Our power company, Southern California Edison decided it was time to replace the 50-year-old power pole in the back corner of our yard. The pole is used to provide electric power and communications (phone and cable TV) to our house and our next door neighbor.
When they told me that they were going to park a crane in the middle of the street and lift the pole over a 70-foot ash tree in our back yard and drop it in a hole over 200 feet away, I was flabbergasted. What kind of a crane could do that? I was about to find out.
At 6:00 AM, a truck arrived in front of our house and offloaded a 40-foot pole onto the sidewalk The street was blocked off in both directions.
Awhile later, the crane arrived. It was big…but I was still skeptical.
They started up the crane and moved a bunch of big yellow plates from a truck onto the crane. I found out that these were ballast weights to stabilize the crane. Each one weighs 12 tons!
Then they started extending the crane. The arm consists of a series of nested cylinders just like a tripod leg or a telescope. A total of 5 extensions are possible, and they used all 5. A two-section folding boom is extended at the end of the cylinders. In this picture, only two of the cylinders are extended.
This picture shows all five cylinders extended.
Then they picked up the pole.
That little matchstick hanging up there is 40 feet long and weighs about a ton.
Over the top of the tree and down, down, down.
Looking at it again from the street, you can get a feel for the size and scale.
With the pole in place, the linemen get to work transferring all the wires from the old pole on the left to the new on the right. The palm tree is not as close as it looks.
Then they start removing the old pole in sections.
The pieces of the old pole were dropped onto a truck out in the street.
The whole operation was completed by about 3:00 PM.