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Hands on learning for Linemen

Updated: Jan 27

Do you remember the best book you read about how to ride a bike when you were growing up?

Of course not.

Understanding the fundamentals of transmission and distribution is not exactly like riding a bike, but the need for hands on learning is more evident then ever. What makes hands-on and experiential learning difficult in the line trade is the obvious danger.

The proverbial "scrap of the knee" that occurs when you learn to ride a bike, cannot be afforded with a high voltage distribution line live on scene..

For years, the default learning experience for groundmen and apprentices has been a combination of classroom textbook work, power point slides bolstered with real time assistance of journeymen in the field

How can lineman better prepare to be on the job?

Some of the highest regarded text books for lineman education includes in depth information on of generators, transmission towers, transformers, regulators, fuses, meters - essential components of a power distribution system.

However even with the best photographs and diagrams, this learning is really re-enforced on the job through the OJT apprenticeship program. How can we as the future of the line industry encourage more hand on learning both in the classroom and in the field?

We are encouraged to see the number of serious line injuries continue to drop year over year. We are very encouraged to see new technologies and arrangements to model and scale-down power infrastructure set ups to help up and coming utility professionals learn the basics by doing.

Where can I become a lineman instructor?

Spotlight on Three Phase Innovations

Three Phase Innovations has developed real-to scale training models to simulate the exact experience for lineman.

Josh Nichols and Jason Leary, veteran linemen themselves, founded three Phase Innovations® in 2015 to provide “on the job” level training for lineworkers in the safety of the classroom. To that end, they have developed “to scale” transformers and poles and a control panel that allows a qualified instructor to simulate any possible situation a lineworker might encounter on the job.