ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) – Dominion Power is making sure parts of Albemarle County are ready for high winds and storms. Wednesday it unleashed a unique rig that clears around power lines and right of ways in no time.
The tree trimming machines are called Jarraffs. Dominion uses dozens of them to clear vegetation around lines across central Virginia.
Wednesday power crews used a Jarraff near Ash-Lawn Highland to trim a right of way that houses several power and communication cables. The hydraulic contraption can reach 70 feet into the air and has a single spinning blade at the end which cuts overhang.
Dominion says it is essential workers trim year-round to prevent trees from taking out power lines during storms.
“This tool is great on our rural right of ways because it can keep that vegetation back along the edge and it can also reach up above the line and clear out overhangs and canopy limbs that causes a lot of trouble during outages or during the storms,” said Jay Griles of Dominion Power.
Dominion says it especially concentrates the Jarraff trimmers in rural areas, because those areas tend to be more overgrown and have thicker heavier vegetation.
“These are very efficient machines, very efficient on our rural right of ways and that’s another reason we use them. They can cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time,” Griles stated.
Dominion Power does not own the machines or staff them. The power company contracts outside vendors who specialize in maneuvering the large vehicles.