Last year I wrote and photographed a story called “A Day in the Life of a Lineman”. I spent the day with Chad Compton, a long time electrical coop lineman from Northfork Electric Cooperative in Sayre, Oklahoma. I have done a lot of work photographing and writing about the electric utility industry and always enjoy hanging out with hard working linemen.
One thing that really amazes me when I work with linemen is that their work seems like that of a NASCAR pit crew. Everyone is in synch, they have worked together typically for years, and everyone knows their job. When a crew pulls up to a downed pole or a new service installation, they all know what needs to be done and they do the work with minimal talk about the job. Oh, they might talk about baseball or hunting or fishing, but no need to talk much about the job they are doing because they are well-trained and practiced. Many crews have worked together for years so they know how to work together like a well oiled machine. Tools fly through the air without a word. Nobody asks “Can you hand me a drill?” The drill just magically appears at the right time. Pretty cool if you ask me.
I started out the morning well before daylight when the crews began filtering into Northfork Electric Cooperative’s shop in Sayre. The sun was just starting to brighten the eastern sky over the high school football field as workers started rolling in. After a quick planning and safety meeting, we were loading the trucks and heading out to the first job. Below is my story along with some additional pictures from my day with the lineman crew.
Below is a slideshow of the images from my day with a lineman.