Utility Pole Lineman Workshops

Field | Steel Utility PolesSteel poles are becoming an increasingly important component of a distribution system, offering benefits over wood poles to both utility companies that deploy them and to lineworkers who install and maintain them. As more utility companies begin to implement steel poles into their systems, and colleges add steel training to their curricula, industry assistance may be needed to ease the learning curve.

For the past 15 years, SMDI has assisted colleges, training centers, electric utilities, and various electric utility associations by providing complimentary training to qualified organizations. The training is set up in two separate formats—one specifically designed for students and instructors, and one developed for electric utilities, apprentice programs, and utility associations.

Student and Instructor Training

SMDI offers complimentary on-site classroom and hands-on-training workshops for students and instructors who have limited experience working with steel utility poles. The objective is to provide students with a general introduction to steel utility poles in order to prepare them for work in the field. In addition, SMDI will provide instructors with the knowledge and materials they need to implement steel training into their curricula. The training is centered around the information and topics contained in the SMDI training module, "Essential Lineman Training: Working with Steel Utility Poles."

SMDI will provide a qualified training instructor, with experience in training students, to visit your school to educate students via a classroom demonstration and hands-on training session. The workshops typically last 4-6 hours, and provide students with information on:

Upcoming Workshops

  • Climbing
  • Drilling
  • Field deployment
  • Framing
  • Installation
  • Joining
  • Safety requirements

An SMDI partner will also donate a steel utility pole for use in the college's training yard during the hands-on training workshop and future lab sessions (restrictions may apply).

Electric Utilities / Apprentice Programs / Utility Associations

SMDI offers complimentary on-site classroom and hands-on training workshops for apprentices, experienced linemen, operations personnel, management, and engineers with an interest in learning more about steel poles. These workshops can be customized to meet the needs of any training program. Much of the training is centered around the information and topics contained in the SMDI training module, "Energized Distribution Systems – Safe Work Practices." 

In order to provide this on-site training, SMDI and its partners have teamed up with the Institute for Safety in Powerline Construction (ISPC) to implement a workshop specific to an organization's training requirements. Representatives from SMDI and IPSC will lead the workshop, which typically takes place over a 1-2 day timeframe depending on the amount of training required.

Topics may include:

  • Operations
    • Steel pole overview
    • Joining multiple-section steel poles (strength requirements, chain hoists and hydraulics)
    • Framing and setting steel poles
    • Climbing steel poles
    • Energized line work with steel poles
    • Handling, loading and deployment of steel poles
    • Steel pole grounding
    • Steel pole equipment installations – energized condition
  • Engineering
    • Pole engineering, design, and testing
    • Pole strength performance
    • Pole manufacturing and quality control
    • Maintenance and inspection
    • Corrosion risk and mitigation
    • Life expectancy

For more information, or to find out if your organization qualifies for a complimentary training workshop, please contact Dan Snyder at dsnyder@steel.org.

Lineman Workshop Participating Schools

Since the program's inception in 2005, SMDI has presented the Lineman Training Workshop at the following schools: