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jaes 08-17-2008 08:07 AM

Odd subject: Bumpers for utility poles?
I have two properties with parking in the back of the house, and just off the alley (small city). ----Unfortunately, there are utility poles that run along the alley---And, on each of the two properties, there is a utility pole that is placed such that one must be careful, when backing out of parking, and onto alley, ---If they are not very careful, they will back into the utility pole (causing much damage to car). The easy solution to avoid car damage, is simply be careful when backing out. However, in the past ten years three people have backed into the poles----the last person was my wife (1 week ago--much $$$damage to car). Is there something I can place in front of the utility poles? (a plastic/vinyl barrel with sand in it?) ---or something to rap around the pole. --Regarding the last idea, I did find a website that was selling pole bumpers-- they rapped around the pole ---they were 41" high---cost, just under $200.00 each. ---These bumpers may be the best solution---(it would cost me $400.00 for the two poles). Sand, in a good quality garbage can, might also do the trick. Anyway, before spending $400, I thought I would explain the problem in this Forum--- to see if there were alternative solutions. Yes, I will contact the utility company to see if it is ok to do something about the problem. Any suggestions would be most appreciated (moving the utility poles is not an option). If you know of a product, manufacture's name, model # and/or website would be extremely helpful. Thanks,---Jaes.:)

HandyPete 08-17-2008 11:12 AM

Hi! Personally, I don't have the answer to your question but, your on the right track and your pretty close to the solution. I think it's a good idea not to touch the pole in any way. The least you have to do with POCO the better. Does the pole need 360 protection? I have a tendency to think a 6" steel tube filled with concrete will stop anything and if you can find a foam sleeve (like the kind kids play with in the pool) that can fit over it your in business. I'd also google sources that sell supplies for loading docks. -pete

jaes 08-17-2008 01:18 PM

"Does the pole need 360 protection? I have a tendency to think a 6" steel tube filled with concrete will stop anything and if you can find a foam sleeve (like the kind kids play with in the pool) that can fit over it "

--No, pole does not need 360 degree protection. --The idea of a 6" steel tube, filled with concrete, with foam sleeve over it---still would cause damage to car---at least to car fender (I think). You idea about staying away from the power company's pole (e.g., rapping it with a big, thick bumper) --is probably, good advice. ---Which brings me back to a garbage can (vinyl) filled with sand---sitting in front of the utility pole and the parking place. ---Might be best solution. --problem is, garbage cans are only 29' high----My wife's "crash area" (from bottom of her back fender to top of truck lid is 23" to 42") ----Ideally, I need a container that is about the diameter of a garbage can (but is about 50" to 60" high). It would need to be a container that I could fill with sand (about 40" up). The sand would keep the container in place--at same time the sand would absorb the force of a car backing into the container.
---Regards my need for a container higher than a 29" high garbage can---I guess someone could suggest staking 2 garbage cans on top of each other ---but that would'nt really work well (trust me). ---So, we are down to a --container about 50+" high---approx. 24' to 30" in diameter, made of some material that can hold-up outside (through various season & weather), ---and is hollow so I could fill it 3/4 with sand (to absorb the force of impact) ---Now on the last point, (filling with sand) ----Perhaps there is another something that I could place in front of the pole that wouldn't need to be filled with sand---I am open to anything that would stay solid in front of that pole---and absorb the force of a car coming at it 5 mph. ---The quest goes on. :) ----Jaes

ponch37300 08-18-2008 09:11 AM

There are 55 gallon plastic drums that i've seen. Usually some chemical or liquid of some kind comes in them for factories. Here is a link i found using google Another google shows the deminsions around 36" tall. How high are your bumpers? I would think they would be the first thing to contact the barrel and take the most of the force so the barrel would only have to be just taller than your bumper?

tommint 08-18-2008 09:57 AM

How about a "tell-tale" instead of a bumper?
How about a "tell-tale" to warn the driver instead of a difficult to engineer protective bumper? The object is to stop short of hitting the pole so create a very noisy, very soft bumper object that, that will warn the driver while there is still time to stop. The first thing that comes to mind is a "crinkle barrier" - something that will crush and make noise. How about a strong plastic bag full of aluminum soda cans that will extend out to the place where the driver can still stop the car, and that will noisily rattle when contacted or even crush in place if hit solidly, remaining a bumper between the poles and the car? It doesn't have to be big if it's backstopped with something that will make it steady enough to make noise when contacted.

A telltale doesn't have to be wrapped onto the pole - as long as the car contacts it before the pole, it could be placed a few inches or a foot from the pole, acting as a "warning track" when hit. If secured to a metal pipe driven into the ground, it will bend over if the driver keeps coming, without damage to the car. Drive the metal pipe in to the ground again for the next time.

Or maybe nail a couple of those motion-detector "talking bass" fish trophy plaques to the pole and set them to start squawking when the car gets close (:laughing:).

kc5oh 08-18-2008 01:59 PM

Depending on aesthetics I have seen tires placed around utility poles. Just cut through them perpendicularly and wrap around the pole. Not the prettiest but neither are bollards or drums.

jaes 08-18-2008 07:51 PM

Wow! ---lot of good ideas from HandyPete, ponch37300, Tommint, & KC5oh. I appeciate the website Info. , I like the simple but straight-forward of idea of tires around the poles. ---I especially like the "crinkle barrier" idea--(e.g., aluminium soda cans in a bag). It is in fact a good idea. ----However, enter the unexpected factor. ---We have homeless people who go up and down the alley searching for aluminium cans-----the sight of a bag of 100 alimimuim cans next to a utility post would produce a reaction, I believe, similar to the Califorina Gold Rush. ---I would have an empty bag next to a utility pole in less than a day. ---My best bet might be one of those plastic "crash barrels" filled 3/4 with sand. --I, in fact, located some crash barrels 36" high---about $90 each (not including tax & shipping). ----even then, I worry about a $90 barrel being stolen---but what are the chances that some one would steal a brightly colored, 36' high barrel 3/4 filled with sand?! --chances, I suspect, are less than a bag of alluminum cans (I still like the aluminim can idea though). ---Any other ideas in this quest for saving my wife from backing into the pole, at great cost of car repair, are most welcome. ----Jaes.

ponch37300 08-19-2008 01:03 PM

stealing a barrel filled with sand isn't going to be the easiest thing. It's going to weigh alot. Can you drive a metal stake into the ground and bolt the barrel to it with some carriage bolts so you can't remove them from the outside? goodluck

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