DIS-TRAN Steel Blog


Posted by Melissa Hines on Aug 16, 2016 9:04:01 AM

To some within the utilities industry, composites still seem like the stuff of science fiction, but in reality composites have been used in transmission poles for over six decades. In fact, fiber-reinforced transmission poles were first installed in Maui, Hawaii in 1962. The tropical island served as the perfect ecosystem to test the strength and durability of the laboratory made material. Astoundingly, the fiber-reinforced transmission poles lasted nearly 45 years, not only demonstrating that composites are superior but also transforming the future of the utilities landscape forever.Untitled_design_12.jpg

When comparing composites to other fabrication materials, it’s no contest. Composites are non-conductive, light and durable. They are also resistant to rot, corrosion, pests and fire, all while offering superior UV protection. It’s no wonder the utilities sector is rapidly replacing traditional materials with composites in poles and pole top assemblies. Some composite applications include:

  • COMPOSITE CROSSARMS: The ULTRAVEX™ from DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions is the industry’s premier composite crossarm. Our innovative composite crossarm incorporates a cutting-edge design that allows for one 3-1/2” x 3-1/2” sized crossarm to be used for both tangent and deadend applications. Advanced, patent 9546498 technology renders it both small yet capable of bearing heavier loads than larger wooden crossarms. Three layers of UV-protection shield it from the punishing sun, lowering maintenance costs and extending product life.
  • COMPOSITE POLES: Besides having a light footprint that allows them to be easily transported across even the harshest terrain, composite poles prove too slick for woodpeckers and squirrels to grab hold of, reducing expensive, critter induced outages. Since they are fire resistant and do not lose strength as they age, they require minimal upkeep.
  • COMPOSITE POLE LINE INSULATORS: Silicone rubber composite insulators offer exceptional anti-pollution performance, making them perfect for highly polluted areas. They are more reliable than traditional ceramic insulators and 90% lighter while also proving unbreakable. As with composite poles and crossarms, maintenance costs are low.
  • COMPOSITE THREADED RODS/BOLTS: Engineered from a thermoplastic polyurethane matrix resin, composite threaded rods and bolts offer unparalleled resistance to acids, bases, and both chemical and organic liquids. In addition, they are prized for their excellent resistance to corrosion, low weight, high strength, and non-conductive properties.
  • COMPOSITE REINFORCED CABLE/WIRE: Traditional steel-core conductor cables are no match compared to new composite rivals that nearly double transmission capacity without having to install new towers or poles. Also, structural support redundancy provides an extra safeguard so the failure of a few strands does not result in total cable failure.

From unbeatable durability to lower maintenance and costs, it is clear composites offer significant advantages over conventional materials used in utility transmission. That’s why we can’t wait to introduce our new, game-changing   ULTRAVEX ™ composite bracket that’s as strong as steel but lightweight and packed with all the benefits unique to composites. It’s debuting later this year, so be sure to stay tuned to our website to see how DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions will continue to revolutionize the utilities industry with composites!

For more information about UltravexTM Click Here

Tags: crossarms, fiberglass, composite, composite material, composite crossarm, poles, composite poles


Posted by Melissa Hines on Aug 5, 2016 1:48:54 PM

There’s perhaps no better example of “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” than a power outage. And as a manufacturer supplying products to electric utilities and other large users of electrical power, we know very well how that old saying hits home. When the lights go out and work grinds to a halt, you absolutely know what you’re missing. Times have changed and today’s innovative composite crossarm from DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions features materials and design far superior to those of the past and are designed to stand up to the worst Mother Nature has to offer.

In early 2016,  DIS-TRAN introduced our patent 9546498 Ultravex™ composite crossarm that is unlike any other crossarm on the market today. The Ultravex ™ crossarm is our most durable arm to date, and features benefits you didn’t know you were missing.

  • For flexibility that exceeds your expectations, our Ultravex™ crossarms come in a single size and use a single bracket for both tangent and deadend installations. This reduces your need for inventory of hardware and arms, yet allows you to build on current installations of standard 3-1/2” x 3-1/2” size. The strength of the Ultravex ™ crossarm can be increased without ever changing the outside diameter size.
  • The Ultravex ™ has some of the highest working loads in the industry. We recommend our working load to be 75% of the ultimate load per NESC Grade C Allowable.
  • Special washers or inserts are not needed when using our Ultravex ™ crossarm. With the highest-in-the-industry wall crush strength, our crossarm can be field drilled without concern for loss of strength.
  • Ultravex™ crossarms offer performance benefits through innovative engineering. Their domed shape reduces contaminant buildup allowing water and debris to shed easily. Their circular inner core provides enhanced strength.Composite.jpg

Our Ultravex ™ composite crossarm is a game changer. We’ve worked with experienced designers that have been engaged in the composite industry for over 40 years. We also conducted extensive testing, and with more than 50 years of experience supporting the overhead power line industries, we know how to respond to those findings. We don’t make these claims lightly; we’ll happily provide you with testing data or load analysis tables to back up our findings for this industry leading product.

