Supporting growth around the world. It's what we do.
Water, salt, coastal air, fog, mist, erosion, high winds, hot or corrosive soils, swampy environments and fire are just a few of the conditions that wreak havoc on most transmission poles—but not spun concrete.
The unique attributes of steel give our engineers ultimate flexibility to create transmission poles that meet load requirements, industry standards and your expectations.
With Valmont® Utility, every lattice tower we create has to meet your specifications and your customers’ expectations.
PyraMAX® structures are designed and manufactured to deliver significant cost savings and an alternative to lattice, large spans, transposition, dead-end and crossing structures.
SteelCOR® base plates meet your demands for strength and durability while mitigating the risk of unpredictable supply from traditional steel mills.
The hybrid is ideal for those times when you need the exceptional height, strength and light weight of steel (in the air) with the quick installation and impermeability of concrete (in the ground).
Our industry-leading engineers have developed some of the most innovative steel and concrete structures in the power delivery industry.
Newmark® transmission poles offer the versatility and light weight of steel, the low maintenance and durability of concrete (spun and static cast), or a hybrid that gives you the benefits of both.
With even uniformity and outstanding durability, steel and concrete distribution poles offer you a superior alternative to wood poles.
Developed through a partnership between Valmont® Utility and Valspar Protective coatings, TriFORCE™has set a new standard in below-grade protection. The key is combining a world- class duplex coating system with new innovations in advanced applications.
For nearly the same cost as wood, static cast concrete offers so much more. Static cast concrete poles are made from consistent and natural inert materials (water, sand and cement), which makes them highly resistant to sunlight, animals and insects, chemicals and airborne corrosive elements such as salt and moisture.
Newmark® distribution poles offer the versatility and light weight of steel, the low maintenance and durability of concrete (spun and static cast), or a hybrid that gives you the benefits of both.
We offer a full complement of tubular and standard steel, concrete and hybrid concrete/steel structures, complemented by a team of industry-leading engineers to develop a custom substation solution to meet your specifications.
At Valmont Utility, we plasma cut our holes during the manufacturing process. It may seem like a small thing, but there’s the big difference when compared to drilling or saw cutting.
We can produce or procure all your substation components, package them together and have them on-site ready for construction.
With Controlled Environment Construction (CEC), we first build your substation inside our facilities to eliminate the potential complications, test it to ensure functionality and ship it to your site in a small number of subassemblies for easy construction.
Whether you need to replace an existing bus run, have an entire yard delivered, or need one built for a new substation, we’ll design and build a bus that exceeds the quality you’ve come to expect from Valmont Utility.
PicPerf lives up to its name because it’s exterior surface is designed by the customer, ensuring they get fencing that helps any substation integrate seamlessly with their vision.
When protection is paramount for your substation, you’ll find SafeFence™ is paramount for you. The SafeFence™ substation perimeter system is a non-conductive, composite fence that provides safety and security.
Our patented splice joint provides for easier and safer installation of multi-section spun concrete poles.
Protect your line by protecting the structures that support it..
Using drone technology, Valmont Utility is reducing the risk, expense and time required by manual inspections, while also improving troubleshooting and data collection.
Brochures, catalogs, product sheets or test results. The choice and the information are all yours. Check back often. We’re adding new and updated literature all the time.
From our vision of the future, to our latest product or solutions, we want to show you Valmont Utility in a way that you’ve not likely seen it before. Watch now. And, check back often as new videos are always being posted.
Our attention to design and manufacturing details, matched with the inherent benefits of concrete, are helping utilities around the world discover the undisputed value of our spun concrete poles.
Our unique process were created to optimize product quality and on time delivery. Every time.
Why tell you that Valmont Utility poles meet or exceed industry loading standards when we can show you? Click below for the loading table(s) that will be most helpful.
These white papers helped make us better. We think they’ll help make you better, too.
Because FAQ Should Stand For “Found Answers Quickly”.
