Line Contractor

Happy Old Year

Published On
Dec 15, 2021

This issue wraps up the first year of Line Contractor. Since I started traveling to trade shows again in September, I have met more of you readers and gotten some valuable feedback. Keep those (email) cards and letters coming! Our team of editors aims to get you the information you need and want, so tell us what that is.

As you saw on the cover, we have an article about cleanup and power restoration after Hurricane Ida in August. Susan DeGrane interviewed a contractor— Michels Corp., Brownsville, Wis.—that worked with the local utility after the storm hit the Gulf Coast. Michels personnel demonstrated flexibility, endurance and commitment, like so many line contractors called to disaster zones. Read “The Keys to Getting Power Back."

Another Susan (Bloom) spoke to another contractor (Forest Electric Corp., Edison, N.J.) about a design-build substation project for a data center where the company was also the construction manager.

Chuck Ross answers the question “What, Exactly, is a Modernized Grid?”. It might not look that different, but the support structures are decades old and have to be upgraded to meet future demand. Another way to explain this is to watch the Nov. 7 episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”—um, as long as you’re not put off by a lot of swearing. I know Chuck won’t mind me suggesting this, because he told me to watch the show.

To complement this, The Basics column by Gordon Feller is about priorities for hardening and investing in the grid.

Finally, Katie Kuehner-Hebert takes us onto protected land. Watch your step. Your company might be required to bring firefighting gear when working in a national park or forest. To prevent contaminating habitat with an invasive species, you’ll have to clean your equipment and get it inspected. This article was suggested to me by contractors I met at the NECA Show in Nashville. I’m always open to story ideas.

We also feature many new products and have a range of columns on training (3), utilities (11), compliance (17), a behind-the-scenes interview with Matt Compher (15) and a safety briefing (page 7).

Did you perhaps compete in the Lineman’s Rodeo in Overland Park, Kan.? If so, share pictures with us and other readers. You can email me at jmazur@necanet.org. If I haven’t made it clear, I would really like to hear from you, readers. Operators are standing by. Have a happy new year!

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