Not every rodeo has broncos and bulls. Some have competitors climbing to dizzying heights to prove they can wrangle high wires.
Lowell Light & Power was one of 73 teams to compete in the 17th annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo earlier this month. The event – held in San Antonio, Texas – brought together not-for-profit community-owned utilities from across the country. During the two-day event, apprentice participants and journeyman teams ran through a series of events to demonstrate their ability to work quickly, neatly and safely.
“The rodeo event is a great place to see what’s new in the industry and to network with other lineworkers,” says Ryan Teachworth, LL&P distribution/transmission manager.
LL&P Fields Journeyman Team for the First Time
Representatives from Lowell have attended the last eight lineworker rodeos, but this is the first year a journeyman team has been entered from LL&P. That team included the following three members:
- Mark Droog, a 19-year veteran of LL&P and its lead lineman
- Justin Mutschler, an apprentice lineman who’s been with the utility two years
- Ryan Teachworth, the LL&P distribution/transmission manager
The team competed against utilities from as far away as Florida, Texas and California. Although they didn’t place in their first showing at the Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, all members say it provided a valuable learning experience. Droog noted the competition “improved teamwork skills, planning job flow and communication skills.”
Plus, it was a chance to show off our small utility on a national stage and next to much larger companies. “It shows how much pride we take in what we do and that we are a team here at LL&P,” Mutschler explains.
With one year under their belt, the team hopes to return to competition next year. “I have been around this industry for 24 years now and have never been able to attend something like this,” Teachworth says. “It was a great experience, and I hope we can improve on our performance next time.”
Sending a journeyman team to the Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo isn’t the only new thing LL&P has done lately. They also have a new website and app they hope you’ll check out.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Light & Power