Who is Valmont Utility? Please take a moment now to learn more about what energizes us. Hopefully, it’s the same things that energize you, too.
What sets Valmont Utility apart? We are all driven by the same set of core values.
Engineered to Perform. The Capacity to Deliver. It all starts here.
Learn about Valmont's long and important history.
Scroll down the list of questions or click and go right to the topic of your choice.
A. Yes, Valmont Utility has been making multi-piece concrete poles for years. A typical multi-section pole is comprised of two or more sections joined with our patented tubular steel Splice Joint or bolted flange connection. See Splice Joint Concrete Poles for more information.
A. Yes, Valmont Utility has been providing wood pole equivalents (WPE) since day one. We have WPE designs for both ANSI 05.1 (appendix B) and NESC (ANSI C2-1997) requirements.
A. Concrete poles can be grounded externally or internally. External grounding is usually provided by attaching the ground wire to the pole surface using ground clips and cast-in threaded inserts. Internal grounding is usually provided by casting the ground wire into the wall of the pole during fabrication. A threaded "tank ground," also cast into the pole during fabrication, then provides the external connection for hardware attachments.
A. Simply put, cracking moment is the bending moment required to induce visible cracking in the outer surface of the concrete. Cracking moment, referred to as Mcr, is a somewhat subjective capacity that must be verified by testing (which Valmont Utility has done extensively).
A. Valmont Utility does not officially endorse or specify any particular overload factors. However, most of our customers use the National Electric Safety Code (NESC C2-1997) as a starting point for their loading criteria. Other guidelines can be found in:
Structural Standards for Steel Antenna Towers and Antenna Supporting Structures (ANSI/TIA/EIA 222 F 1996) (June 1996)
Standard Specifications for Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaires and Traffic Signals (I-LTS-3)
A. There are times when a structure may need additional holes after it is received in the field. Field drilling of pre-stressed concrete poles is actually fairly common. The task can be relatively simple and take minimal time provided proper equipment is used. A properly sized rotor hammer drill with a carbide-tipped 4-point masonry bit is used to bore through one wall thickness of the pole. The drill is then repositioned 180 degrees, at the same elevation as the bored hole, to bore the other side of the pole; thus completing the pathway through the pole. If pre-stress strand is encountered, the hole is normally repositioned slightly away from the strand. The spiral wire can easily be drilled through by using the hammer mode on the drill. This process normally takes only a few minutes per side. Proper equipment should be used and aligned properly. Any exposed steel should be cleaned and coated prior to using the field drilled hole. Minor spalling of concrete is acceptable. Recently developed heavy duty core saw bits allow the user to drill through the pre-stressed stranded cable.
A. This is as a great opportunity for customers of both brands. If you’re were a Newmark customer in the past, you’ll still get the same quality Newmark pole, backed by Valmont’s superior service. If you’re a Valmont Utility customer, you now have the Newmark product line to help meet your needs.
A. The steel pole operation at Valmont Utility is certified with AISC (American Institute for Steel Construction). Our entire staff of quality assurance personnel maintains high-level certifications with AWS (American Welding Society) and CWIs (Certified Welding Inspectors). Our quality program goes beyond just the welding and fabrication processes and also addresses our systems to service our customers and maintain proper communications with our suppliers.
A. Typically, individual transmission pole piece sections range up to 60 feet in length depending on the application. However, longer sections can be supplied by circumferential welding or pre-assembly. Regardless of individual section length, pole structures can be supplied up to the 250-foot range and higher.
A. Extraordinary diameters can be provided if necessary. Typical diameters, however, range up to 120 inches. Diameters are preferred to be less than 84 inches when hot-dip galvanized finish is requested.
A. Yes, we have been supplying wood pole equivalents (WPEs) from the start. Many customers prefer to specify their requirements by calling out a wood pole class equivalent. We can, of course, assist in evaluating the application with our staff of professional engineers. We also offer hybrid NewPole™ standard wood pole equivalents. NewPole is Valmont Utility's patented sectional composite, hybrid pole that combines the strengths of durable spun-concrete and lightweight tapered steel.
