Aerial Trimming

SVEC uses the services of Aerial Solutions Inc. to cut right of way in areas that are difficult to reach with ground crews. This North Carolina-based helicopter company uses a patented aerial power saw to trim the right of way along power lines. The 800-pound saw consists of multiple 24-inch diameter rotary blades suspended from a 90-foot vertical boom beneath the helicopter.

The versatility and speed of the saw provides an efficient and cost-effective alternative to conventional side trimming methods in all types of terrain with little to no environmental impact. The aerial saw provides maximum lateral clearances from vegetation encroaching into the right of way. It cuts from ground to sky to further avoid conflicts with the power line. Long-term outages in severe weather are avoided after rights of way are trimmed with the aerial saw.

**During the course of this cutting, sporadic blinking to your electric service may occur. SVEC apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have questions, please call SVEC at (800) 234-7832 and ask to speak to the vegetation management coordinator in your district. As a precaution, also please call this number if you have livestock that may be disturbed by the helicopter.**

To help hold down rights-of-way maintenance costs for members, SVEC contracts with Aerial Solutions to cover as much territory as possible within a certain timeframe. SVEC contract crews with Xylem Tree Experts will then follow-up by cutting branches on the ground at locations where the saw had previously visited. The cooperative prioritizes these follow-up visits, first reaching locations that affect members’ grass cutting, for example. Crews will remain in their assigned areas until projects are complete.

Finally, Aerial Solutions visits SVEC’s territory in the winter months to avoid the possibility of livestock being harmed by the wilt stage of leaves from wild cherries or red maples during the spring, summer and fall.

For more information on the company, visit the Aerial Solutions Inc. website, and read this feature story from SVEC about the company that ran in local and national publications in 2016 (“Va. Cooperative Finds Solution From Above” (PDF)).