- Adam Schmehl
No Experience Needed!
Updated: Mar 27
Utility pole data collection and engineering has always required both industry knowledge and considerable experience.
Having accurate attachment and equipment heights is crucial for both utility and communication companies, but collecting high volumes of data often presents a logistical challenge.
With FCC pole attachment timelines being as short as they are (and getting shorter), aggressive broadband deployment can require teams to churn through hundreds of poles each week of a project's lifecycle. Even if teams can keep up with this accelerated collection, there is still engineering to be done on each pole.
Most projects will need some level of make ready engineering. This requires the effort of a team member who has a comprehensive understanding of local, state, and national electric safety codes to propose attachment solutions that satisfy all clearance requirements. Additionally, pole loading analysis is appropriate to ensure that new attachments aren't putting the pole or the electrical grid at risk.
Traditionally, teams have sent one engineer to perform these surveys with a hot stick while creating a pole profile sheet, calling all necessary make ready, and performing some basic loading checks before moving on to the next pole.
The process can be quite efficient, but requires a field team with lots of experience and industry knowledge. It also attracts highly independent individuals who work best alone.
At Katapult, we do things a little differently.
We don't make any engineering decisions from the field, instead collecting photo documentation and calibrated height shots for office staff to review and measure later.
Because our field crews are now just taking photos, they don't need to understand make ready or pole loading to be successful.
Even in the office, someone new to the industry can easily understand how to process photos and begin measuring attachments and equipment while they learn more about the industry.
Instead of hiring experts to complete our pole loading jobs, our coders built custom exports to help our team work through loading faster than ever (PoleForeman, SpidaCalc, O-Calc, and more).
As measuring heights and performing pole loading analysis became more accessible, make ready engineering needed to be brought down a level, too. To solve this, we built a tool that uses customizable rules to flag violations for office staff to quickly resolve.
Our methodology is designed this way so that we can hire candidates we're excited about--even if they've never looked at a utility pole before. With our field and office workflow, you can hire the individuals that will boost morale and improve your company culture no matter their experience.
Contact us to learn more about the Katapult method and how our software can help your team meet and exceed your goals more efficiently than ever!