DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

Melissa Hines

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Posted by Melissa Hines on Jul 18, 2016 10:32:11 AM

A majority of the 54 million crossarms, which sit at the top of 60 million utility poles in the U.S. are made of wood. Wooden crossarms have been around for decades. Most utilities and lineman are very familiar with it and know how to properly use and handle the product.Since 1965, DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions has been the premier supplier of these wood distribution crossarms, pleasing clients with our manufacturing and treating processes. We’re proud to supply the utility industry with our superior products. 

Wood crossarms have a number of benefits, which has made them the most popular choice of the utility industry. Wood is reliable, cost-effective, and has shorter lead times than other materials, which is great for tight construction schedules or emergencies. Wood is also flexible and can be easily modified in the field. DIS-TRAN has pioneered new techniques to make our wood products even more reliable. Our Pentachlorophenol wood treatment solutions are the best in the business and ensure the longevity of your crossarms. Plus, our complete line of Douglas Fir and Southern Yellow Pine distribution crossarms always meet the latest industry specifications – whether ANSI, Edison Electric Institute, USDA-RUS, or your own requirements.Wood_Distribution.jpg

Our commitment to product innovation has helped us maintain our leading position in the crossarm industry. In 2008, we expanded our product line to offer wood transmission assemblies for H-Frame structures, along with the associated hardware. In 2010, DIS-TRAN introduced the DURA-ARM, a crossarm with factory installed galvanized steel end plates that improve the strength of the arm for longitudinal and transverse loading. These plates also eliminate end splits that may develop as the crossarm ages. The result is a longer life expectancy for the crossarm and long-term cost savings for you. Our commitment to innovation is what has allowed us to outshine the competition with products that have shorter lead times, extended life expectancies and greater value.

DIS-TRAN is proud to have been providing wood distribution crossarms to the utility industry for over 50 years, using state of the art machinery and best practice processes. We manufacture all of our materials through our facilities with a focus on safety, quality, and being the best in the industry. As Seth Godin said, “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” Our customers continue to love and trust our tested and true wood product line, and we continue to construct and innovate our wood crossarms. If you’re interested in learning more about DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions, visit us online at distranoverheadsolutions.com.


 Wood Transmission Catalog

Tags: wood transmission assemblies, crossarms, transmission, penta, wood crossarm

DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions: A History of Innovation, Expansion and Commitment to the Environment

Posted by Melissa Hines on Jul 6, 2016 10:44:33 AM

America’s strength comes from its connectivity, and the utility industry has grown consistently to keep America connected. Stringent environmental regulations on the industry vary by local, state, and federal jurisdictions, and can make delivering high quality products that are also compliant a challenge. DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions has met that challenge and has been satisfying the overhead needs of the U.S. utility industry since 1965 with our environmentally friendly line of distribution crossarms, ground wire molding, wood transmission arms and assemblies, and the new Ultravex™ composite crossarm.

As the U.S. telecommunications industry began to connect cities and states across the country, the need for safe, sound, and environmentally conscious products to support those utilities arose. Over the past 50 years, the needs of the industry and the environmental requirements levied on it have changed, and through DIS-TRAN’s expansion across the U.S. and new product development, we’ve stayed ahead of these challenges since our humble beginnings.

Joe T. Robison founded DIS-TRAN in 1965 in Alexandria, LA. He first began his business ventures out of the trunk of his car. Working is his father’s hardware store while growing up, Mr. Robison learned the basic principles of building and operating a successful business: Honesty, Integrity, Product Knowledge and Quality Service. Instilling these principles into his company’s culture, his business has expanded into a group of world class companies serving the electric utility and electrical contractor industries.

