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Video Series Details National Standards for Design, Use of Wood Pole Overhead Systems

image credit: NAWPC
Butch Bernhardt's picture
Sr. Program Manager, Western Wood Preservers Institute

Butch Bernhardt is the Senior Program Manager for the Western Wood Preservers Institute and the North American Wood Pole Council. His responsibilities include product education, technical...

  • Member since 2018
  • 4 items added with 2,375 views
  • Aug 5, 2020

Wood utility poles are the backbone of the North American electricity distribution system. A new video series offers a primer on that backbone by building an understanding of the national standards that guide the structural and engineering uses of wood poles.

The North American Wood Pole Council (NAWPC) has produced a three-part video series entitled National Wood Pole Standards. The videos explore wood pole design and engineering as guided by ANSI 05.1 - Wood Poles, Specifications and Dimensions and the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC).

Each video is 16 to 19 minutes in length and is narrated by Nelson Bingel, chair of both the ASC 05 Committee and the NESC.

Part 1 reviews the standards guiding the production and use of wood utility poles, the scope of those standards and the unique strengths and loading for wood poles. Part 2 discusses wood pole species, applied loads, pole circumferences, and groundline and height stresses. Part 3 reviews the NESC, grades of construction, transverse loading and other design factors.

The videos can be viewed in a preview window on the NAWPC website at There also are links to view the videos on YouTube.

Supplementing the videos are several Technical Bulletins on wood pole engineering. These includes an overview of wood structural criteria that should be considered in designing overhead systems and details on the unique overloading capacity of wood poles.

NAWPC is an independent council representing the North American pressure-treated wood pole and crossarm industry. It is supported by member companies from the Western Wood Preservers Institute, Southern Pressure Treaters' Association and Wood Preservation Canada.


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