Safely managing vegetation growth in utility rights of way is an important aspect of providing consistent service to customers. This month's Utility Products brings you two informative feature articles to help you safely and effectively manage vegetation. In "Minimizing Spray Drift in Utility Herbicide Applications," spray drift is addressed as one of the most common causes of off-target injury. When herbicides drift to untargeted areas, damage to desirable vegetation or crops can result in environmental and financial consequences. This article discusses the importance of applicator training, choosing the correct spray equipment and how weather can affect drift.
Contributing editor Paul Hull's feature article, "Controlling Vegetation," outlines how there is no one-size-fits-all for managing vegetation growth. Every area has its own vegetation issues, and the types of vegetation that can threaten power lines vary in different locations. Hull reviews some of the steps utilities should take to deliver safe, reliable service-have a professional vegetation management program that employs trained tree-trimming field technicians for difficult areas, educate your customers about the appropriate shapes and sizes of vegetation near power lines, and inform customers about the correct use of herbicides.
Another feature article, "Utilities Mobilize Their Workforce With On-the-Go Communication" by Igor Glubochansky, addresseses how mobile technology is a key factor for utilities to improve their businesses and reduce costs. Field workers must have access to a reliable network, and utilities can help improve their fleet management service by providing mobile workers with instant Push-to-Talk (PTT) communications over a Long Term Evolution-based commercial network. Broadband data or video applications also help identify the location of workers equipped with a PTT device. The article also reviews other mobile workforce management applications that allow utilities to better manage their workforce.
This issue of Utility Products also brings you a great lineup of product focus articles. In "Fleet Innovations for the Utility Industry," Joe Caywood focuses on a customer-centered product approach to help utility crews get jobs done safely, quickly and affordably. Other informative articles present how tracked mulchers can handle tough terrain but be gentle enough for sensitive watersheds, how field workers can shift from paper forms to mobile business apps, how utilities can maximize their geographic information system investment, how utilities can deter energy theft, fiberglass vs. stainless enclosure material considerations, and field based cable length measurement for cable installers.