Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 25

COOPERATIVE Concerns
By Jackie Kennedy
A day in the life of a lineman
T
he daily duties of an electric utility lineworker are fairly
routine, except in the aftermath of storms. Then sunupto-sundown
workdays are spent repairing power lines
damaged by excessive wind and rain.
Much has been written about the work linemen do after
severe storms. Along with repairing their own co-op's electric
system, many linemen volunteer to travel out of town or out
of state, where they work long hours in harsh conditions to help
other utilities repair damaged systems.
But what about the other days-the routine workdays
of linemen employed by Georgia's electric membership
corporations (EMCs)?
Line Foreman Jeff Chandler has worked with Jeffersonbased
Jackson EMC for 24 years. When it comes to electric utility
work, he's experienced just about every scenario imaginable.
Unlike storm-damage repair, where difficult situations call
for a variety of solutions, the typical day in the life of a lineman
is fairly consistent, according to Chandler. It may vary slightly
from one EMC to the other, but
usually the work involves setting
utility poles for new service, replacing
old poles and setting transformers.
A routine day begins before the shift
starts, Chandler says.
" The shift starts at 7 a.m., but
we get in early to chitchat, get some
coffee and talk about things that
happened yesterday, " he says. " At 7,
linemen report to the foreman, who
lays out the day's work. According to
what the day involves, linemen load
poles to set that day and gather other
materials.
" The crew leader gets to the job site first and instructs
'Before any work begins, we have
a job-safety briefing in which
we discuss any potential hazards
and communications, including
mayday procedures. We do this
every single day. Safety is the most
important part of what we do.'
-Jeff Chandler
linemen where poles need to be set. Before any work begins,
we have a job-safety briefing in which we discuss any
potential hazards and communications, including mayday
procedures. We do this every single day. Safety is the most
important part of what we do. "
Poles are framed and assembled according to specifications,
like whether they'll be holding single-phase power lines
for residential use or three-phase lines for large industries,
according to Chandler.
" The linemen use trucks with specialized equipment to dig
holes where the stakes are placed for poles, and the poles are
set, " Chandler says. " Then, we attach wires onto the poles, and
if the pole has a transformer, we hang it. If we're doing a new
service, we run wire from the pole to the house. When everything's
set in place, the line is energized. "
Two to five poles may be set on a typical day, depending on
Jackson EMC Line Foreman Jeff Chandler
has helped build about 30 of Jackson's 81
substations over a career spanning 24 years.
the structures and the drive time between
jobs, according to Chandler.
" We do underground service, and we may work at substations,
too, but pole setting is the most time-consuming due to
the machinery, framing, hole-digging, tamping the hole, pulling
the wire and hanging the transformer, " he notes.
The most important parts of the job, Chandler reiterates, are
making sure everything is done safely and keeping an eye out for
what could go wrong.
" You never know what the weather is going to do or what
cars coming down the road might do, " he says. " As far as the
work, it gets repetitious, so we get used to that, and we do everything
possible to stay on top of safety. "
Chandler says that most linemen especially enjoy working
in the bucket truck, as it provides the greatest challenges.
" We start out training everyone on the ground and then
move to the bucket, " he says. " It's rewarding and builds selfesteem
to work in the bucket. "
Jackie Kennedy is the editor of Newnan-Coweta Magazine.
www.georgiamagazine.org
25
JUSTIN EVANS
http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Georgia Magazine - April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - April 2022

Contents
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 4
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 5
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 6
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 7
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 8
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 9
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 10
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 11
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 12
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 13
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 14
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 15
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 16
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 17
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 18
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 19
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 20
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 21
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 22
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 23
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 24
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 25
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 26
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 27
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 28
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 29
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 30
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 31
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Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 33
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 34
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 35
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 36
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 37
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - 38
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - April 2022 - Cover4
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