GPO Vehicles

Make Bedford
Model RSHC5
Type Pole Erection Unit
Body Builder King Tel-E-Lect
Use Installation of poles
Registration Number  
Fleet Number  
Year of vehicle  
Date of picture 1965

N 3005
Issue 1, 4.11.66

Pole Erection Unit
King Tel-E-Lect

1. General Description
The apparatus is mounted on the reinforced chassis of a Bedford vehicle with full power take-off facilities. The vehicle cab provides seating for the driver and one passenger and a crew compartment behind the cab enables a third man to be carried if and when required. Two full length lockers, one on either side of a central gangway, provide adequate accommodation for all the tools and stores required to be carried on the unit. Provision has been made for a Ladder, Extension, No. 5 to be carried on the roof of the near side locker. Two pole bolsters, one behind the vehicle cab and one at the rear of the lockers, have been provided. They are designed to carry approximately 30 cwt. of poles in three banks. The front bolster also supports the derrick in its stowed position.

The apparatus consists of a hydraulically operated derrick with a telescopic boom, mounted at the near side of the chassis at the rear. On the extendible portion of the boom are mounted a pole hole borer and a winch; both hydraulically operated. Stability of the unit is ensured by means of the two stabilizing jacks which can be lowered hydraulically before putting the unit to work. Rotation of the derrick is continuous in either direction.

All movements of the derrick, pole hole borer, winch and jacks are controlled from a panel at the rear of the vehicle. The functions of each control lever are clearly marked on the panel. An engine speed governor, remotely controlled from the panel, is also provided.

2. Auxiliary equipment
A hydraulically operated pole jack and a backfill rammer are provided with each unit. Both are operated from hydraulic connexions quick couplers at the near side of the vehicle and are controlled from the panel.

3. Related Instructions
Operating procedure and user maintenance instructions .. .. .. P 4005
P.O. Motor transport: speed limits .. .. .. Vehicles, D 0022
Use of the pole erection unit .. .. .. LINES, Overhead, C 3203 (when available)


Derrick 1 ton at 6 ft. radius 
10 cwt. at 22 ft radius 
8 cwt. at 24.5 ft radius
Sheave height 3 ft. to 31 ft 3:in.above ground
Borer 12in, diameter holes up to 11 ft. 6 in. deep at any position around the vehicle with in the radii of 14 - 22 ft.
Pole jack 5 tons S.M.L.


ft    ins Loading Tons    cwt
Overall length 20     9 Unladen weight 7    16
Overall width 8      5 Maximum weight of poles  1    10
Overall height 12    3 Maximum gross moving weight 11    2
Turning circle 54      0

General Information

Make Bedford 
Model RSHC5
Engine Type Diesel
Drive 4-wheel
Fuel Tank Capacity 26 gal.
Electrical System Voltage 12V


Serial No range from 200348 to 200387.

Mechanical Aid Serial Nos. 70177/1 to 40.

Pole Erection Units
Taken from External Plant News - No. 1 July 1966

Each Area will shortly have received two Pole Erection Units (PEUs), which should lighten the work of pole erection and make conditions safer.  The safety helmets worn by the men will be available as a personal issue to external staff.

The Pole Erection Unit bores the hole neatly - up to 11 ft. 6 in. deep - lifts the pole and plants it.  This can be done up to 22 ft. 6 in. from the vehicle, a four-wheel drive truck, designed for cross-country travel.

Two types are being purchased, the Tel-e-Lect, manufactured by the King Truck Co., and the Polecat, manufactured by Simon Engineering Co.  Both PEUs are very similar in construction and can carry up to nine poles.

The method by which a pole is gripped at the end of the jib differs.  The Polecat grips the pole with two hydraulically operated claws, while the Tel-e-Lect winches the pole against two wide cheeks on the winch motor mounted at the end of the jib.

The machines will be used to erect most of the 100,000 poles erected every year, plus the extractions.  Poles in inaccessible sites such as gardens behind houses, will still require traditional manual methods for erecting.  To replace a pole an hydraulic jack is used to jack out the decayed pole, which is safely held by the jib of the PEU.

The hydraulic power of the PEU is also used to operate a rapid punner to consolidate the earth around the new pole.

With the poling work concentrated on specialist two-man parties, the remaining overhead gangs can be reduced in size, effecting a considerable saving in manpower.

All Regions in the Northern section of the country are equipped with Tel-e-Lect type machines and the remaining Regions with the Polecat type.

Vehicle ready for the hole boring operation, in this case at maximum outreach.  Notice the hydraulically operated legs which support the vehicle during these operations, and the plot-form for the operator.

An important part of the equipment is the Locator No. 1A which is an electronic 'dowser' used to locate buried services in the vicinity of the pole site prior to boring.  Briefly, the Locator to consists of a Transmitter, operating at a frequency of 80 Kc/s modulated with an audio tone, and a Detector fitted with a headphone and a meter to give a visual indication. Frame aerials are fitted to the Transmitter and Detector cases.  The transmitted signal induces a current into any buried conducting service, i.e. cable (P.O. or electricity), gas or water pipe, which is detected as a radiated signal along the run of the service.  The Detector is positioned over the intended pole site, whilst the Transmitter is carried round in a circle of approximately 25 ft. radius.

The radiated signal is received by the Detector, and the position of a buried service is indicated by a sharp increase in the signal strength when directly above the line of the service. A more precise location can then be obtained by use of a ' null-point' method.  The Locator to can also be used to determine the depth of a buried service.

The PBU crew, which consists of a Technician I and Technician IIA, will be fully trained in the use of the vehicle and the Locator No. 1A.


The detector and receiver which comprise the Locator No. 1A.  These clip together for transit.  The small foot on the transmitter is to give extra stability when free standing in one of the locating operations.
Proposed pole site under investigation by the crew using the Locator No. 1A. The PEU control panel can be clearly seen at the rear of the vehicle.


The photograph shows a Tel-e-Lect unloading a pole at the site of work. The vehicle can carry up to nine poles which are loaded at the pole stack using the jib. The auger is stowed away whilst using the jib for this type of operation and when travelling.


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Last revised: November 08, 2010