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Old December 16th, 2009, 09:17 PM   #21
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Linemen are a rare breed. You live for storms, hurricanes, blizzards, etc... You will make a killing on OT, but plan on working a lot of it. Me, I much prefer to market the electricity that goes across those lines...
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Old December 16th, 2009, 09:20 PM   #22
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Linemen are a rare breed.
Yes.........Very True
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Old December 16th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #23
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I work for DTE, I work on what 04PSD considers "low voltage" as an Assistant Operator. You ITC guys don't get to do is play with the stuff energized. We get to do ENERGIZED 4800 volt jumpering all the time, but you guys miss out on that fun. And not to knock you guys but come on the 120 is a pretty cookie cutter system. There is a reason we sold the Transmission to you guys and not the distribution. (only giving you a little shit for calling 40kv and lower "low voltage" )

But as for the lineman job. My brother just transferred as did a kid in my operating class into the apprentice job and started 2 weeks ago. It starts at $21 or so an hour and they top out around $34 depending if you're a leader or not. I say good luck to all that apply because the lineman job is one of the hardest to get into in the company. Usually they hire contractors from Local 17 and Local 58 because they already have experience and the such. Its a pretty selective group of people that get to do that job.

Personally I think those guys are insane, most are. No disrespect to any one that happens to be a lineman, but they hang out in a bucket 90ft in the air with no where to run if something goes wrong. Of course they think operators are crazy cause if something blows up it goes boom in our faces, but to each there own I guess.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 09:37 PM   #24
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But as for the lineman job. My brother just transferred as did a kid in my operating class into the apprentice job and started 2 weeks ago. It starts at $21 or so an hour and they top out around $34 depending if you're a leader or not. I say good luck to all that apply because the lineman job is one of the hardest to get into in the company. Usually they hire contractors from Local 17 and Local 58 because they already have experience and the such. Its a pretty selective group of people that get to do that job.
Whos your brother? My buddy is at the TDC with the new hires.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 09:42 PM   #25
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Old December 16th, 2009, 10:06 PM   #26
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hmmmm
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Old December 16th, 2009, 10:07 PM   #27
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Thanks. DuffMan
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Old December 16th, 2009, 10:22 PM   #28
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I work for DTE, I work on what 04PSD considers "low voltage" as an Assistant Operator. You ITC guys don't get to do is play with the stuff energized. We get to do ENERGIZED 4800 volt jumpering all the time, but you guys miss out on that fun. And not to knock you guys but come on the 120 is a pretty cookie cutter system. There is a reason we sold the Transmission to you guys and not the distribution. (only giving you a little shit for calling 40kv and lower "low voltage" )

But as for the lineman job. My brother just transferred as did a kid in my operating class into the apprentice job and started 2 weeks ago. It starts at $21 or so an hour and they top out around $34 depending if you're a leader or not. I say good luck to all that apply because the lineman job is one of the hardest to get into in the company. Usually they hire contractors from Local 17 and Local 58 because they already have experience and the such. Its a pretty selective group of people that get to do that job.

Personally I think those guys are insane, most are. No disrespect to any one that happens to be a lineman, but they hang out in a bucket 90ft in the air with no where to run if something goes wrong. Of course they think operators are crazy cause if something blows up it goes boom in our faces, but to each there own I guess.

F-that, you can keep that 4800 volt jumpering. We got a little bit of training on it from some of out operators that came from DTE when I was an apprentice...not that we would ever do it, just information...and I will pass. And the reason you guys sold the transmission is because nobody would have bought that distribution shit!
There is nothing crazy about 120kv switching though, the maintenance aspect is a little different because there are so many different types of breakers and everything to learn, but it just takes time. It must be nice only having to switch and then sit on your ass all day , I wonder how long it will be until they make you guys get dual certified like us. (operator/EMJ's)

Consumers on the other hand, good luck with that one. We do energized bus transfers (parallel 138kv buses, transferring a line from one to the other) and that can be a handful at times, especially in the older stations. Nothing like using a hotstick to transfer a 138kv line carrying a shit-ton of current directly above your head.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:12 PM   #29
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This is one hell of an opportunity for somebody who is looking for a good career. One of the few stable industries left around here. Linemen have a good gig, they really don't work hard until the SHTF. But a lot of their time is spent on down wires, and waiting for something to come up. Once you get the experience and training, you can go anywhere in the world to be a lineman. Union wages, benefits and security too.


DOA, you work at Whiting? I spend a bit of time down there in the switch yard.




It isn't really the high voltage system, I believe 40kv is the highest that DTE deals with anymore.

*edit* I forgot about some of the 120kv lines that DTE still owns, so there is the occasional 120kv line work, but that is few and far in between anymore for them.

You have to jump ship to ITC to deal with the high voltage stuff now...they own the 120kv, 230kv, and 345kv transmission system....and soon to be 765kv.
Yep, I'm at the Whiting plant.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:14 PM   #30
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when we actually work on it, it is shut down...we are Operator/Maintenance techs...so we are the guys who shut it down, and work on it. In substations, there is no live work done...no reason for it.

