Homeless in Vancouver: New pole raising at 10th and Hemlock

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      This afternoon I spent a little bit of time watching an Allteck crew plant a new wooden utility pole on the west side of Hemlock Street in the alley between 10th and 11th Avenue.

      Nice guys but not much for chit chat—very focused on the task at hand.

      Imagine mice using Tonka trucks to plant a broomstick. Then imagine all the things that could go wrong.

      These fellows looked like they were protecting a 100-percent success record.

      Lots of long-serving poles are being put out to pasture

      We did talk during a break in the “action”. I mentioned how many trucks I’d seen in the past few months hauling fresh wooden utility poles westward on West Broadway and how earlier this spring I’d watched another Allteck crew replacing utility poles along the east side lane of Cambie Street up by King Edward Avenue.

      They told me they would be busy throughout the summer putting up new poles all over Vancouver.

      I left them to their work but not before one of them asked me if I was looking for bottles. I said that I was, and they produced two large garbage bags full of returnable containers for me—they were really nice guys.

      Oh, that’s gonna leave a mark!

      I think the digger derrick being used here was one made by Altec (not apparently related to Allteck).

      In February of this year, Altec announced the development of urethane guards that could be retrofitted on their digger derrick pole guides (the steel “crab claws ” holding the top of the utility pole). The urethane fits over the claws and the one other point of contact to protect the wooden pole from handling damage.

      In the bottom photo we can see this derrick’s pole guides are not fitted with protective sleeves.

      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer.