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Engineers and specifiers are requiring more knowledge about characteristic strengths of timber poles to aid them in their design process. Being an innovative company, we have designed and purpose-built a Pole Tester to proof-test the strength of New Zealand Radiata Pine Poles.

Why Proof-Test?

The strength and quality of Radiata Pine varies considerably around New Zealand. There are areas of forests that are considered to be high-density, and other areas that are considered normal-density. Even within forests recognised to provide high-density pine there can be variations in strength between each pole. Structural sawn timber is stress-graded as part of the Timber Standards - and now poles can be too!

Structural engineers want to be able to confidently specify products they know will perform. TTTested proof-tested poles provide structural engineers with certified test results that prove the products will do the job they are specified for.

TTT poles can be proof-tested to a custom High-Density (HD) specification and optionally an Ultimate Top Load (UTL), or proof-tested to Normal Density (ND) specification, or a custom proof-test can be undertaken. High Density Poles in green condition (freshly felled logs with bark on) have a characteristic bending stress of 52MPa or greater and Normal Density Poles in green condition have a characteristic bending stress of 38MPa or greater.

Use TTTested Poles in any situation that requires a pole with a proven strength and stiffness as specified by your engineer or specifier. Whether for construction, retaining walls, foundations (driven or concrete encased), utility or marine poles.

Specialised software

We have developed specialised software that takes into account the pole condition (such as peeling and steaming) and the corresponding modification factors, and automatically calculates the bending stress required in strict accordance with NZS 3605:2001 and ISO 15206:2010. The pole is then tested to this specification.

Our Pole Tester is independently calibrated and can provide you with a computer generated Certificate of Proof Testing for each pole or a Proof Test Summary for a batch of poles. The Certificate includes data such as Ultimate Top Load (kN), Bending Strength (MPa), Modulus of Elasticity (GPa), Proof Force (kN) and Deflection (mm). The pole type (TTT SED, Utility, Uglie, UniLog, MultiPole), the condition (peeled/debarked/machined, steamed or treated) and grading (as per NZS 3605:2001) is also recorded.

 

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Proof-Test Methods

The Four-Point Proof Test Method

To prove timber poles meet ISO 15206:2010 for classification as a high or normal density pole.

  • The minimum pole length is 4.5m
  • The maximum pole length is 18.0m
  • The max SED/diameter is 500mm

The Three-Point Proof Test Method

To prove timber poles meet NZS 3605:2001 and/or ISO 15206:2010 for classification as a high or normal density pole.

  • The minimum pole length is 3.0m
  • The maximum pole length is 18.0m
  • The max SED/diameter is 500mm

The Three-Point Ground Line Proof Test Method

Is used to apply a proof load at the Ground Line to test the pole to high or normal density specification and also calculate the Ultimate Top Load (e.g TTT Utility Poles) according to NZS 3605:2001. The customer supplies the Ground Line (m) as measured from the LED end of the pole or the Ultimate Top Load (kN) that needs to be achieved.

  • The minimum pole length is 3.0m
  • The maximum pole length is 18.0m
  • The max SED/diameter is 500mm

Pole Testing

When placed, the pole is orientated with its axis horizontal on the Pole Tester. One or two hydraulic rams (each with a maximum load of 450kN) are used to apply vertical loads to the pole. The rams can be moved into different positions and their shape has been designed to minimise damage to the pole. The load is applied to the pole at a rate sufficient to reach the required load to an accuracy of 2% in not less than three seconds and not more than 30 seconds. The load applied by the hydraulic ram(s) is held at the proof load level for 15 seconds.

Each pole that successfully passes testing is tagged with a numbered tag. For TTT Utility Poles, a numbered aluminium disc is also attached to the pole.


Pole Types

All TTT poles whether it be SED, Uglies, Utility, UniLog or MultiPoles can be tested.

Also see TTTested brochure.

    • TTT Poles Brochure

    • PDF | 3.01mb | Download

    • TTTested Brochure

    • PDF | 1.61mb | Download

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