We understand that the demands of your business may have kept you from experiencing our leading-edge composite crossarms, but you don’t know what you’re missing. We also think it is best not to wait until disaster strikes to evaluate your equipment and start making improvements. To learn more about the potential cost-savings, inventory reduction, and improved product performance you can expect with Ultravex™ crossarms, visit www.distranoverheadsolutions.com. Feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts, expectations, and business needs.

 CLICK HERE TO REQUEST  UltravexTM Testing Data


Tags: crossarms, fiberglass, tangent, composite, composite crossarm, ultimate loads, deadend, working loads


Posted by Melissa Hines on Jul 27, 2016 1:19:02 PM

When a major storm hits, the first priority is to get the power back on. After Hurricane Sandy blasted the Northeast, millions of people faced flooded homes and widespread power failures. In 2011, the median amount of damage caused by an Atlantic hurricane was $1.8 billion. When it comes to mediating storm damage, time is money.

During hurricane season, response time is vital for utilities faced with the worst Mother Nature has to offer. No one wants to be without power any longer than necessary, and in the case of emergency response services, it can be a matter of life and death.

In recent years, utility companies have become experts at responding to major storms and hurricanes by marshaling resources to quickly restore service. A successful storm response is the result of coordinated efforts with local governments to develop storm readiness plans. In the rush to mitigate storm damage and significantly reduce the length of power outages, the parts supplier is an important partner in the process that is often overlooked.

DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions knows how crucial it is for utilities to be able to recover quickly after a storm. After all, the public safety infrastructure is built on the premise that power and communications will always be there. That’s why DIS-TRAN maintains a sizable raw materials inventory of wood and composite crossarms at our Vancouver, WA and Pineville, LA locations. DIS-TRAN can treat and ship materials to order within 24 hours, with onsite wood treating and manufacturing capabilities. Vertical integration allows the company to have total control over its manufacturing and treating processes, which ensures quick turn around and on-time delivery.


After more than a half century in the business, there's no storm that can faze us. Our employees know the part they play in the storm recovery process and are more than willing to put in the necessary time to ensure blazing fast delivery of quality products. With a location in the hurricane-prone Gulf Coast region, the DIS-TRAN team has had to deal with storm impact on the business and on their personal lives and property all while maintaining production and shipping. The DIS-TRAN team is available 24/7 and monitors severe weather events to anticipate the need for emergency response. Our dual locations allow us to ship from whichever location is most appropriate and available to ensure deliveries are made.

At DIS-TRAN, we do more than make crossarms. We enable the safety and livelihood of millions of people whenever a storm strikes. Our desire is to take care of our customers so you can take care of your customers. You can't stop a hurricane or a tropical storm, but you can prepare for them. Partner with the one utility supplier who fully understands the need for exceptional customer service, and has decades of experience in mitigating storm damage. Take a look inside our facilities in our storm response video and make sure to visit our website for helpful resources and information on our full product line.

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Tags: crossarms, storm response, wood crossarm, fiberglass, hurricane season, storm restoration, composite, composite crossarm


Posted by Melissa Hines on Jun 27, 2016 9:07:44 AM


For decades, the utility industry has relied on wood and steel to form the infrastructure that delivers services to customers. While wood and steel have been good choices for many companies, there are new materials emerging that could redefine the industry. Composite materials represent viable alternatives that could shape the future of utility distribution and transmission.

Today, a scientifically engineered material entering the market has the potential to upend wood and steel’s long held dominance within the utility space. Composites represent a new generation of materials and are being hailed as a game-changer for the industry. DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions leads the way in manufacturing composite products that are quickly being adopted for their considerable advantages. Our patent 9546498Ultravex™ composite crossarms showcase why composites are disrupting the utility ecosystem with each deployment.OhC0Oqiest1453762472.jpg

Composites are non-conductive, light, durable and readily installed for recovery efforts from extreme weather events. Their small footprint allows them to be easily transported, making them the most attractive option for use in remote locations with difficult access. Their service life exceeds that of wood counterparts as they are resistant to rot, corrosion, pests and fire, all while offering superior UV protection. The high dielectric strength of composites renders them the safest choice for live-line installations and maintenance, and reduces potential touch and step hazards. Furthermore, composites are proven to be environmentally sustainable since they are made of non-leaching material and contain no soil remediation.

