CH Coakley Telecom’s Logistics team continues to be the top provider of warehousing, installation, repair services and supply chain solutions to the telecommunication networks most recognized brands. Those services include creating strategies to some incredibly unique and challenging situations that deal with unruly terrain and unpredictable weather, such as transporting parts to remote towers located in rural woods and farm fields.
Due to the February 2017 winter storms in northern Wisconsin, US Cellular recently found themselves snowbound while midway through an aggressive upgrade on its network. Between plow equipment not able to keep up with the snow removal and the unseasonably warm spells between storms, ATV equipment and trucks would get stuck in the dirt roads that were breaking through the thinning ice-covered surfaces, leaving the entire project in jeopardy.
Although the telecommunications industry has substantially grown and advanced over the past decade, some situations require borrowing from century-old solutions: working horses and a skilled driver.
As the CH Coakley team faced multiple challenges such as state-wide weight restrictions which prevents the transport of heavy equipment to site locations; ever-changing weather conditions; the need to protect the private properties surrounding the tower sites; and limited access to paved or gravel roads, it was agreed that the standard heavy machinery would get stuck trying to access the sites. Smaller vehicles could have been brought in, but would not be logistically cost effective due to the distance between each site location. Back up was needed and draft horses were brought in to close the gap between success and failure.
Once on site, the horses were hitched up to the wagon while CH Coakley staff transferred the upgrade equipment from truck-to-wagon near the US Cellular tower. The horses proved to be the most economical, environmentally friendly and able to handle the ground changes brought on by the weather fluctuations, all of which enabled CH Coakley to meet US Cellular’s schedule and budget expectations.