Can you imagine going to a job each day that requires you to wear an additional 50 pounds of safety gear and protective clothing? Now, imagine having to perform detailed tasks while you’re 40 feet in the air and near high voltage. That’s not to mention the potential of extreme weather conditions or working through the dark of night.
That’s the life of a lineman and just a few of the reasons GVEC linemen undergo such rigorous training that includes a strong focus on job knowledge, safety and professionalism. Every July, GVEC linemen and apprentices, along with lineworkers from around the country, have the opportunity to test their skills against one another at the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo—held in Seguin. It’s also a chance for family members and the community to see what linemen do on a daily basis, the depth of their skills, and the extreme safety precautions they must take.
Tools of the Trade
1.Try these monster insulated gloves on for size. They are rated at 26,500 volts to help protect from electrical shock and burns. They’re tested each day; a tear as small as a pinhole puts a lineman’s life at risk.
2. This equipment belt is like a lineman’s suitcase. With clips, loops and D rings, it can carry every tool they might need and can weigh about 30 pounds when fully loaded.
3.Try walking a mile in a lineman’s boots. Gaffs are a special leg brace device with sharp steel gaffs (spurs) that make climbing easier and safer.