A “tall tale” only in terms of tree-trimming reach – with big reliability benefits for you

The Jarraff at work in south Hillsborough County in service to your power reliability.

The Jarraff at work in south Hillsborough County in service to your power reliability.

Say one thing about Florida: vegetation loves to grow. And for a company like Tampa Electric that loves trees and has the credentials to show for it, we have to grow to meet our customers’ growing needs for safe, reliable power.

All of this opens the door for some cool tools to safely ensure you have the reliable power you deserve – tools like the all-terrain tree-trimmer from Jarraff that we’re now using along distribution power line corridors with heavy growth.

Recently, this has included the area around Sun City Center in South Hillsborough County. Distribution lines are the conduits between much larger transmission lines and the transformers that reduce voltage so that it’s suitable for homes and businesses to receive it. When distribution corridors become choked with growth, power reliability suffers – since trees touching power lines are a sizeable factor in causing power outages.

At the same time, trimming trees (which only trained professionals should handle) can be dangerous and labor-intensive when it’s a crew of workers in bucket trucks doing the trimming. That’s why the need for equipment that lets us clear vegetation safely and efficiently is a must. And with that in mind, a tree-trimmer with 75-foot reach and a 3,200-rpm blade is good for you and good for us, too.

A closer look at the trimmer.

A closer look at the trimmer.

“In just two weeks of using the Jarraff trimmer, we completed twice as much tree-trimming as we would’ve been able to do manually,” said Stuart Lansing, line clearance arborist with Tampa Electric. “Several property owners have been thrilled to see not only the trimming clearance, but the trimming in practice as well.”

Lead Line Clearance Arborist John Webster had positive feedback of his own to add.

“Because TECO’s service territory is so urban, we’re generally limited in how much we can use mechanical trimmers, but Stuart and Manager of Line Clearance and Construction Services Bob Hamric (along with our contractor Trees Inc.) felt there was an opportunity to employ the Jarraff technology in South Hillsborough County,” he said. “The expectation is this equipment will cut the time it normally takes to trim the 118-mile circuit by nearly half, providing higher efficiency at a lower cost. If this experiment is a success, I expect we will further expand the use of the technology going forward.”

An example of what high-quality vegetation management looks like: trees near the power lines have been trimmed in a way that protects their health. With new equipment, we can do jobs like this faster and more effectively.

An example of what high-quality vegetation management looks like: trees near the power lines have been trimmed in a way that protects their health. With new equipment, we can do jobs like this faster and more effectively.

Looking forward means many things – including anticipating the next major storm. Before that happens, we’ll stay hard at work managing the vegetation that adds to what we love about this corner of Florida. It’s a place where we can count on one thing: trees will grow.

But so too will the efforts of those entrusted to trim trees to maintain your reliability.

“Right after Hurricane Irma, several lineman and power grid troubleshooters told me the tree-trimming we did on that circuit saved a lot of people’s power and enabled us to focus our attention in other places,” Lansing said. “What has shown to be a big success so far points toward more we can achieve to benefit the community.”

 

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