But to shut it down, especially on the old consumers system...we use hot sticks to open 138kv disconnect switches. Almost nothing over there is ganged or mechanically operated, so you have to individually pull open each phase which draws a nice 138,000 volt arc out right above you, and all you have is a pair of gloves and a fiberglass pole.

The energized stuff isn't what you really have to worry about though, it is the induced static on the "dead" equipment from near by energized lines/equipment that will get you. Grounding is the biggest safety concern in our job...we had a guy killed a few years back from static alone.
The arc in the dark is so sweet....I go slow on purpose!
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:19 PM   #31
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You forgot one other requirement:
You must drink on the job.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:33 PM   #32
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The arc in the dark is so sweet....I go slow on purpose!
Now that I think about it, the 345kv disconnects are probably the worst in the system if they are associated with the new Mitsubishi 345kv breakers.

The new Mitsu's have external capacitors mounted on each bushing, and the disconnects draw the nastiest loudest arc that I have ever heard when you energize/de-energize them. The first time I operated a set, it was dark out and they actually lit up the entire switchyard. I ran over to the breaker to make sure it was open, from the sound...I thought I picked up load with them. I check my paperwork a dozen times before I push the button now, no matter what...it still makes my blood run cold when I operate them.

All of the ones I have done so far are motor operated, so I push the open or close button on the disconnects and run like a little bitch (I have a funny ass video of another one of our operators doing the same thing ). I'm not looking forward to having to do a set of the crank operated disconnects over on the old consumers system with a new Mitsu breaker....no matter how fast you crank, those disconnects still operate very slow....I'm sure you will draw a 3'+ long arc out with those.

I can only imagine what the 765kv disconnects will do when we get those up and running, but that is a few years away still.




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You forgot one other requirement:
You must drink on the job.
Probably not a requirement, but I sure as hell would have to be drunk to climb some of those towers ...there is no way in hell I could do that job.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:34 PM   #33
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I don't see apprentice lineman being an option
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:18 PM   #34
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me neither duffman!!!! and I'm selling my carhauler next month so I need a real job!
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 09:39 PM   #35
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F-that, you can keep that 4800 volt jumpering. We got a little bit of training on it from some of out operators that came from DTE when I was an apprentice...not that we would ever do it, just information...and I will pass. And the reason you guys sold the transmission is because nobody would have bought that distribution shit!
There is nothing crazy about 120kv switching though, the maintenance aspect is a little different because there are so many different types of breakers and everything to learn, but it just takes time. It must be nice only having to switch and then sit on your ass all day , I wonder how long it will be until they make you guys get dual certified like us. (operator/EMJ's)

Consumers on the other hand, good luck with that one. We do energized bus transfers (parallel 138kv buses, transferring a line from one to the other) and that can be a handful at times, especially in the older stations. Nothing like using a hotstick to transfer a 138kv line carrying a shit-ton of current directly above your head.
The cool thing about 120 is that it is so redundant that its very tough to flatten stations so mistakes are harder to make. Its like out C-stations down town, hard to drop load there.

It'll be a long time before we move to a system like you guys have. It'd have to be almost a 9 year training program, our operator program is 4 years and maintenace is 5. And they say that you aren't really an operator until 5 years after your on the run, so unless they want to sacrifice safety it'd be pretty hard to switch over. If you think your system has a bunch of oddball breakers you should check out our system. Holy crap not one station is the same, not one set of breakers are the same. Its great for job security but man it would make things a lot easier.

And we have a lot of 120kV still, remember our jurisdiction is from the clips of the 120kv disconnects of our transformers and back. We open those disconnects all the time, not as cool as opening the 345, that shit pops like crazy. I love watching that stuff, but I've been told its not good to have that outlook on the stuff. You have to respect it but you can't be scared or your in the wrong business.

We don't all sit on our asses, we are supposed to be watching maintenance work to ensure they work safe.

Rumor has it you guys can't bring your 745kV due to the agreement ITC signed when they bought the consumers/Edison transmission system. One of your operators that was an edison guy was telling me there is a lawsuit or something because ITC agreed to exclusivity with buying the power it sells back to Edison and Consumer from their plants and not from out of state.

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Old December 22nd, 2009, 09:59 PM   #36
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Standing in an AEP substation watching and hearing them clear a 765-kv line was simply awesome. Seeing a huge blue arc 6-8' long until it blew it out was scary, yet extremely cool. Makes me appreciate the fact that I sit in a not so comfy desk chair 9-10 hours a day.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:48 AM   #37
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I reset my breakers all the time. And I don't use gloves or a goddamn fiberglass pole.

Bunch of pussies.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 01:34 AM   #38
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This sounds like a cool gig. At 45 with two very young kids, I don't think I am going to pursue this type of work.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 03:01 AM   #39
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Just got a automated email response:
Thank you for your application for the position of NC50335986e - Apprentice Lineman. We
will be contacting only those individuals who we wish to further pursue for this position.
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