DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

Road to Recovery After Hurricane Sandy

Posted by Brooke Barone on Nov 7, 2012 2:09:00 PM

DIS-TRAN Wood Products has kicked it into overdrive as storm restoration orders began pouring in due to Super Storm, Hurricane Sandy, that left 8 million people cold and in the dark in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

Customers began calling in orders on October 26, three days before the hurricane hit, and are still being placed today, more than a week after Sandy pummeled the East Coast. Customers directly impacted include First Energy, Consolidated Edison, Pennsylvania Power & Light, as well as many other utilities in the surrounding area.

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We are running 24/7 and are assisting in any manner possible to help them restore power to their customers quickly. Employees in both of our production facilities, Pineville, LA and Vancouver, WA, have been working extended shifts, seven days a week to make sure we drill, bundle, treat and ship products where they are most needed.  In many cases, we are delivering cross arms to those utilities within 24 hours of order placement.

Having two production facilities gives us the flexibility we need in order to expedite cross arms as quickly as possible.  Also, our relationship with our key suppliers such as Columbia Vista Corporation has enabled us to secure the critical raw material needed in this effort. 

The devastation of Hurricane Sandy has impacted millions, making the need for product equal to that which was produced for Hurricane Katrina in 2006.  DIS-TRAN is no stranger to hurricanes and the demands that they create. We understand the Utility companies need to restore power fast, so we are here to help in any way we can. 

Let’s all also remember the valiant job that those Utility linemen are doing every day as they are the boots on the ground (or in the air in their case) in conditions that we cannot even imagine.   

To all of those who have been impacted, do not be discouraged by setbacks...they make you stronger.

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Tags: utilities, DIS-TRAN Wood Products, Columbia Vista Corporation, DIS-TRAN, Hurricane Sandy, cross arms

DIS-TRAN Wood Products; A Proven Commodity

Posted by Brooke Barone on Sep 21, 2012 1:39:00 PM

 describe the imageWith shorter lead times than our competitors, DIS-TRAN Wood Products, LLC has been   providing distribution crossarms, ground molding and wood transmission arm assemblies that  include arms, braces and hardware to the utility industry for over 45 years.

With two separate locations in Pineville, LA and Vancouver, WA, DIS-TRAN Wood is available to customers from coast to coast for quick lead times, as well as an even quicker response for storm restoration.

Through Columbia Vista Corporation, DIS-TRAN Wood plant facilities in Pineville and Vancouver have both been Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, COC# SW-COdescribe the imageC-00244, and have made a commitment to the environment to improving forest management.  We are also the only certified environmentally friendly “green” wood products supplier.

Wood is a regenerative source, and the longevity and reliability ensures a consistently reputable product for the utility industry.

Benefits of having two locations:

  • More opportunities to efficiently serve the entire country
  • Allows redundancy if there are issues such as weather or fire in one geographical location
  • With two avenues to get to job sites, allows for an enhance volume of materials during times of crisis.
  • Not so dependent on one workforce or single location
  • Enables flexibility
  • Expand or retract, even if the weather event is in the gulf or Pacific northwest, ability to serve customers that are not affected

Benefits of using wood:

  • Renewable resource
  • Shorter lead times
  • Proven commodity; has been around since before the turn of the century
  • Forgiving product; can shape, nail and drill into it, and can modify as needed in the field with little difficulty
  • Cost-competitive
  • Easy to install
  • Capable to be processed with alternate technology that allow it to be more environmentally friendly
  • Easy to transport and cost-effective to unload and store

To learn more and stay up-to-date with the latest at DIS-TRAN Wood Products click on the button below.

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Tags: utility industry, DIS-TRAN Wood Products, Columbia Vista Corporation, distribution corssarms, ground molding, wood tranmission arm assemblies, FSC

More than just Standard Steel Poles...

Posted by Brooke Barone on Sep 20, 2012 9:07:00 AM

Aerial view of our plant in Pineville, LAIt’s always hard when you’re first starting out and trying to establish yourself and your company, but with perseverance and an appetite for success, growth is inevitable.

In the beginning, DIS-TRAN only manufactured standard shape steel structures; however, we were always in need of steel poles. We established a great relationship with a company here in Louisiana who we purchased our steel poles from until a larger company came in and bought them out and shut their plant down. This forced us to reach out to other companies across the country.

Right around this time, in the late 90’s, cell phones were rapidly catching on and cellular towers were going up everywhere. Contractors were purchasing tons of steel pole capacities, so it became very hard for us to get service. One of the problems that we ran into was that we would ship the structural steel out to a site, but then have to wait a month or so for the steel poles to arrive. We all know how that story ended-with unhappy customers.

So, in 1995, DIS-TRAN decided to open up its own steel pole shop and dabble into the market. With only 12 employees in the beginning, it was a huge learning curve, but as the industry grew and became more advanced, so did DIS-TRAN.

