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PEWAUKEE, Wis. – A helicopter and heavy-duty air saw was used this week to trim trees along a 138,000-volt and a 69,000-volt line in the Waupaca, Amherst Junction and Iola areas.

American Transmission Co. has contracted with Aerial Solutions, Inc. to manage vegetation growth along its transmission line corridors. This work will be accomplished using an aerial power saw with rotary blades that is suspended from a helicopter on a 90-foot vertical boom.

The aerial saw has been highly efficient when compared to the work of ground-based crews.

“It takes just a few hours for an aerial saw to complete what typically takes ground crews several days to accomplish,” said Adam Helminiak, ATC senior vegetation management specialist. “However, the aerial work is weather-dependent so it could take more than a few days to complete the vegetation maintenance along the transmission lines.”

Managing the growth of trees and other vegetation near high-voltage transmission lines is important to help ensure public safety and electric system reliability. ATC performs routine vegetation management on its 9,600 miles of transmission lines in five-year cycles. 

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