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How to Move a Utility Pole

By Ben Wakeling
Utility poles can be challenging to relocate.
Securing Power Lines image by Karin Lau from Fotolia.com

Utility poles are designed to carry electricity to properties on the same street. Sometimes, utility poles need to be moved; they are either obstructing the footpath, located in a resident's garden, or perhaps blocking someone's driveway. Moving a utility pole requires preparation, planning and careful execution to avoid damaging the utility and surrounding property. Because of this, this operation must be carried out by a properly trained contractor, and never attempted by an inexperienced person.

Obtain approval from the local authority to relocate the utility pole. Doing so without prior permission can result in a large fine. Obtain the services of the local authority in cutting off the electricity supply to the utility pole.

Position a crane next to the utility pole. Connect the chains onto the crane and affix them to the pole through the metal brackets used as rungs.

Use a pneumatic drill to break away the tarmac at the base of the pole. You will need to chip away the concrete at the base of the pole.

Excavate the hole in the relocated area, and fill the base with six inches of concrete.

Use the crane to lift the pole and gently lower it into the new excavation. Use a spirit level to ensure the pole is vertical. Keep the crane in place for two to three hours until the concrete has cured enough to hold the pole straight.

Use crushed stone covered with a layer of tarmac to fill in the original hole, using a shovel to ensure it is level with the rest of the footpath.

Fill in the rest of the new hole with a layer of stone and tarmac, and use a shovel to ensure the surface is flush with the footpath.

Remove the chains. The pole has now been successfully relocated.


Things You Will Need

  • Crane
  • Chains
  • Pneumatic drill
  • Crushed stone
  • Tarmac
  • Shovel
  • Concrete
  • Spirit level


  • Ensure affected residents are informed about the temporary loss of utility.

About the Author


Ben Wakeling graduated from Coventry University in 2009 with an upper second class honours B.Sc. degree in construction management. Wakeling is also a freelance writer, and works for a number of businesses, such as Demand Studios, Suite 101 and Academic Knowledge.