Editor's Letter: Vegetation Management: There is a Variety of Solutions for Growth Control in Your Area

Managing vegetation growth can be an ongoing battle, but there are solutions to help make the job easier for utilities while keeping customers happy.

Managing vegetation growth can be an ongoing battle, but there are solutions to help make the job easier for utilities while keeping customers happy. In this issue, we have two feature articles that discuss how the appropriate equipment offers versatility when clearing vegetation and the importance of having experts trim trees and vegetation near power lines.

In Bill Schafer's article, "Go Small or Go Home," how mulching attachments and compact trimmers provide vegetative clearing versatility is addressed. While there are times and places for large clearing equipment, there are situations when small and compact equipment are more beneficial--such as in urban areas. Schafer discusses technological advancements and how skid-steers, compact excavators or even small tractors can be used for many jobs.

And contributing editor Paul Hull's article, "Growth Control," investigates solutions to responsibly controlling vegetation growth. Managing vegetation that interferes with our utility infrastructure has never been easy, Hull points out, and what is a nuisance in one area is unheard of in another area--and vice versa. Hull discusses the importance of maintaining a schedule, which will vary from region to region, and why trimming trees is a procedure for experts.

Also in this issue are two feature articles that review outage response. "Reducing Outages Through Improved Prediction, Management and Real-time Mobile Data Access," by John Dirkman, outlines how mitigative steps can help electric utilities better predict, prepare for, manage, resolve and report on outages. And "Managing Complex Storm Assignments," by Andy Tiao and Michelle Gionta, discusses how Con Edison, in the mid-1990s, created the Municipal Liaison Program to provide support to municipalities during emergencies and to foster information-sharing during such events by assigning storm roles (municipal liaison) to full-time employees.

This issue of Utility Products also brings you a great lineup of product focus articles. "Composite Poles Prove to be Solution Providers for Utilities" addresses how the use of composite material for poles and crossarms is gaining acceptance in the utility industry. And in "Company is Transitioning to LEDs to Cut Costs, Improve Service," see how LED lighting can function more than five times longer than high-pressure sodium lights and consume about one-third the energy. In addition, "Safety Means ‘Hands Off'" outlines how a hydraulic material handling attachment protects utility crews installing telephone poles.

Other great articles discuss cybersecurity approaches, choosing the best mobile computing tool for your needs, and how 10-year radio frequency cables can provide you with better cellular reliability and quality.

John Tabor
Associate Editor

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