Welcome to the world of linemen—a world where linemen forge an everlasting bond with their brothers and sisters in the trade and work around the clock in severe weather to keep the lights on.
To celebrate the line trade for their hard work, dedication and passion for the industry, Transmission & Distribution World magazine recently launched a new Instagram page: @LinemenWorld. While linemen often work behind the scenes and out of the spotlight, Instagram puts their work on center stage.
On this social media platform, linemen from around the world share photos and connect with other linemen, sparking new friendships that will likely last a lifetime. Now, they can follow T&D World to see even more photos of the trade in action.
Sharing Photos and Memories
While working storms outside of their service territories, linemen work alongside crews from other companies and regions of the country. Long after the damage is restored and the lights turn back on, these linemen often stay in touch via email, text messages or phone calls.
Social media, however, opens up a whole new world to linemen. Platforms like Instagram allow linemen to snap photos on their smartphones and share them with their friends in the line trade—whether they are working at the same company or thousands of miles away in another state.
Instagram gives followers the opportunity to understand the personal side of the line trade. Linemen must often leave in the middle of the night to restore power following storms. Every time they go out into the field, however, they must work safely so they can return to their families each night.
For example, not only linemen, but also their spouses can also connect with each other through social media. When their loved ones are working long hours during storms, their spouses can provide support through social media platforms like Instagram. Case in point: within the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Wives Group, members share weather and outage updates and photos of their babies and children.
As I looked through the group’s images, one photo by Katie Barbier Photography really jumped out at me: a lineman wearing his PG&E hard hat and blue work shirt and cradling his newborn baby in his orange work gloves (shown above and in the last slide of the following photo gallery). If a picture could tell a thousand words, this would be it. It showed that the line trade is more than just a job. It is a lifestyle, and an occupation that is often carried down through the generations.
Connecting With Our Magazine
Through social media, our magazine can learn about the lives of linemen and help to share their stories with the line trade. Currently, LinemenWorld is following electric utilities, training programs, tool manufacturers and major industry associations. Within our feed, we see photos of linemen working on restoring power or maintaining or building new power lines.
By following training associations, we are also seeing photos of tomorrow’s future leaders in the line trade. These young apprentices will one day fill the boots of the waves of veteran linemen who will soon be retiring from the industry. For example, one photo showed a young apprentice proudly showcasing his new journeyman card, a moment that he will never forget for the rest of his lifetime.
For the past 12 years, I’ve enjoyed working with linemen from across North America to help them share their success stories, best practices and discoveries of new tools and technologies. By launching a new page on Instagram, I hope to further connect with our readers, learn even more about the line trade and uncover new ideas for future stories for the Electric Utility Operations section and the Lineman Life enewsletter, which recently went to twice a month (subscribe here).
As you know, we have a monthly full-page photo department called Parting Shot in every Electric Utility Operations section as well as a lineman profile called Lifeline. If you or your crew have an idea for either of these departments, please tag @LinemenWorld to bring it to our attention. You and your crew could be showcased in a future issue of the print magazine, in our email newsletter or Web site at www.tdworld.com/electric-utility-operations.
You can connect with T&D World through the world of social media on several platforms: Instagram (@LinemenWorld), Facebook, Twitter (@tdworldmag) or LinkedIn. You can also email me at [email protected] if you have a great photo of a lineman at work, a nomination for someone we can profile or an idea for a feature story within the magazine. We look forward to putting you in the well deserving spotlight.