Best Practices for Wood Pole Strength and Loading

Live Streaming Online November 15-16

An EUCI Program

Click Here to register ($1195)


When it comes to wood utility pole strength and loading, the experts say, “know the code!”, the National Electric Safety Code or California’s General Order 95 that is. In the everchanging world of electric utility and telecommunication companies, knowing the codes, regulations, and best practices, is vital to not only keeping the power on, but to ensure the safety of linemen and the public. With the advent of 5G on the horizon, telecommunication and wireless companies are eager to attach additional equipment to utility poles, thus making it more important than ever for electric utility and telecommunication companies to know and follow the codes!

In this course, pole strength capacities will be explained along with the loading criteria of the NESC and GO 95. An overview along with hands-on examples of basic pole loading calculations will help with understanding the important aspects and variables that impact how a pole is loaded. Variations of the third-party attachment processes around the country will be briefly explained and followed with an emphasis on the importance of wire and equipment clearances and the make ready process. Managing wood pole data including strength and loading details will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain ANSI O5.1 wood pole manufacturing and dimension standards
  • In-depth review of NESC strength and loading criteria along with an overview of GO 95 criteria
  • Compare key NESC requirements to similar GO 95 requirements
  • Identify clearance basics
  • Discuss the process for third-party attachments
  • Compare pole loading software programs
  • Discuss best practices for managing wood poles and the tremendous amount of related data
  • Discuss best practices for adding attachments to existing poles




9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Course Timing

Wood Pole Management

  • Early electrical systems
  • Comparison of pole materials
  • Expectations for safety, reliability and resiliency
  • Effective asset management

Wood Pole Manufacturing and Strength

  • ANSI O5.1 – Dimensions and Specifications for Wood Pole manufacturing
  • AWPA – American Wood Protection Association standards for treating wood poles

Pole Loading Basics

  • Transverse, longitudinal and vertical Loading
  • Loading and strength formulas
  • Bending analysis
  • Buckling analysis
  • Linear and non-linear analysis
  • Deterministic and probabilistic
  • Load resistance factored design
  • Wire tensions
  • Grades of construction

NESC Loading & Strength Requirements

Wood Pole Decay & Strength loss

  • Bending vs. Buckling

Pole Loading and Pole Remediation Programs

Clearance Basics



9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Course Timing

Pole Loading Examples

  • Typical Assumptions
  • Tangent Pole Basics
  • Angle Pole Basics
  • Guying Basics
  • Calculations
  • Examples

Third Party Attachment Process

  • Pole owner in-house processes
  • Pole owner subcontract all or part of the process
  • Oregon Joint Use Association

Adding Attachments to Existing Poles

  • Field Processes For Determining Existing Load
  • Remaining Strength if Necessary
  • Additional Load Added
  • Make Ready – Making the Pole Ready for an Additional Attachment
  • Small Cell – Antenna Attachments

Questions and Wrap-up