Though the material may seem futuristic, composite transmission poles were first installed in Maui, Hawaii in 1962. These fiber-reinforced structures lasted nearly 45 years, and replaced wood and steel poles that had suffered degradation and corrosion due to the island’s warm, moist and salty air. More recently, the destruction of 60,000 wooden poles by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 revealed the critical problems of aging and overload within the utility infrastructure. As a result, many in the industry are turning to composites as they provide improved reliability during major storm events, leading to reduced power outages and faster service restoration.

Reduced maintenance and associated costs stands out as one of composites’ most attractive features. The surface of composite poles is too slick for woodpeckers and squirrels to grab hold of. This feature decreases expensive, critter-induced outages to virtually zero. Unlike wood, composites do not lose strength as they age, further reducing maintenance. And since they are hollow, copper wiring can be stored inside of poles – and out of sight of potential thieves. 

Several states near the Gulf Coast are in the process of incorporating composites into their utility infrastructure as a way of improving hurricane preparedness and upgrading current services. The Ultravex™ composite crossarm from DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions makes an excellent addition to a utility’s composite expansion. Our full gallery of premium distribution and transmission products can meet any need. Visit us at www.distranoverheadsolutions.com and let us know how we can assist you. Dowload our UltravexTM loading tables and find out which crossarm will work best for your next project.


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD UltravexTM Deadend & Tangent Loading Tables



Tags: utility industry, utilities, crossarms, fiberglass, composites, composite crossarm


Posted by Melissa Hines on Jun 20, 2016 11:30:00 AM

It all started in 1965, when DIS-TRAN began supplying wood distribution crossarms to a group of utilities in the Southeastern US. Then in 2008, we changed the game by expanding our product line to offer wood transmission assemblies for H-Frame structures and their associated hardware. Now we’re back at it again, revolutionizing the market with our new fiberglass Ultravex™ composite crossarm that’s in a league of its own.

Never before has the power utilities industry seen anything as bold and innovative as the Ultravex™. It’s cutting-edge design allows for one 3-1/2” x 3-1/2” sized crossarm to be used for both tangent and deadend applications. Although the UltravexTM is small, it has been engineered to hold large loads. But that’s just the start of what the Ultravex™ can do thanks to its advanced, patent pending technology.

The Ultravex™ is designed so that it’s slightly domed on all four sides. This unique construction along with a circular inner core not only gives the Ultravex™ unmatched strength, but also allows water and debris to drain easily, reducing tracking issues and minimizing contaminant build-up. The product’s small dimensions and creative shape make it adaptable to various situations and loadings, and allows for a reduction in inventories of arms and hardware components necessary for their application.

The Ultravex™ comes with three layers of UV protection to shield it from the punishing sun and extend its lifecycle. An outer veil protects the arm from UV rays and is abrasion resistant. A UV resistant mat situated between the outer veil and the fiberglass-resin mixture also contains UV inhibiting features. If that wasn’t enough, an inner mat surrounds the foam core and provides a third layer of protection. In addition to safeguards against the sun, the fiberglass Ultravex™ is fire resistant, insect proof, and woodpecker proof, making it virtually immune to the nuisances that plague standard wood crossarms.

ultravex-breakout.jpgIn the electrical utilities space there’s nothing more dangerous than downed power lines. There is also nothing more important than restoring power to consumers in a timely manner once the lines are down. This seemingly unavoidable event can result from vehicular collisions, strong storms, or some other interaction with Mother Nature. But the Ultravex™ will not drop the conductor in the event of a failure making this a potentially lifesaving feature. In fact, a failed Ultravex™ composite crossarm is so strong that it can be reloaded, and still have a residual load carrying capability in the 2,000-4,000 lb. range, which is more than what a common 8 foot wood crossarm can bear. Check out our Ultravex™ strength demo.

UltravexTM composite crossarms are REA approved!!! Our arms are available for use on Sytems of USDA RUS Borrowers, Pub 202-1 for item "g" - Fiberglass Tangent Crossarms and item "gj" Fiberglass Deadend Assemblies.

With the introduction of the Ultravex™ composite crossarm, DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions cements its status as the leader in premium overhead products. The Ultravex™ is engineered to be our safest, most durable crossarm ever made. We are proud to offer it along with our line of superior wood crossarms and transmission products. Contact us today to see which of our solutions is right for you! You may download a copy of our Ultravex™ White Paper for more information.


Tags: crossarms, wood crossarm, fiberglass, composites, ultravex

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