Utility poles are everywhere, so much a part of the landscape that we don’t even notice them. That is, unless something goes wrong. A power or cable outage due to a defective utility pole is bad, sure. But did you know that about 10% of California’s wildfires are caused by utility pole failures, including Camp Fire, the worst wildfire in California state history? With so much potentially at stake, utility companies must maintain a rigorous inspection schedule to ensure their utility poles are in good repair.
And that’s where Fulcrum comes in: with the must-be-correct urgency of data accuracy, automatic geotagging of every record, and ability to collect data even when far away from a mobile network, Fulcrum checks all the boxes for utility companies (and those who work for the utilities) looking to do a thorough, efficient, and above all, accurate, utility pole inspection software. That’s why Osmose Utilities Services Company, a leading service provider safeguarding North American utility infrastructure, chose Fulcrum to help it perform pole inspections. Read below to discover even more utility pole inspection software success stories from the field!
Celerity Integrated Services – A telecom contracting company that designs, builds, and services fiber optic and wireless infrastructure, Celerity uses Fulcrum to conduct pole audits, route maintenance, and feasibility studies for its Pennsylvania utility, education, and government clients. With field teams often working far from networks, Celerity needed a platform that supported offline mapping – and one that allowed for techs to download and follow routes 200 km long and longer, without being dependent upon a signal. In addition to saving time by not having to return to the office to sync inspection data, Celerity can share the data it collects with its clients, including repair statuses, as work is completed.
“For every hour we spend in the field, we’re saving about 20 minutes back in the office. It’s a noticeable difference.”
Northpower – One the largest multi-utility contractors in New Zealand, Northland is responsible for auditing and inspecting over 85,000 pillars. Using its previous pen-and-paper method, Northland retained two full-time employees plus one full-time contractor to complete pillar inspections at a rate of 45 inspections total per day. After the switch to Fulcrum, now the two employees can perform 60 inspections today, eliminating the need to use a contractor while still increasing team productivity by a third. In addition, Fulcrum’s mapping capabilities allow the field team to locate the approximately 10% of pillars that are typically obscured by vegetation, eliminating the need for repeat site visits.
“The introduction of the iPads to the field inspectors has had a dramatic impact on the business. Inspectors can plan their routes better with a map representation of all pillars to be inspected. We’re now able to visit all pillars in a patrol. Missed pillars are a thing of the past which has improved the overall safety, and we’re doing more work with fewer people.”
RAM Utilities – RAM Utilities, now a part of Exo, performs infrastructure inspections and asset management for utilities, in particular wood utility pole audits and restoration services. Before making the switch to Fulcrum, RAM used a custom offline web application run on iPods to perform data collection in the field. However, iOS platform updates led to application unreliability, translating to lost time in the field, jeopardizing RAM’s ambitious 150/day inspection schedule. With Fulcrum, RAM created a basic application template for core data collection activities, quickly customizing as needed to suit individual client requirements. In addition, Fulcrum allows RAM field teams access to existing customer information when out performing inspections, greatly increasing the productivity and efficiency of inspection teams while also allowing RAM’s customers to field check their existing databases. Fulcrum’s offline maps and record storage supports field teams even as they collect data in remote areas, far from network connectivity. And finally, RAM uses Fulcrum’s customized reporting to generate daily summary reports so managers can track progress and provide incentives for teams to reach productivity goals.
“We have always found Fulcrum staff to be responsive to our ideas for improvement and requests for support when the need arises. Quite simply, we couldn’t be happier with Fulcrum. It is an indispensable part of our company.”
Interested in learning more about Fulcrum for utility pole inspections and maintenance? Get inspired by the Fulcrum implementation story of Osmose Utilities Services, a leading provider of mobile inspection services for utilities. . . or give it a field test for yourself with our free trial!