Jason Lowe, a Step 7 transmission apprentice out of Lexington, Kentucky, recently topped out as a journeyman lineman for his company.

Lineworker Spotlight: Jason Lowe

June 2, 2022
Jason Lowe, a Step 7 transmission apprentice out of Lexington, Kentucky, recently topped out as a journeyman lineman for his company.

Davis H. Elliott

  • Born in Stanford, Kentucky, and has an older sister.
  • Married to Breanna, who works as an RN. They have a four-year-old daughter, Presley, and a baby on the way.
  • Enjoys going to the lake. He grew up fishing with his father and hopes to pass on this passion to his daughter. Also likes hunting and grilling and smoking meat.
  • Can’t live without his Milwaukee impact drill, which he uses every day, and a mag drill to drill holes in steel poles.

Early Years

After graduating high school, I went to college and found that nothing really seemed to interest me for a future career. After a year, I decided to leave and join the workforce. After working in a few factories, I quickly knew that the clock-in, clock-out routine wasn’t going to work. I later had a friend who had just finished line school and expressed his enjoyment of the trade. After working to save the money, I applied to the lineman school and never looked back. I loved that I could work outdoors, build with my own hands and end every day feeling accomplished. I didn’t have any family involved in line work, but I’ve definitely acquired a family as I’ve worked in the field. Many of them I’d call my brothers.

Day in the Life

Six years ago, I was hired on at Davis H Elliot on a pecker patching crew. In this role, I ran out lines, patched woodpecker holes and reported rejected structures. Today, I’m a lead lineman on a crew of five. Every day is different, but we spend the majority of our work days replacing rejected structures on a line given to us by our contractor. Right now, we are working on new builds to construct new transmission lines.

Challenges and Rewards

I teach the guys coming up under me who are new to the trade. I’ve found that watching them grow is one of the main rewards of my day. The most major challenges are usually the weather. It seems like it’s never in favor of the job, and I have a love-hate relationship with it. When it’s dry, the temperature is 95°, and when the weather is decent, it rains, so you fight the mud. Other than that, it’s freezing temperatures, and nothing seems to want to work right when everything’s frozen.

Safety Lesson

We had an awesome up-and-coming lineman who had been in the field for a few years longer than me. A few years ago, the crew was setting a pole through an energized 69 kV transmission line. It was early spring, and the area was wet, muddy and located on the side of a hill. The setting rig slipped open and caused the pole to fall out and hit the live wire. Everyone managed to get off the pole before being electrocuted except for the lineman. After a long and rough truck ride down the muddy hill, he was rushed to the hospital. He eventually suffered extreme burns resulting in the removal of his arm and leg. Afterward, I realized you should never take anything for granted. Even if it takes a little extra time, be sure to inspect your truck and be aware of your surroundings, because things can change in a split second.

Memorable Storm

I have been on quite a few storms, but recently, I had the most impactful experience. A tornado hit Kentucky, and we were dispatched to Dawson Springs, Kentucky. As we arrived, we witnessed the devastation and could clearly see the path of the storm. While driving toward the lines, we noticed EMS, police, firefighters and volunteers ready to start walking toward the debris and search for missing people. It hit the gut and made me realize the loss and how much I have to lose. We worked 16-hour days for seven days straight to rebuild the transmission line supplying power to their local substation, which in turn, supplied power to the town. The biggest moment was the last day of restoration. We arrived, and the town was black, but as we left that night, you could see lights start to emerge in Dawson Springs.

Life as a Lineman

If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t change choosing to go with electrical lineman as my career. What I would change is choosing it sooner because I feel I would be so much further along in the knowledge it brings.

Plans for the Future

My future plans are to hopefully be able to manage my own crew and teach them to be the best they can be. I want to learn how to work safely and prosper in my skillset but enjoy the journey and appreciate the trade.

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