Some arborist companies, particularly in the upper North Island, are moving towards the mandatory use of fiberglass pole saws and pruners for city tree maintenance. This trend may be due to the recent changes in the New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Electrical Safe Distances (see link to NZECP 34:2001 here) or it could be that fiberglass poles are perceived to be lighter, stronger and less likely to flex when extended to full length.
The most popular fiberglass pole saws and pruners (outside of the specialist utility 'hot sticks' from Hastings, Chance and Fairmont) are the
Jameson fiberglass poles with pruner and saw attachments and the new offering from
Silky, the fiberglass poled Todoku
Fiberglass poles come in two varieties: hollow-core and foam-filled. Hollow-core fiberglass poles have a tendency to accumulate moisture and dirt in the core and this reduces their dielectric properties. In contrast, foam-filled, fiberglass poles offer superior protection against moisture. This means they will pass the 100KV per foot for five minutes 'Safe Stik' specification without any problem.
The Jameson JE Series
fiberglass pole is the only pole sold by Treetools that reaches the 'Safe Stik' specification. The FG Series
, and the Silky Todoku hollow-core fiberglass poles are not considered 'Safe Stiks' and do not pass the test.
Please remember though, Safe Stik is a marketing term trademarked by Jameson - it is not a 'standard' as such. All poles bearing the 'Safe Stik' label sold in New Zealand should be annually tested and certified by companies like
TEX Onsite to ensure the pole still behaves as specified.