Distribution Crews in Florida Set 58 Poles Spanning 1.62 Miles in 48 Hours

Jun 15, 2023

Irby knew from the get-go that Job 2839 was going to require special planning and effective teamwork. The work order required work to be performed that didn’t meet the adjacent transmission line clearance. The substation optimization project in Port Richey, Florida was complex, to say the least. A scheduled outage would be required, therefore making an on-time delivery even more critical.

Team Irby is no stranger to the complexities, organization, and management of this line of work. So, we set out with a plan, called all hands on deck, and executed accordingly. Assistant Superintendent, Ricky Hobby, and two overhead General Foremen, Michael Adams and Jeremy Sanderson, developed a plan that involved 12 overhead crews. Fifty-eight poles needed to be set in less than 48 hours.

Due to congestion in the area, all 58 holes had to be dug by hand. To expedite the timeline, six crews worked during the day laying out the poles and digging holes, and six other crews worked through the night setting the poles during a 10 p.m. transmission scheduled outage. An Irby transmission crew was onsite with the distribution team both nights actively testing and grounding the transmission line.

The team faced two big challenges in addition to the already tight timeline and handwork required. First, the rainy weather was not in our favor. Second, locates were missed or wrongly marked in many cases. This held up our production and halted our original plans for a short period. Thankfully, Ricky Hobby was able to work quickly to track down the various locate companies to get all necessary locations marked correctly.

While work was held up, crews shifted in real-time to assist others. The team kept busy, loading and hauling poles and were able to mobilize to complete their original work plan as soon as the locates were complete.

Our resilient crews went above and beyond to ensure everything was ready for the next shift coming in. They worked long hours and remained on site the entire course of production. The project was successful, and we were able to get all 58 poles set for a total distance of 1.62 miles. Power was restored as planned, and the project was completed on time within the 48-hour window.