Timber poles are extensively used in Australia to support overhead electric and telecommunication facilities. The strength of the pole degrades over time, and pole failure can have serious safety and economic implications. The failure occurs when stresses exceed the remaining strength of the timber element. In this paper, a probabilistic framework is developed to estimate the remaining life of the timber power pole system. The developed framework permits the user to consider the variability in the capacity of the timber pole and cross-arm, loading and deterioration processes, and to propagate the uncertainty associated in each stage of the assessment procedure. Further, the time-dependent failure rate of the pole system is estimated to develop the risk matrix to improve the current renewal and replacement decision making process used by the utility companies in Australia.
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