In the early years, DIS-TRAN’s product line included Douglas fir distribution crossarms. DIS-TRAN supplied these crossarms to local utilities in Louisiana and throughout the southeast. In 1980, DIS-TRAN moved to its’ current location in Pineville, LA and began offering Southern Yellow Pine distribution crossarms.  DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions expanded to a second location in Vancouver, WA in 2006. This new location allowed us to expand our reach into the Pacific Northwest. With a two-coast production facility model, DIS-TRAN is able to deliver with quick lead times and greater efficiency.  Untitled_design_10.jpg

In 2008, we expanded our product offering once again to better serve our customers. We began manufacturing wood transmission products, including x-braces, vee and knee braces, tension braces and double arm assemblies. DIS-TRAN introduced the new patent pending Ultravex™ composite crossarm in early 2016.  This new product has revolutionized the market with its cutting edge design.

With our commitment to the environment, new product development, and expansion across the U.S., DIS-TRAN is the company dedicated to responsibly and innovatively supporting America’s utility growth. DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions’ vision is focused on always serving the high voltage industry by continuously providing for their most important needs. We enjoy relationships today that were established in 1965 and every year thereafter. It is our mission to continue to build on this great history as we move towards the future. Our commitment to excellence has allowed us to grow into a premier manufacturing company serving the utility industry’s overhead needs. Follow DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions on Facebook and LinkedIn to stay informed about all the ways our company is innovating in an environmentally conscious way.


Tags: utility industry, wood transmission assemblies, crossarms, wood crossarm, composite, composite crossarm

3 Common Crossarm Preservatives

Posted by Melissa Hines on Jun 22, 2015 11:03:00 AM


Are you treating your wood right?

Wood utility poles and crossarms are common objects seen throughout our communities along the streets and in our yards. These poles and crossarms are used to support and run electrical lines to our homes and businesses - making these products vital to our daily lives. Prolonging the useful life and structural integrity of these items is aided by treating the wood prior to installation.

Wood treatment refers to protecting wood from damage caused by insects, fungi, decay, climate and extreme weather conditions. Treating wood with the right chemical preservatives can extend the useful life and protect it from the harsh environment. Choosing the right wood preservative can save an utility time, frustration and money. The three most common wood treatments include:

  • Pentacholorphenol (Penta)
  • Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)
  • Creosote.

Pentacholorphenol (Penta) has been a preservative and maintenance staple of the Canadian and American utility industries for more than 60 years. Penta is a broad spectrum biocide and was previously used in herbicides, algaecides, fungicides and disinfectants. Today, the use of Penta in the U.S. and Canada is limited to wood preservation applied by trained-certified pesticide applicators. The production and use of Penta is regulated by the EPA and is an approved preservative in the American Wood Protection Association. (AWPA) Since its introduction in the utility industry, Penta has become the preferred wood preservative for poles and crossarms and is used extensively for treatment of laminated beams since it will neither wet the wood nor effect the glue joints. Penta can be used as a wood preservative for both Douglas Fir and Southern Yellow Pine crossarms.

Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) is a water based wood preservative. It is a mix of chromium, copper and arsenic. Recognized for the greenish tint it imparts to wood, CCA has been extremely common for many decades and is used primarly on Southern Yellow Pine poles and crossarms. DIS-TRAN Wood Products, LLC provides this alternative wood preservation to its customers making up about 5% of the crossarms we supply.

Creosote is one of the oldest of the commercial  preservatives. It is made by distilling coal tar and is often thinned with a light oil such as diesel fuel or mineral spirits. The color of Creosote is usually dark brown to black with an oily appearance and odor. Most wood treated with Creosote is used in marine pilings, utility poles and railroad crossties.


At DIS-TRAN Wood Products, LLC, we not only manufacture a complete line of Douglas Fir and Southern Yellow Pine crossarms, but we also house our own treatment facility. Our treatment plant is located adjacent to our manufacturing facility in Pineville, LA. DIS-TRAN Wood Products, LLC have three trained-certified applicators onsite who follow all industry and environmental standards. With these three professionals onsite, DIS-TRAN Wood Products, LLC can treat approximately 1,300 arms with Penta on a single eight hour shift. Having our own onsite treatment plant allows us to have a fast response for storm emergenies. About 95% of the crossarms we manufacture are treated with Penta. 

