This is an inspection type where the individual does only what the name implies: they “visually inspect” the pole only. It is generally assumed that the inspector actually contacts the pole and that they are not looking at it from a distance.
- Inspection: 360 degrees of the pole are viewed. The pole is viewed from the top to the point where it intersects the groundline.
- Data Collection: This is customer-driven, but the minimum requirement would be a GPS point taken at the pole. Notations of attributes of the pole which include physical characteristics which would usually be on a staking sheet (height, class, vintage) and any hardware or pole issues.
- Data Delivery: Should be given in a suitable electronic format, typically a shapefile (.shp), Excel or Access format. Some utilities request a mark up of their maps for important information such as reject location. RAM generates detailed maps from the data acquired during the pole inspection and presents it in a book form at the end of the job.
- Accuracy: Obvious decay will be found, but overall, this is the lowest accuracy of inspection. Suitable for very new poles or poles that obviously need replacement due to gross defects, but this inspection type will miss internal or below ground decay.
- Cost: This is the lowest cost pole inspection. It should be used only for inventory purposes and for weeding out the worst of the worst poles with obvious visual defects. It cannot be relied upon as a reliable indicator of decay on your system.