SRP power linemen can work on either electrically energized (live) or de-energized (dead) power lines. When working with energized power lines, linemen must use protection to eliminate any contact with the energized line. Some distribution-level voltages can be worked using rubber gloves. The limit of how high a voltage can be worked using rubber gloves varies from company to company according to different safety standards. Voltages higher than those that can be worked using gloves are worked with special sticks known as hot sticks, with which power lines can be safely handled from a distance. Linemen must also wear special rubber insulating gear when working with live wires to protect against any accidental contact with the wire. The buckets linemen sometimes work from are also insulated with fiberglass.
Linemen may perform a number of tasks associated with power lines, including installation or replacement of capacitor banks, distribution transformers on poles, insulators, fuses, etc. Because most of these devices are heavy and irregularly shaped, linemen and their ground crews must have a good knowledge of rigging techniques, use of ropes, knots, and lifting equipment. These skills may have to be adapted to primitive conditions where almost all work is done by hand, with tools and material that are carried to the worksite. Such conditions are common in rural or mountainous areas that are inaccessible to trucks. The public seldom witnesses this type of work, which leads to the misconception that the occupation consists predominantly of working from a bucket truck.
I was granted the opportunity by George ( Line Foreman ) to fallow some of the SRP linemen around one day in Kearny Arizona. The job they were performing was to attach wire reels high above on a power pole so they could pull and install new fiber optic ground cable. SRP is the first power line company that I have seen that have surveyors taking accurate measurements of the cable in order to determine the elevation and all other dimensions. The sites they couldn’t reach by truck a SRP helicopter would fly three linemen to the out of reach locations.The job started inside the Ray Mine outside Kearny Arizona and ended five miles outside of the Mine. The job was preformed with just a few equipment problems and only took two weeks. The SRP linemen were all friendly and great group of guys to hang out with and they all made sure I was staying hydrated. The SRP linemen were all hardworking and diligent in the quality of work they performed.
I had a great time and would like the thank George and the SRP crew for letting me fallow them around. I hope one day I have the opportunity to fallow the crew around on another job.
Kearny Job Site
On Highway 177
Picking up a crew from a remote location.