Editor's Letter: Check Out This Issue’s Readers’ Choice Awards and More!

In this issue, our Readers’ Choice Awards section features a collection of articles and product spotlights from 2017 that received the most interest. Every issue of Utility Products attempts to being you the latest and most applicable articles and information, and if there are any articles you missed last year, here is your chance to check out information to help make your job safer and more productive.

In this issue, our Readers’ Choice Awards section features a collection of articles and product spotlights from 2017 that received the most interest. Every issue of Utility Products attempts to being you the latest and most applicable articles and information, and if there are any articles you missed last year, here is your chance to check out information to help make your job safer and more productive.

“Climbing Animals and Substation Outages: Expensive, Damaging….Preventable” addresses what can be done to help eliminate animal-caused substation outages. Squirrels, raccoons, snakes and other climbing animals frequently enter substations, resulting in power outages that are becoming increasingly expensive. TransGard offers a solution with its substation fencing, which delivers a humane, but effective, electric shock that deters animals. TransGard completely prevents climbing animals from accessing substation equipment and deters them from trying again.

“Earth Ground Resistance Testing can Improve Uptime,” by Jit Patel, reviews how regular grounding measurements can be made without taking equipment offline. Patel discusses why to test grounding systems, ground testers and how they work, stakeless measurement, ground testing safety, and more.

Ron Grinfeld’s article, “Securing Critical Infrastructure,” addresses attempted attacks on the U.S. power grid that experts predict will continue, and how utilities must take steps to prepare for those attempted strikes. Grinfield discusses the biggest security challenges utility companies face and ways to protect themselves.

Jeff Jowett’s article, “The Importance and Benefits of Portable Testing,” outlines safety testing of portable electrical equipment in accordance with national and local standards. Electrical safety covers a wide range, and Jowett addresses how it can extend the life of equipment by keeping a regularly-updated maintenance regime.

“Commonly Overlooked Annual Inspection Items on Aerial Devices and Digger Derricks,” by Charlie Drummond, reviews some of the most frequently overlooked inspection items, listed in order of seriousness. Digger derrick and aerial device owners are responsible for ensuring their equipment is inspected annually—which can mean more than just meeting OSHA or ANSI requirements.

“Locating Short Drops and Fault Locating,” by Steve Benzie, presents helpful ways to locate a cable or pipe. In addition to the usual ways, Benzie elaborates on ensuring both ends are well earthed. He discusses when different techniques should be used and the procedures to follow.

This issue also brings you several great product focus articles. Check out Michael Hughes article, “GPS Automatic Vehicle Location...Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” and how, as a young engineer, he combined GPS and cellular telephones—and how it has progressed to where it is today. Other informative articles discuss best practices for utility pole inspections, and the do’s and don’ts of selecting the right cabling solution.

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