“Legends on the Line” is a blog series that stretches from National Lineman Appreciation Day (April 18) to Lineworker Appreciation Day (July 10) in honor of the brave lineworkers who climb above and beyond to power our world.
Rain, snow or shine – folks show up for a lineman’s rodeo.
Some of the nicest and strongest lineworkers you’ll ever meet strap on tool belts and climbing gear as their friends and family eagerly approach the sidelines, usually not far from a row of parked equipment trailers and campers. An entire family is typically along for a weekend to watch one of their loved ones compete. This unique competition event is designed to help lineworkers compete safely, as well as showcase their physical ability and technical skills.
Before the average rodeo kicks off, it’s common to see veterans raising flags and hear local marching bands performing our nation’s songs. These events are incredibly popular with lineworkers and their families, and have a very patriotic feel.
Suddenly, the action sets in. Groups of linemen begin hoisting wooden cross-arms, racing up poles, and heaving strands of lengthy rope – all for the sport of simulating rescues, building power lines and running damage repair scenarios.
These events are designed to replicate actual situations, and participants can lose points by dropping tools or making other mistakes. Linemen compete as a team, with trust being a key factor.
A common misconception with a lineman’s rodeo is that everyone is out to beat the clock. In reality, safety is the ultimate goal. Additionally, many linemen want to learn from other professionals so they can bring beneficial techniques back to their electric utilities.
During the October International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo in Bonner Springs, KS, more than 1,000 linemen from around the world competed for top honors. Check out this electric cooperative video to see the rodeo in action:
Through our Legends on the Line campaign, Border States also helps support National Sisterhood United for Journeymen Linemen, an organization that’s been helping the families of fallen lineworkers since 2012.