Wooden Utility Pole Repair for Lineman

Rodeo Event Made Possible with Polywater® UPR™

Pileated woodpecker on a utility pole

Wooden Pole Damage Due to Woodpeckers

Line workers from around the state compete in hurt-man rescues, equipment repair, and pole-climb competitions during the annual rodeo of a large investor-owned utility company. They are judged on speed, agility, technique, and safety procedures. A week prior to the 2020 Lineman’s Rodeo in Florida, the pole yard was constructed. Two days after setting the poles, the staff identified two poles which already had woodpecker damage. The first pole had a 1-inch deep hole and the other was significantly hollowed out.

Polywater UPR being demonstrated on a damaged utility pole

Extending the Life of the Poles with Polywater UPR™

In order to avoid the time and expense of replacing a pole, the rodeo organizers planned to repair the pole and leave it up for the event. They determined Polywater® UPR™ would be the right product for this situation. UPR is a two-part foam that mixes in the nozzle when applied. Since epoxies’ interaction temperature can reach up to 300°F, a no-touch application is the safest method. UPR’s unique formula expands to fully fill the void—even above the entrance. No additional drilling is required which is safer and saves time. It was determined that the significantly hollowed-out pole was compromised and was replaced. Even so, UPR was applied to determine its effectiveness on this significant woodpecker damage.

A lineman on a Utility pole

A Gaff-able, Load-bearing Repaired Pole

The pole with the smaller hole, was repaired with UPR™ and remained up for the rodeo event. The repaired pole was inspected and determined to be gaff-able and load bearing—both qualities needed for the upcoming competition. Cross sections of the hollowed-out (removed) pole were examined. It was determined that the UPR had bonded to the wood which prevents moisture from seeping in and further degrading the pole. It was also evident that UPR had fully sealed the hole—from the bottom to the top—due to its 3-times expansion. It was concluded that Polywater UPR is a safe and effective solution for repairing damage to wooden poles.

A stack of cross sections of a utility pole repaired by Polywater UPR