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Utility poles must be designed and constructed with specific safety features in mind. The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) reports the requirements for the secure installation and maintenance of aerial and buried power and telecommunication plants.

Historically, poor knowledge of poles’ structural integrity in an outside plant network hindered new infrastructure deployments. All participants associated with wireless and wireline infrastructure deployment must know the basics of pole loading analysis. It involves the importance, what constituents have the most significant impact, and what solutions can ensure convenient customer access to new services. 

The shortage of access to physical infrastructure, especially utility poles, is usually a vital drawback to deploying communication services. Hence, there is a requirement to build a more comprehensive framework to oversee the accessibility of timelines, charges, terms, and conditions for pole attachments.

A useful analysis of pole loading constituents shall assist the effective delivery of electric utilities and help estimate and decrease the risk factors linked with each overhead line.

The following are the best practices for pole loading analysis:

Structural Analysis

Skilled engineering technicians use the data collected during field inspection to efficiently and precisely model and examine poles, producing comprehensive analysis reports. If a pole fails to satisfy the code conditions, the technician determines proper actions like

  • Guying changes
  • Pole strengthening 
  • Pole replacement design 
Clearance Analysis

Once the structure is correctly modeled according to the current requirements, a clearance analysis is performed. Clearance analysis choices vary from reviewing existing conditions against the code demands to implementing all necessary temperature and loading conditions to define the worst-case clearances. Here the engineering technicians recommend modifications to fix any violations.

Make-ready Design

Pole attachment applications can generate notable lags when installing new cables on utility poles, particularly when pole loading and clearance analysis is required. Make-ready design help reduce these delays and keep your project on schedule.  

Highly-trained field technicians swiftly and efficiently secure the required data, reducing delays caused by incorrect or faulty data. They further ensure that new attachments satisfy utility standards and relevant codes. It provides all stakeholders with an up-to-the-minute report about the state of applications.

Pole Strength

Eventually, the pole’s strength determines if the pole in use with the many electric and telecommunications equipment and spans attached can endure the environment loading for the required reliability level. 

Utility poles, wood poles, especially, are categorized by their size and strength into pole classes. The more one moves down in class number, the diameter, and power of the pole increases. As defined by the pole class, the bending strength of the pole determines its load-carrying capacity.


In a nutshell, pole loading analyses is performed so that:

  • The pole in the field is secure and stable.
  • So there is a level of assurance that the pole won’t catastrophically fail during harsh weather conditions. 

Ensuring that the structure’s health has been designed to meet the NESC standards also provides a security level for the electric and telecommunications services on the pole. 

When designing a new pole structure or changes to an existing system, you want to safeguard:

  • Pole’s facilities, 
  • The utility workers working at the pole 
  • The Public who live or pass by the pole 

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