Line maintenance: The new Buddy Bushing from LineWise is a patented (U.S. patent No. 8,399,770B1) product that increases the lifespan and strength of the cross arm attachment in transmission lines. Designed by Buddy Phillips, a Georgia Power line specialist with more than four decades of experience, the innovative device is a cost-effective measure that mitigates wear issues, inspection time and, ultimately, expensive repair or replacement.
Utility companies have always had problems with erosion of the attachment hole in the cross arm. Over time, wind-driven rubbing and vibration between the line hardware and cross arm attachment points can cause failure. The result is costly arm replacement repairs, increased downtime and unhappy customers forced to sit through extended power outages.
Recently, Georgia Power was challenged to find an answer to eliminate this routine setback. Phillips knew that, apart from stopping the wind, the solution lay in a product that reduced the friction caused by it. Several prototypes later, he developed what would become the Buddy Bushing – a cost-effective repair process that is simple, fast and provides long-term results.
The key to the Buddy Bushing is its unique two-part construction: an inner hub of 17-4 stainless steel, and an outer hub of 416 stainless steel. These differing steel hardnesses prevent galling between the surfaces, while the Buddy Bushing’s unique design eliminates the sawing action that previously caused insulator attachment holes to fail. It can be installed on partially worn attachment holes to stop failure, or placed in new construction to extend the life of an arm. Third-party tests prove that not only does the Buddy Bushing solve wear problems, but it also increases joint strength by 25 percent.
Georgia Power’s field workforce installed a number of Buddy Bushing on 230kv lines through its service territory, effectively reinforcing hundreds of worn cross arms. They found technicians required minimal training to install the device, and the savings on a single project for labor, equipment and materials were significant.
LineWise is a division of Diversified Products. The company designs, engineers and manufactures a full line of utility products, including line lifters, insulated work platforms, phase lifters, transmission temporary conductor supports and the Buddy Bushing cross arm reinforcement system.