Our production facilities have been harvesting, processing and pressure treating wooden poles for both the domestic and international markets since 1952. Operating out of our two treatment plants in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, we manufacture CCA, Creosote and Copper Azole treated poles for power transmission, telecommunications, building, thatching and fencing and vineyard requirements.
Whilst all our poles are treated in strict accordance with the South African National Standards (SANS) specifications, we are able to accommodate most requirements of international specifications required by our customers. Over 2000 people are employed in our production facilities and supply approximately 120 000 m³ of treated poles per annum to customers throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and the USA.
Our production facilities have access to the following self-owned timber. All the farms are F.S.C. certified and are in a felling rotation of 8-10 years. The following is a summary of the farms and the harvesting capacity:
In addition to our own timber farms, we have timber purchase agreements and contracts in place with various corporate entities as well as many private farmers. The total area from which our timber is supplied is over 45 000 Ha. Our procurement team have educated and emphasized to all forestry operations that growing timber for transmission material (thinning programs) is the future, so the volumes of this material will increase year on year.
The moisture content at the time of treatment is critical when it comes to producing quality poles that will stand the test of time. We have 15 kilns with a monthly drying capacity of over 6000m³. Kiln drying is a highly controlled process where poles are dried using high humidity and heat. Most of our kilns are monitored electronically to ensure correct, even and thorough drying.
Pressure Treating Vessels
All our poles are pressure impregnated according to the full cell method to ensure a maximum penetration and retention of the chemical preservative. In brief the full cell process takes place as follows:
- Treatment Vessel is charged with poles and the treatment vessel is sealed.
- A vacuum is drawn to remove the air from the wood cells and maintained for an adequate period
- Without increasing the pressure, the preservative is introduced at the appropriate temperature.
- Creosote – 80°C
- CCA – Room Temperature
- The cylinder is filled to capacity with the preservative.
- Through the use of a hydraulic pressure pump the preservative is forced into the cells (approx 10bar) until the required absorption is attained.
- The pressure is then released and the surplus preservative is pumped out of the treatment vessel.
- A final vacuum is applied to dry the poles of excess preservative
The retention of the preservative is recorded for every charge and poles are drilled to check for depth of penetration as specified by the SABS specifications. Many of our poles that were planted in the early 1970’s are still in use in South Africa until this day.
Between our two treating plants we currently have a total monthly production capacity of approximately 12 000m³ per month, increasing to 15000³m in the near future. To put this in context, that is the equivalent of over 330 super-link trucks of treated poles per month or over 50 000 medium class 9m or 10m poles per month.
Current and Previous Customers
We have ongoing contracts for the supply of poles with Eskom and Telkom, South Africa’s power and telecommunications companies respectively. We also supply a large number of South African and Namibian companies in the construction and agricultural sectors.
Other than our traditional markets in South Africa, we have supplied numerous other countries with power transmission, building and fencing poles over the last few years. These include the following:
- Burkina Faso
- Sri Lanka
We pride ourselves on our reputation for delivering the highest quality product in our industry. It is this reputation that has led us to become one of the largest pole manufacturers in South Africa.
Unfortunately, many of our competitors have sacrificed on quality and service in order to achieve lower prices.
This is our mark of quality and this is our guarantee to you:
- Only dry A-grade raw material with be selected for treatment.
- No compromising of diameter classes.
- Poles will only be treated with creosote above 80°C.
- Minimum retention of 115kg/m³ for creosote H4 poles. 130kg/m³ for creosote H5 poles.
- Minimum retention of CCA treated poles will be 16kg/m³ to 20kg/m³ depending on the specification requirement.
- The best service in the industry.
- Backed by the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System and strict adherence to all specification requirements.