What type of poles should you use for your project? This is a frequently asked question when we meet with a new customer regarding barrier retention netting.
Interestingly enough, there are several options available when selecting pole types for your barrier, and we will discuss them as they relate to the four most important factors regarding pole types.
Four Factors About Pole Types
Cost. Although there are some exceptions, generally speaking poles are ranked as follows from least to most expensive.
-Used treated power poles. These are poles that are in good condition (when provided by Judge Netting) but have been installed and utilized by a public utility or another sports or golf facility.
-New treated wood poles. These are poles that are fully treated but have never been installed in the ground.
-Painted continuous diameter steel poles. Poles made from one size (diameter) of pipe. Galvanizing or powder coating increases the cost considerably.
-Painted stepped down steel poles. Sectionalized poles that decrease incrementally as the elevation increases. Galvanizing or powder coating increases the cost considerably.
-Tapered Steel Poles are poles that gradually taper as they increase in height. Most light and traffic signal poles are tapered. Galvanizing or powder coating increases the cost considerably.
-Concrete poles are usually tapered and very expensive due to the weight and related expense of shipping. Concrete poles generally speaking are not coated and of course are gray in color.
-Composite or fiberglass poles. Usually tapered but have structural limitations and tend to be very expensive.
Longevity and Maintenance. In general, poles are structurally designed for a 50-year life span. Several factors contribute to the longevity of wood poles. Used poles may vary in treatment types, and some may last longer than others. New wood poles are generally Penta treated, which at this time is a legal chemical treatment in most states. Steel painted poles will need recoating about every 20-30 years depending on the climate and course conditions. This is usually best accomplished when the net is replaced. Galvanized poles will need little or no maintenance as is the case with concrete and composite poles.
Engineering and design criteria. We utilize the Professional engineering services of an engineer who is licensed in all western states (including Hawaii) and has worked on our unique structures for over 30 years. Any type of pole can be engineered for local wind conditions. However, in general, heights above 90 feet are better suited to steel or composite poles as the poles can be shipped in sections with the poles stepping down in diameter as they get taller. Extreme conditions with wind speeds exceeding 110 mph or a high wind solid (such as a litter or dust retention application) generally warrant a steel design. Another advantage of steel poles is they can also be designed and installed to be easily extendable at a later date. Although nature can produce a wood pole 150 feet long, the cost of shipping the pole out of the northwest generally makes them unsuitable for use in most states.
Aesthetics. Many of our customers prefer wood poles as they are “natural” and whether perceived or real, the neighboring public prefers a wood pole installation. The disadvantage of used poles is they will be different shades and diameters. New wood poles will be fairly consistent in color initially, but will tend to fade differently over the years. Wood poles cannot be painted in a cost effective manner. Steel poles can be fabricated and coated in almost any color. However, we recommend flat black as this blends the best with the background in almost any installation. Over 90% of our steel pole installations are flat black in color. Concrete and galvanized poles are typically a light gray in color and stand out more than a dark colored pole.
There is a quick tutorial on some of the important factors to consider when building a golf netting or sports netting barrier and the pole type. As always, the most important consideration is the right contractor to install whatever type of poles are selected. One thing for certain is Judge Netting will ensure the poles will be professionally installed plumb, anchored properly (where applicable) and the netting is fit exactly to the structure as installed. As the uncontested industry leader, Judge Netting will always construct your netting barrier professionally with the most experienced craftsmen in the business! For examples of our exceptional work, please visit http://www.judgenetting.com/projects or https://www.landfillnetting.com/