Editor's Letter: Selective Brush Control and the Proper Mulching Equipment Help Create Successful Right of Way Vegetation Maintenance

Right of way vegetation maintenance can be greatly enhanced when using the right herbicides for brush control. This issue of Utility Products brings you two feature articles that discuss how your utility can improve its right of way maintenance practices and save money.

Jul 1st, 2018

Right of way vegetation maintenance can be greatly enhanced when using the right herbicides for brush control. This issue of Utility Products brings you three feature articles that discuss how your utility can improve its right of way maintenance and save money. “How Selective Brush Control can Save Green in Two Ways” presents how herbicides helped Alabama Power maximize its budget. Using herbicides to treat areas, such as around a distribution pole, costs about $8 per treatment vs. treating the same area using mechanical methods for $125 to $150, it’s reported. And the value grows when you consider the many thousands of distribution line miles involved. Selective herbicides will help you preserve grass and desirable vegetation—such as wildflowers—while choking out weeds and brush.

Bill Schafer’s article, “New Mulching Head Designs to Sink Your Teeth Into,” takes a look at changes the vegetation industry has seen with the use of mulching heads on skid steers, excavators and other power units. Mulching heads now better accommodate operators due to changing trends, rotor redesigns, depth gauge advantages, and carbide tooth compatibility.

The “Right Way of Maintenance,” by Bill Dawson, discusses how, when maintaining your fleet, there isn’t a right or wrong way. There is, however, a best way suited to each business. Dawson outlines available options and how the advantages of a third-party provider can make business sense.

Another great feature article, “Ready, Set, Flight: Harnessing the Power of Drones for Utility,” by Patrick Lohman, addresses the advantages drones offer to utilities. “Drones are less time-consuming, dangerous and inefficient than conducting analysis of distribution assets on foot. Drone technology offers new efficiencies and intelligence to utility companies by augmenting the inspection workflow,” Lohman reports. And recent changes in drone regulations, particularly the permission to perform beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights, have opened up new opportunities for utilities and others.

This issue also brings you an informative lineup of product focus articles. Don Leick’s article, “How Storm Impact Analytics can Save Utilities; Part II: Machine Learning Methodologies,” discusses exactly what machine learning is and how it can be leveraged to advance utility storm preparation and restoration efforts.

Even with the proper tools, SF6 gas or sulfur hexafluoride can be difficult to spot—and inspections require patience. The article, “How to Capture Gas Images with the Latest Infrared SF6 Gas Detectors” presents eight steps for successfully capturing gas images.

“Encryption is Key when using Removable Drives,” by Ruben Lugo, discusses how a significant component of cyber security risk is the use of USB drives. While they have revolutionized data transfers, they have also introduced serious security concerns. Lugo addresses how to combat the disadvantages of using standard unencrypted consumer USB drives with Kingston Technology’s encrypted USB drives, which help businesses transport their mobile data securely.

Other great product focus articles include how to protect electrical substations with thermal perimeter detection, how to prevent tool theft on the jobsite, and how cable rejuvenation is a viable option for underground cable repair.

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