Using the right chemical preservative for treating wood can greatly increase the life span and save a lot of time and money. Is there a wood preservative treatment you prefer to use? Would you like to see DIS-TRAN Wood Products, LLC offer an alternative wood treatment?  Leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you.



Check out our Easy to follow Preparation Plan for when storms are threatening you and your customers.Preparation for Storms

Tags: wood crossarms, southern yellow pine, douglas fir, crossarms, penta, wood treatment, chemical preservative, AWPA, CCA, wood preservative

DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions: A 50 Year Supplier of Wood Utility Products

Posted by Melissa Hines on Apr 1, 2015 3:52:00 PM

DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions, LLC has been providing distribution crossarms to utilities for 50 years. Today, we design, manufacture and treat a complete line of Douglas Fir and Southern Yellow Pine distribution crossarms, end plated crossarms, ground wire molding and wood transmission arms and assemblies. We're celebrating 50 years in the business by reflecting on some of our major milestones. 


In July 2006, we began production in our newest location in Vancouver, WA. With two separate facilities located in Pineville, LA and Vancouver, WA, we are available to customers from coast to coast for quick lead times and amazing response to storm restoration. These two locations enables flexibility and allows us more opportunities to effeciently serve the entire country.

Through Columbia Vista Corporation, DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions, LLC plant facilities in Pineville, LA and Vancouver, WA have both been Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, COC #SW-COC-00244. We have made a commitment to the environment and to promoting the improvement of forest management. We are also the only certified environmentally friendly "green" wood products supplier.

We added transmission products to our scope of work in October 2011. These transmission products include x-braces, vee and knee braces and tension braces along with the necessary hardware.

50 Years in the Making
With the addition of a full time engineer on staff, we can provide you with detailed drawings of structures and assemblies along with accompanying material lists to aid in planning and construction. Our engineer is also available to answer any questions related to our products. 

Is there any additional products you would like to see DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions, LLC carry? Please let us know. We are always looking to pursue new opportunites especially if it will help fulfill the needs of our customers.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings.

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Tags: wood distribution crossarms, transmission structures, manufacturing, wood transmission structures, Engineering

8 Tips for How Utility Lineman Can Prepare for Winter Storms

Posted by Melissa Hines on Jan 14, 2015 1:36:04 PM

Winter has arrived and the temperatures are brutal, especially for those working outside. Single digit and below zero temperatures are very common in many parts of the U.S. and many face the challenge of keeping their lineman warm at outdoor and poorly heated work sites. During these times of extreme weather, follow these 8 tips for how utility lineman can prepare for winter storms. 


  • Wear the right clothing, and layer it well. Synthetic fibers are often best in extreme conditions.  These fibers tend to wick away sweat before it can grow cold against you. Fleece manages to keep you warm, as does wool. Insulated coveralls may be a good investment for people working outside for long periods of time.
  • Keep your head and neck well covered. Scarves are a good way to lock in heat. Helmet liners for hard hats made of fleece can also help add a layer of warmth.
  • Choose appropriate gloves. Fabric and texture need to be suited for the job but try and find gloves with a liner that feature fleece and are water-resitant.
  • Double layering your socks and wearing insulated or composite toe boots will help when walking or standing on cold surfaces.
  • Wearing wrap –around eye protection can help preserve body heat.
  • Staying hydrated during the winter is crucial for workers/lineman.  Drinking warm water instead of cold will help keep body temperature up.
  • Indulge in high fat foods. Foods high in fat give your body the fuel it needs to stay warm and alert.
  • Investing in a safe space heater may be best for smaller work areas.

In addition to the above tips, hold a safety meeting for your workers/lineman that focuses on the dangers associated with working outside in the cold. Explain the signs and treatment of hypothermia and frostbite and instruct your employees to follow the appropriate procedures if they begin to experience any symptons.  Remember to look over your gear and list of safety practices before heading outside. As always, stay safe and warm.

  winter storm tips

Tags: winter storm preparation

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