A. We use high-strength low-alloy steel conforming to the requirements set forth in applicable standards; ASTM A572 for poles supplied with a galvanized or painted surface, and ASTM A871 for poles supplied with a self-weathering finish. All steel used in the manufacturing of our products also conforms to special requirements pertaining to chemistry and brittleness testing.
A. We provide any finish you need for your application. Typically, these would be galvanized, painted or self-weathering finishes.
A. Steel pole assembly methods depend upon how the joints are designed. Most of the time, our poles are designed with a "slip-splice." The matching sections are equipped with "jacking-nuts" and are joined together either by cable or chain hoists or hydraulic jack equipment. Depending upon space constraints, the pole can be assembled horizontally on the ground and then erected, or stacked vertically, section by section. Another type of connection is the bolted flange.
A. Steel in contact with the ground must be protected from corrosion. There are three means available to increase corrosion resistance - groundsleeves, galvanizing and epoxy paint. Groundsleeves incorporate a double wall of material at the groundline, where both moisture and oxygen combine to attack the steel. Galvanizing produces an alloy layer with the steel, as well as a minimum millage of zinc to protect the steel. Epoxy paint, such as coal tar epoxy or corrocote, provide an outer layer of corrosion resistance. Further, for superior protection of direct embedded steel poles, Valmont Utility offers the TriFORCE™ coating system, which provides unsurpassed corrosion protection just above and below grade (ground level). The product innovation combines a proper duplex coating system with an advanced application process that creates an exceptionally high level of defense to combat corrosion.
A. Yes. Please contact Valmont Utility to discuss in more detail international shipping.
A. Valmont Utility provides some of the shortest lead times in the industry, but we will not commit to a lead time that we deem unreasonable. At Valmont Utility, we take pride in meeting our customers' expectations.
A. The equivalency is based on loading specified by ANSI 05.1 for each wood pole class, and then modified by a ratio of overload factors for wood and steel NESC (ANSI C2-2017).
A. Wood naturally deteriorates with age. Wood poles are subject to rot, fungus and decay, as well as attack by insects and woodpeckers, all of which will reduce structural strength. In most utility applications, the "normal" life of a wood pole is approximately 30 years. Steel, on the other hand, has a much longer life span, especially when corrosion is kept in check. Galvanizing is an effective deterrent to corrosion for above-ground applications and many below-grade applications. There are other high-performance coatings that have been developed for below-grade protection when soil conditions warrant it. These coatings, in conjunction with galvanizing, can extend the lifespan of steel considerably.
A. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utility Services (RUS) does not approve material. They have a listing of approved suppliers of material. Valmont Utility is on the list as an approved supplier of steel poles. Rural Electrification Administration (REA) co-ops that have used steel distribution poles have indicated in their work plans they are being used "to gain experience and to look to the future." The application of steel distribution poles may require conditional approval for use on RUS funded projects.
A. Structurally, steel distribution poles can be used just like their wood counterparts. In addition, since steel poles are conductive, they offer an added benefit of being an efficient path to ground, which may replace the ground wire used on wood poles. The hardware currently used on wood poles usually works well with steel poles, but consideration should be given to line reliability issues, such as BIL.
A. Valmont Utility provides one grounding device at the ground line as a standard for all distribution poles. It is very easy to add additional ground nut devices (i.e., at the transformer location) during fabrication, should the utility indicate such a need. Our standard is a ½-inch diameter threaded insert. This detail will also accept the grounding stud used with transformers. Additional threaded inserts can also be added in the field by the utility at the time of pole installation, should they be required.
A. Because steel poles are round and approximately the same diameter as their wood counterparts, any transformers currently mounted on wood poles should be able to be mounted on steel.
A. The same safety procedures and precautions currently being used for wood poles should be used for steel poles in this type of application. Steel poles are conductive and wood poles are generally considered to be conductive during hot line insertion.
