Utilizing helicopters equipped with aerial saws to trim back vegetation overgrowth in transmission corridors is not only a more efficient method, it’s been proven effective in the conservation of time and money and is less environmentally intrusive. These amongst others are the reasons FairLifts has added aerial trimming to its repertoire of professional helicopter solutions we source as suitable alternatives to deliver to our clientele.
As a leader in the coordination of industrial helicopter applications and services, FairLifts is the reservation specialists electric entities and contractors call first. Professional agents source aircraft and operators from a global network of experienced helicopter service providers who are well versed in the utility transmission, construction, and repair industries. So, when vegetation managers need to perform routine overgrowth maintenance of Right of Ways (ROW) or are hoping to secure access to the appropriate helicopter resource when situations necessitate an on-demand response, they reach out to us.
The concept of suspending an aerial blade beneath a helicopter was first introduced more than 40 years ago. At the time, the idea was met with a great deal of skepticism, with large numbers of utility personnel expressing their confusion as to how a blade containing rapidly moving parts and suspend from a helicopter could actually execute trimming safely as well as to specification.
Fast forward a few decades and helicopters provided by FairLifts equipped with air saws are used widely in the side trimming of overgrowth across various types of terrain. The inherent design of the helicopter improves upon efficiency, mobility, and flexibility making it simpler for utility personnel to access hard to reach areas and the implementation of air saw innovations delivers the maximum in lateral clearances from vegetation encroaching into ROWs.
The anatomy of the modern air saws is relatively straightforward. Ten blades measuring roughly 2 feet each in diameter are affixed to an aluminum boom that extends 90 feet in length. The powerhouse of the air saws is a 28 hp engine that turns a series of belts that facilitate blade rotation of 4000 rpm. Most air saws are equipped with stabilization systems that prevent the twisting of the device while suspended beneath the helicopter. It’s important to note, the specifications we have mentioned may be modified between providers as some operators design, develop and utilize their own in-house air saw technologies.
Throughout the duration of the trimming process, an experienced helicopter pilot will assume responsibility for not only flying the aircraft, they will operate the air saws as well. The trimming process is carried out as follows, the helicopter will fly above and along the power line ROW cutting back the vegetation canopy laterally in the direction of the sky toward the ground. The number of passes necessary will be contingent upon the density of the vegetation.
In regions where the transmission footprint is less than passable, aerial trimming is often the only means of accessing ROWs. The worst possible scenario for utility companies, railroad installations, and government agencies is the loss of functionality across a widespread area. In territories that may be underserved by infrastructure making them nearly impossible to maintain from the ground or that are possessing of fragile ecosystems, as in wetlands, across rivers or atop mountains, helicopter applied maintenance is integral.
Air saws and helicopters are used often in conjunction with ground crews in the maintenance of brush and trees to promote an effective Integrated Vegetation Management program. IVM was instituted by the EPA to promote the growth of healthy ecosystems in and along ROWs and to mitigate the need for harmful pesticides to be applied in efforts to control invasive species growth and infestation.
FairLifts works alongside helicopter operators within the United States as well as globally to deliver access to an array of aerial tree trimming alternatives to utility companies and constructors. When clients connect with agents they are asked to outline their objectives and agents work to source an ideal solution. One that is not only effective in achieving the client objectives, it also exceeds their expectations.
This would not be possible if the alternatives we suggest were not safely executed. One of the selling points of aerial trimming vs traditional is in the delivery of a safer more secure option for companies and work crews alike. Helicopter access mitigates the need for ground crews on terrestrial vehicles to attempt to traverse impassable locations, for workmen to climb trees while lifting heavy equipment in efforts to reduce canopy density, and for workers to be on the ground extensively in power grids.
Operators we reserve services for employ certified pilots and experienced crews and are in compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations governed under FAR Part 91 and Part 133 for air saws operations. Ensuring your worker crews safety is considered a priority at all times.
Aerial trimming of ROWs saves time, money, and is proven more effective. In less than one hour, an air saws can trim as much if not more than ground crews could via traditional methods over an entire 24 hour period. This means that at least 20 miles of transmission lines and 10 miles of distribution lines could potentially be cleared in less than a weeks time. To secure aerial trimming services or to hear more about what the service entails, call FairLifts now. Agents are available 24/7 and are happy to talk shop with clients.