Case Studies

Helping Integral Energy maintain network reliability

Since 1997, Active Tree Services has played a key role in helping Integral Energy maintain the reliability of its electricity transmission infrastructure.

Integral Energy is the second-largest state-owned energy corporation in NSW. It manages one of Australia’s largest energy networks, distributing electricity to more than 2.1 million people in households and businesses across 24,500 square kilometres of greater western Sydney, the Illawarra and the Southern Highlands of NSW.

Active Tree Services provides vegetation management services in the Southern Highlands, Windsor, Springhill and Narellan areas. Integral Energy’s contract is permanently resourced by local employees and subcontractors, which allows us to provide a high level of service around the clock.

Over the years, Active Tree Services has created and maintained very good clearances around the organisation’s energy infrastructure. This means that it is now possible to maintain clearances with very little disruption to the network. For example, in the 2005 financial year we required only 20 hours of network ‘shutdown’ to safely trim trees that were too close to electricity lines, compared with 3114 hours of disruption in the 2001 financial year.

Customer complaints relating to pruning have fallen dramatically, and Active Tree Services is proud of its safety record of consistently achieving long periods of zero lost-time injuries.

In addition, we have successfully undertaken projects at sites that have significant Aboriginal areas within the works zone. We have also undertaken a number of projects where there are environmental sensitivities, such as endangered fauna and flora.  

Challenging terrain on Scotland Island

Never shy of taking on a challenging project, Active Tree Services removed dangerous spotted gums on Scotland Island for its long-standing client Pittwater Council.

Located in Sydney’s Pittwater, Scotland Island is just 1 kilometre in diameter and home to more than 600 residents. A number of spotted gums on the island were in danger of falling on to houses and roadways.

The works involved dismantling four trees and pruning another two, and involved a number of challenges, including:

  • Getting equipment to the island

  • Difficult terrain on the island

  • The size and condition of the trees that were removed.

A barge was used to transport a four-wheel-drive tipper, 18-inch chipper and skidsteer to the island. Rough roads on the island made moving equipment around a challenge.

One of the larger gums was hollow, which made it especially difficult to bring down safely. As well, limited rigging and drop zones meant the gum had to be taken down in a relatively small area.

Work took five days to complete, using an A-grade arborist climber and ground crew. The works were completed on schedule, and residents were pleased with the results.

Clambunk boosts productivity for Ergon Energy

A recent mains-clearing project for Ergon Energy provided Active Tree Services with an opportunity to demonstrate its ability to come up with innovative solutions.

Ergon Energy provides electricity-related services to about 600,000 customers across Queensland. This $1 million project in Stanthorpe involved clearing 1200 spans of electricity mains through heavily timbered areas, some of which had not been cleared for some time.

To improve productivity and cut the time required to do the job, Active Tree Services used a clambunk skidder to help clear 50% of the spans.

Clambunk skidders are more commonly used in the forestry industry, and this was the first time this equipment has been used for vegetation management in Australia. A Jarraff tree trimmer was also used for the job.

Using the clambunk skidder allowed the job to be done much more quickly — and safely, because personnel were not in the way of falling timber.