Driving Innovation

Lineworkers put skills to the test

November 27, 2019

Watch the video to see ComEd in action at the International Lineman’s Rodeo:

“This was an amazing opportunity,” said Dan Pagels, ComEd crew leader and linework competitor. “It gave me a new outlook and experience of what it means to be a lineworker.”

Pagels is referring to the International Lineman’s Rodeo he attended last month in Overland Park, Kan. The rodeo is a competition that tests lineworkers’ skills through a series of events. After 19 years, ComEd returned to compete.

Four journeyman teams and five apprentices from ComEd competed against teams from nearly 100 energy companies from around the world. The ComEd teams qualified after competing in the company’s own lineworkers competition.

“The series of events tested our craft, speed and communication,” Pagels said. “We knew what all the events consisted of, besides the two mystery events they announced the day before.”

ComEd lineworkers competed in such events as:

Pole Climb: This event tests safety and accuracy when climbing. Lineworkers climb up a pole with an egg in a bucket. Once at the top, the lineworker drops the bucket to the ground and places the egg in their mouth. The lineworker must climb down without breaking the egg.

Hurtman Rescue: A lineworker rescues a “hurtman” mannequin at the top of a pole. This event reinforces the importance of safety and looking out for each other in the field.

Rope Splice: The purpose of this event is to determine knowledge, dexterity and capability of making splices, or joining electric cables. Splices are judged on appearance, tightness and size of eyes.

Other events like the Single-Phase Insulator Change Out and Transformer Change Out tested lineworkers’ ability to replace electrical equipment. Click here for a detailed description of each event.

“When competing, perfection was key,” he said. “There could be no deviations.”

ComEd journeyman teams received perfect scores in three different events, and apprentices received perfect scores in four events.

“We will be back next year and even better,” Pagels said.

For complete results, go to https://www.linemansrodeokc.com/results-final/