Winter storms keep utility pole supply company busy -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Winter storms keep utility pole supply company busy

Mike Jones, Balfour Pole Company VP Mike Jones, Balfour Pole Company VP

Wintry weather is keeping a utility pole supply company in South Georgia busy. Products from Balfour Pole Company in Baconton are often in high demand during hurricane season. But winter storms can also knock down utility poles.   

This truck is sending more than 30 utility poles to a chemical treating company in Valdosta. Balfour officials say the importing of timber and the exporting of utility poles has kept them busy this winter.    

"We've had a bunch of storms up in the Midwest where our largest utility customer base is, and so earlier in the winter we were shipping poles up there," said Mike Jones.  

Jones says his company sends 40 truckloads a week to treating companies in Valdosta and Alabama. Today, at least 8 trucks will head to those areas.  

"We're starting to get winter storms that are pushing further down into the South, and needless to say we watch them, and we're ready to go when the lines start coming down," said Jones.    

This pole peeler processes more than 300 poles a day. The shavings are sent up to this boiler to be burned. The finished poles sit in these dry kilns for three days before going to treating companies that frame the poles to be used to hold power lines. Jones says hurricanes and winter storms affect utility poles differently.  

"Winter storms they break up a lot of poles, but there's not as much loss of life," said Jones.    

Jones says replacing utility poles wouldn't be possible without the people who supply the timber.  

"Area landowners really realize how important it is to supply this raw material, and we're real thankful to the area landowners," said Jones.  

Jones says now is a good time for timber owners to sell trees. He expects to supply more utility poles to chemical treating companies as the winter season continues.

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