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Project: T164700 #50/135

This report compares the characteristics and total ownership costs of various types of commercially available poles used in distribution systems in North America and Europe. The types of traditional wood poles that are considered include: southern yellow pine, Lodgepole pine, red pine, Douglas fir, and western red cedar. The types of non-wood poles that are considered include: steel, ductile iron, cast concrete, spun concrete, and composite. Laminated wood poles are also examined, which are engineered wood product.

Total lifecycle cost is calculated by an algorithm that simulates the life of a pole over a 100 year period. The simulation includes initial costs, ongoing inspection costs, and potential costs due to planned and unplanned replacements. A Monte Carlo simulation is used that calculates the average life cycle cost over a large number of simulations and also calculates the standard deviation of results. This simulation algorithm has been implemented in a spreadsheet application.


Utility pole, distribution pole, wood pole, steel pole, ductile iron pole, laminated wood pole, concrete pole, cast concrete pole, spun concrete pole, composite pole, life cycle cost