A. Steel distribution poles would need to be guyed if the wood pole it is replacing would have been guyed. The steel pole can be guyed just as you would a wood pole using the same hardware. By using a stronger class steel pole, though, it may be possible to eliminate the need for guys altogether.
A. Steel poles can be guyed using the same hardware currently used for wood poles. Permanent attachments such as vangs can be welded into the poles for attaching guys but this will increase the delivery times and pole costs. The use of your current hardware and construction standards means no additional changes have to be done to enable a utility to start using steel distribution poles. Valmont Utility is happy to work with you regarding any specific hardware questions you may have.
A. The preferred method of lifting the poles is to use nylon slings. While a galvanized pole is very tough and abrasion resistant, it is not recommended that chains be used when handling them. During storage in the material yard blocking should be used to keep the poles off the ground and to separate each layer just as you currently are doing with your wood poles.
A. A tag is attached to the pole with the manufacturer's name, pole height and class stamped on it. If the utility wishes to tag the poles with other information they can easily add a tag using self-tapping screws, pop rivets or adhesives.
A. There is no standard for the number of holes in a Valmont Utility pole. The utility may specify the number and location of holes they would like, and Valmont Utility will provide holes during fabrication. Additional holes can also be field-drilled, should they be required.
A. Holes can easily be drilled using either a hole saw or stepped "Christmas Tree" style of bit. The Rota broach works best, since it requires less force or energy to drill a hole. Twist drill bits are not as easy to use, since they use more energy to drill a hole. Drill speed should be limited to 300 rpm or less.
A. When required, Valmont Utility offers a 100% solids polyurethane coating for below-grade protection. This product replaces traditional coal tar epoxies and has been successfully used in the transmission industry. The requirement for below-grade protection needs to be determined by the utility, as it depends on a number of factors, such as how well drained the soil is and the corrosion potential in the soil. Experience with galvanized ground rods, lighting poles or transmission/substation structures in the area can be helpful in determining coating requirements.
A. Valmont Utility does not recommend shrink wrap as a barrier coating due to the possibility of water wicking into the gaps between the wrap and the pole. Valmont Utility offers two factory applied barrier coatings for below-grade protection. First is a spray-on polyurethane coating, discussed above. The second is a steel groundsleeve.
A. A variety of finishes are available with steel, including galvanized, paint over galvanized (powder coat or liquid), dulled and darkened galvanizing and weathering steel. Below-grade coatings are available for direct embedded poles.
A. In short, if your desired BIL or critical flashover voltage calculations include the insulating properties of the wood pole, then the results will be different with a steel pole. The differences can either be overcome by using different hardware (i.e., larger insulators, bigger air gap, fiberglass material change) or by evaluating the BIL of the steel installation and how it supports your overall reliability goals. Valmont Utility is happy to work with you regarding your particular construction approach and how it might affect overall system performance.
A. Utilities that are concerned with electrocution of raptors, or other birds of prey, have modified their distribution configuration to minimize the threat to these birds. Typically, this modification on 3-phase construction consists of dropping the cross arm, with the outside phases, 43 inches. This same construction can be used with steel poles. In addition, it may be necessary to field-apply a layer of heat shrink wrap just above the cross arm to prevent the possibility of a phase-to-ground contact. In the case of single-phase construction where a bird may sit on top of the pole, Valmont Utility can supply a special pole top cap to prevent the bird from coming in contact with the pole.
A. Our parent company Valmont Industries, Inc. (VMI) has been in business for more than 70 years and has been providing steel poles to the utility industry for more than 40 years. Our engineers are very familiar with industry requirements and are active in several industry organizations, such as IEEE and ASCE. Valmont Utility has been manufacturing poles similar to the distribution poles for more than 30 years, and has supplied several million of them throughout North America and around the world. Our multiple manufacturing locations worldwide means short delivery times and has resulted in an excellent on-time shipping record. We have a network of manufacturer representatives who are local and can answer any questions concerning the product or reply promptly to any concerns you may have regarding Valmont Utility product. We constantly invest in new equipment, so we have the latest technology for galvanizing or painting poles and related transmission, distribution and substation structures.
