Basin Electric linemen participate in first-ever steel monopole and H-frame structure training

The steel monopole design is taking the place of wood and steel lattice structures in the industry, and Basin Electric is getting more of them in its system.
Working 50 feet to 90 feet in the air, members of Basin Electric's line crew replace a 230-kilovolt angle insulator string on this steel monopole near Rapid City, SD. The linemen are Shane Homan (Stegall TSM), Tim Craven (Mandan TSM), Nicolas Leonardi (Williston TSM), and Dan Miller (Mandan TSM).

Twice a year, in the spring and in the fall, Basin Electric linemen participate in live line training.

Eighteen of Basin Electric’s line crew recently traveled to the Rapid City, SD, area for their spring training, which focused on working on steel monopoles and steel dead-end H-frame structures.

This was the first time their training focused solely on these structures, according to Vince Smith, Basin Electric transmission line superintendent.

“The steel monopole design is taking the place of wood and steel lattice structures in the industry,” Smith said. “We’re getting more and more of these structures in our system and haven’t really done much training on them."

Working on steel monopoles and steel dead-end H-frame structures differs slightly from working on wood in that there are fewer places to stand.

As a result, Smith said that the training focused on where linemen can stand and where they can mount their tools on these structures, as well as how to refine their rigging to best work on the structures. Training also covered basic stick procedures.

John Sherwood, assistant line superintendent, along with Lead Linemen Ryan Brink and Cort Cundy, conducted the training. Sherwood, Brink, and Cundy are based out of the Transmission System Maintenance (TSM) outpost in Gillette, WY.

The training was geared toward newer Basin Electric linemen who have been with the co-op for less than two years. Veteran line crew also participated. In total, they represented the following Basin Electric TSM locations: Mandan, ND; Minot, ND; Williston, ND; Groton, SD; Gillette, WY; and Stegall, NE.

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