DIS-TRAN Steel Pole and DIS-TRAN Steel Fabrication were two separate companies at first, but after we realized we were doubling our internal workload, we decided to merge the two in 2010 to become what is now DIS-TRAN Steel, LLC. In 2006, DIS-TRAN Steel Pole and DIS-TRAN Steel Fab had 149 employees total, and now, six years later, DIS-TRAN Steel has more than doubled that number to 321.

Over the years, we’ve realized that there are some misconceptions about the capabilities of DIS-TRAN Steel since we initially started off just manufacturing steel structures. But we can also design, detail, fabricate and deliver tapered tubular steel structures for the utility industry. 

Our engineering and detailing capabilities allow DIS-TRAN Steel to pursue and be involved in highly technical design projects. With 18 in-house detailers and 10 engineers, including 4 Licensed Professional Engineers (P.E.), we can design any steel structure for the utility industry, whereas some of our competitors require shop-ready drawings.

Whether they are pre-engineered poles, engineered transmission poles or taper tubular substation structures, DIS-TRAN Steel can fabricate it. As one of our guys says, we can design steel structures with as little information as a stick figure on a napkin to fully-detailed drawings because of our in-house expertise and resources.

The investment we have made in our employees goes hand-in-hand with the investment that we have made at our plant, with 4 expansions in 16 years. Customers are always surprised when they tour our plant in Pineville, LA because of how large and advanced it really is. It’s not just this little fabrication shop tucked away in the swamps.

Our state-of-the-art facility is just as large as any other steel fabricating facility in the U.S., sitting on about 60 acres with 300,000 square feet under roof manufacturing space. Some of our most prized possessions at our plant include a fully automated 2500 ton, 60 foot Press Brake with a one-of-a-kind automation software package that our plant operators actually helped design. We also have in-house high definition plasma cutters, robotic welding systems, CNC controlled seam welders and CNC punches for standard shapes.

Something that also surprises many is that we can also supply wood transmission arm assemblies and distribution crossarms through our sister company DIS-TRAN Wood Products, LLC. DIS-TRAN Wood Products has two fabricating facilities, one in Pineville and the other in Vancouver, WA.

Throughout the years, DIS-TRAN has made the investment to meet the demands of the growing industry, and has made sure to keep up as the elite supplier, consistently providing the highest quality products.

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Tags: steel structures, utility industry, wood transmission assemblies, DIS-TRAN Steel, tapered tubular steel poles, DIS-TRAN Wood Products, wood distribution poles, pre-engineered poles, transmission poles, standard shape steel structures

DIS-TRAN Steel's Quick Response for Storm Restoration

Posted by Brooke Barone on Sep 10, 2012 9:00:00 AM

Hub photoWhen August graces us with her presence, we cringe,and I’m not just referring to the scorching heat waves, but a particular season that Louisianans have come to know all too well, Hurricane Season.

Hurricane Katrina left a lasting impression that will forever be remembered, and after hearing that another hurricane was headed our way, it brought back the chilling memories.

Thankfully, unlike Katrina, Hurricane Isaac started off as a category one and then dropped to a tropical storm. But even as a tropical storm, winds reached 80 mph, causing fallen trees and downed power lines, as well as flooding.

After Hurricane Isaac lingered over the coast at an agonizing 8 mph, thousands of residents were left in the dark without power. Being an everyday commodity, we kind of forget what life would be like without electricity, until Mother Nature reminds us. I mean, think about all the avid hunters and fisherman across Louisiana with pounds of frozen meat or fish in their freezers, or think about no air conditioning. It’s not like you can open a window and catch a cool breeze around here.

Just as quick as meteorologists discovered Hurricane Isaac and started following this tropical storm, so did DIS-TRAN. We know that when bad weather comes our way, we need to be prepared to stop, drop and roll in case one of our customers needs us for storm restoration.

One of DIS-TRAN’s valued customers, Entergy, who serves majority of the population in New Orleans and surrounding areas, had a big job on their shoulders when Isaac turned its’ path and headed straight for Louisiana. But they were prepared, and DIS-TRAN was ready to back them up every step of the way.

At 1:12 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, just days after Isaac made landfall, Entergy contacted us to push out substation materials ASAP. Despite having a full backlog until the beginning of next year, flexibility to “stop, drop and roll” to help our customers in times of need, allowed DIS-TRAN to manufacture, galvanize and deliver Entergy’s order within 24 hours to their site in Bridge City, La; roughly three and a half hours away.

Although there were obstacles along the way, like Interstate 10 being closed due to flooding and traffic, we understood the severity of the situation and our loyalty to keep our word. It wasn’t easy, but we would do it all over again for any of our customers.

You know the saying, “You can tell who your true friends are in times of need,”? Well, this was our chance to prove that DIS-TRAN can be depended on in times of need.

For more on what to do during a storm event, click here to download a Free Storm Recovery Plan: During Storm Checklist.

FREE During Storm Checklist!

Tags: DIS-TRAN Steel, DIS-TRAN Wood Products, storm restoration, quality, flexibility, storm recovery plan, during storm checklist, Entergy

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