Digger derricks are among the most versatile tools on a utility line construction project. They are built to tackle a myriad of tasks, from digging holes and lifting and setting poles to turning in screw anchors, putting lineworkers in the air and setting transformers. In short, digger derricks are hardworking tools used to solve a variety of challenges.
However, given the versatility of a digger derrick, there are specific work practices that need to be followed, such as those for removing and setting poles. When work practices are not performed correctly, equipment can be damaged. If you’ve ever used a digger derrick boom to rock a pole loose or used the load line to forcibly remove a pole, you should know both practices are prohibited by manufacturers. They are prohibited because doing so can impose unknown loads and forces on the digger derrick that its key components are not designed to withstand.
Among the main components of a digger derrick that can sustain damage due to pole rocking are the pedestal, turntable, boom, cylinders, pole guides, subframe, outriggers and winch. All of these are costly to repair or replace if damaged, plus downtime for repairs can put the equipment out of service for extended periods.