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A Day in the Life of a Lineman

A Day in the Life of a Lineman

Other than the obvious 24/7 preparedness for restoring power during unexpected outages, what do Crow Wing Power linemen do on a daily basis? What does it take to be a line worker? Whether it’s maintaining and upgrading our electric infrastructure to insure reliable power or installing and upgrading new services for residential or growing businesses, every day is filled with a variety of work that takes skill and training to insure linemen’s safety.

Substations receive monthly inspections and undergo annual maintenance. Periodically we need to install new substations to keep up with growing power supply, the newest of which is being built along Hwy 10 south of Little Falls.

In March, you may have seen linemen working along Hwy 45 south of Brainerd upgrading older wire and poles - a lengthy and tedious project that is continuous throughout our 5,000 plus miles of line within our territory.

Perhaps you have a home along Ruttger Road, northwest of Ideal Corners, where linemen were working to replace older wire with new more robust aluminum wire recently.

Or, if you saw activity on March 19 near the Southdale substation in Baxter (near Forestview Middle School), you would have seen men in full safety gear replacing equipment.

As you might expect, strict safety standards are followed which include monthly safety meetings, daily inspections of safety equipment, rubber gloves, rubber sleeves, hard hats, face shields, safety glasses, safety boots and additional safety devices are mandatory.

In addition to our 25 linemen, we have stakers, meter technicians, right-of-way technicians and others that also complement our team that help us maintain our reputation of reliable power and unprecedented customer service.

What does it take to be a line worker?

There are five line worker schools in Minnesota that receive scholarship funding of up to $1,000 for each Crow Wing Power member’s son or daughter to attend. Scholarship funding is made possible through unclaimed capital credits each year. Most, upon completing their education, work for contractors initially and then are potentially hired by utilities as apprentices. A four-year apprentice needs to complete another program and 8,000 hours before they become a journeyman.  A journeyman can become a crew chief, usually based on seniority or qualifications.

Not everyone is cut out to be a line worker as the work is strenuous, weather conditions can be extremely difficult and all need to be in shape, strong and attentive to detail. However, for those that like the work, it is an honorable and unique profession.
We applaud our linemen, as we do all of the Crow Wing Power employees, who dedicate their lives to provide members with unsurpassed service and reliability.

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