A. Valmont Utility can provide an optional, removable climbing safety step that fits into holes in the pole.
A. During the galvanizing process, the entire pole is immersed in the bath of molten zinc. Because the pole is immersed in both the cleaning solutions, flux and zinc, the inside surface is adequately cleaned and a layer of zinc bonds to the pole. This process protects the pole inside and out. On painted poles, only the outside of the pole can be painted. Due to their small size, there is no way to mechanically clean the inside of the pole adequately for the paint to bond to the surface. This is why non-galvanized painted steel poles need to be sealed, to prevent moisture from reaching the interior surface and causing corrosion. If paint over galvanizing is specified, there is no need to be concerned about the pole interior, as the zinc bath will provide protection.
A. Since the steel poles are designed to be equivalent to wood poles per NESC Grade B construction, they can generally be used on a one-for-one basis.
A. Steel poles weigh 1/3 to 1/2 less than comparable wood poles. (See comparison chart in the Engineering Information section.)
A. All poles come with a welded-on bearing plate to prevent the poles from settling into the soil when a vertical load is applied. This bearing plate is sized to be similar to provide the equipment bearing pressure of an equivalent wood pole.
A. Testing was performed using non-combination loads to determine the ultimate static load capacity for the step. The point load was applied to test specimens at differing locations and directions with the following results:
A. Please see the beginning of the quick reference section catalog of the Valmont Utility technical binder for ordering options and how to specify poles.
A. Typically, all the hardware you are now using will fit on a steel pole also. Click here for information on Shakespeare composite tangent crossarms, which are produced by Valmont Composites Structures.
A. The same hardware currently being used for your wood poles should work with steel poles, because they are round and of approximately the same diameter.
A. Because Valmont Utility has several manufacturing locations, standard poles can be shipped quickly after receipt of an order. This time may be reduced for emergency situations, or in stocking programs.
A. Valmont Utility steel poles are optimized by their sizing to meet their strength performance designs. Plate thicknesses range from 0.120 inches to 0.313 inches. See our Class Steel Pole Catalog in the quick reference section for actual thickness by pole size.
A. Although it may be possible if excessive force is used, Valmont Utility is not aware of this problem occurring when standard practices are followed. This includes using 4-inch square washers under the heads, or nuts, of the bolts. Also, since steel poles are dimensionally stable, and do not shrink like wood poles, there is no need to overtighten the hardware. We recommend using a turn-of-the-nut method to attach hardware.
A. The number varies depending on the size of the pole. See Valmont Utility's Distribution Pole Chart for the truckload quantity for each pole size.
A. Valmont Utility uses wood dunnage between poles to prevent them from rubbing together during shipment and damaging the finish. At your request, we can bundle the poles so they are easily lifted and moved in a group. This eliminates the need to pick each pole up separately, as in wood construction.
A. Most utilities who are using steel poles still put a gain between the arm and the pole. The gain provides a good, flat surface to mount the arm to, and due to its curved surface also provides good bearing surface to the pole. It keeps the arm from rocking on the pole. We know of utilities who have not installed gains. Utilities can use either the standard gain used on wood poles or a plastic gain that has a smooth surface both against the pole and the arm. Increasingly, braceless construction is being used where the cross arm has its own gain base. Judging by customer feedback, these cross arms work very well on steel poles.
A. Yes, two-piece poles are available. The two-piece pole utilizes a slip fit connection, similar to that used in transmission pole applications.
A. Normally twisting or turning of a steel pole is not a problem. However, should a utility feel it could occur for their application the utility could easily drill a couple of holes in the base and attach either bolts or other equipment to prevent this from occurring.
28800 Ida Street
Valley, Nebraska USA 68064
+1 800 533 5103
© 2018 Valmont Industries, Inc.