush your decision; utility poles can be large, bulky and expensive, so they aren’t as easily returned to the store as a bad carton of eggs. Make sure that you choose correctly the very first time.