DTE Energy
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DTE Linemen Brighten Holiday Season by Decorating Truck

Dec. 16, 2021
A three-man crew lights up a DTE truck for a holiday parade as part of an annual tradition.

Three DTE linemen from different service areas joined together to decorate a DTE truck for the holidays. Linemen Carl Simm, Jason Barnett and Chris Simm spent a week installing 30,000 lights on a truck for community parades. 

“It’s a ton of work, honestly.” said Simm in an article on the DTE site. “But the look on the kids’ faces is what keeps us doing it every year. It’s priceless.” 

Back in the 1990s, the tradition began. Linemen decorated a bucket truck to spread cheer in a local parade. 

“We just started adding a little each year,” Simm said. “At first it was just some lights that I went and bought myself or had at my house. But it’s grown into something pretty neat that we’re proud of.” 

Fun Facts

  • It takes eight days for a three-man crew to fully decorate the truck and the trailer. 
  • Just under 30,000 lights are on the truck (not including inflatables and lawn fixtures attached all over the truck) 
  • 700 ft of extension cord 
  • 400-500 ft of #6 copper wire 
  • Nearly 2,500 zip ties 
  • It runs on a 7000w generator. It used to run on two 6000w generators. But as older light fixtures are replaced with new and more efficient LED lighting, this is the first year the team has gotten it down to one 7000 W generator. 
  • The parade truck has become such a staple of the Newport Service Center that when it was remodeled in 2020, a large mural of the truck was put in the lobby. 
  • When fully decorated, the truck’s top speed is 45 miles per hour (though it is rarely driven beyond half this speed.

Source: DTE Energy

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