The biggest challenge Miller faces is being aware of his surroundings, the environment and the safety of others.

Spotlight on the Line Trade: Ronnie Miller

Nov. 15, 2022
The biggest challenge Miller faces is being aware of his surroundings, the environment and the safety of others.

Power Line Services

  • Born in Pineville, Kentucky, and has two younger brothers.
  • Enjoys fishing, hunting and riding side-by-sides through the mountains. He also enjoys spending time with other linemen and going to the lake.
  • Can’t live without a set of Milwaukee pliers and a four-way ratcheting wrench.
  • First in his family to work in the power industry.

Early Years

Growing up in Southeastern Kentucky, coal was a way of life. I always wanted to work as a lineman, and as soon as I turned 18 and graduated from high school, I obtained my Commercial Driver’s License. In 2019, I started my line career with Davis H. Elliott. My first job was pole inspection, and in this role, I inspected structures, the wire and all the material used to build the poles. During the three-and-a-half years I worked for the company, I began my lineman apprenticeship program. When I left Elliott, I was a four-step apprentice (AP4) working on transmission lines. I had intended to work on transmission lines during most of my career, but I decided to move to distribution so that I could learn both sides. That way, I could broaden my skillset and become more knowledgeable. 

Day in the Life

Currently I am employed with Power Line Services as a four-step apprentice (AP4) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our hitch allows us to work eight days on and six days off. In my current role, I am responsible to run the ground, operate the digger, set poles and work out of the bucket.

Challenges and Rewards

The biggest challenge I face is just being aware of my surroundings, the environment and the safety of others. Our work can be dangerous and can affect several people whether on our crew or the customers we serve. The greatest reward is knowing that I help maintain, and sometimes restore, an essential service that provides lights and power to families’ homes. I take pride in what I do, I learn from the challenges I face and find satisfaction in every new skill set learned.

Safety Lesson

Once on a job site, my crew was loading the bottom to an H structure that rested on a dirt mound. The dirt came loose, causing the pole to roll down, almost crushing my co-worker’s leg. It really opened my eyes to the importance of taking in my surroundings and visualizing the possible risks.  My attention to detail and safety consistency on the job is something I take very seriously in order to prevent another incident like that.

Memorable Storm

In December 2021, a tornado moved across Western Kentucky traveling nearly 170 miles through 11 counties. It was the most memorable storm for me because it struck so close to home. We traveled to Dawson Springs, Kentucky, to assist in recovery standing up and resetting steel structures for power. On the work site, we had mud up to our knees. The weather was cold, and it rained the entire time we were down there.  I will never forget the destruction of the towns and the homes that were lost, but most importantly, the devastation that my people in Kentucky were experiencing.

Plans for the Future

I am content with my choice in the power industry. If I had to do it over again, I would choose this career every time. The sense of achievement you get in knowing you helped families in a time of need is like no other. The people you meet along the way—from other linemen to the customers—you just can’t beat it. I plan to continue learning through the apprenticeship program to complete my seven steps to become a journeyman. I want to grow in the company I am currently working for in hopes to retire from the power industry. I would recommend this job to anyone. There will always be a need for linemen. For me, book work wasn’t it, I preferred more hands on and that’s exactly what I get to do every day, and I love it.

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