Started in 1998, the annual Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo is a two-day event that provides the opportunity for electric line workers to demonstrate their talents and skills while being recognized for such, including excellence in safety. This event provides friendly competition for apprentices, journeyman teams, individual journeymen and senior individuals.
This year’s event was held Sept. 17–18 at the Jackson State Community College campus in Jackson. There were 53 apprentices, 14 journeyman teams, 30 individual journeymen, and nine seniors competing this year.
Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation sent eight individuals to compete in the various events. Participating from STEMC — three apprentices, one journeyman team and two individual journeymen — were Dalton Stephenson, Ricky Hutcherson, Jimmy Young, Tyler Selph, Tyler Pickens, Cody Essary, John Mayo and Thomas Carlton. Additionally, Brian Holland served as a judge and Rodeo Committee member.
This is not a horse and cow type of rodeo. The events include things such as Hurtman Rescue, Double Dead End Bell Change-Out, Transformer Tap Change, 4 kV Cross Arm Change-Out and LED Security Light Change-Out as well as a Written Test for apprentices. Each of these events tries to measure and test skills required by electrical line workers by mimicking activities they might be required to perform. The goal is to complete each task as quickly as possible and, most importantly, do it safely. If the tasks are not done safely or do not meet quality standards, the individuals receive deductions that place them below others participants who receive no deductions — regardless of their speed.
There are many advantages to participating in the Lineman Rodeo. Most importantly, it teaches participants how to safely perform a job. While working on their speed, it teaches them how to perform tasks in the most efficient and effective manners possible. Many participants leave having learned how to perform a job with the minimal amount of movements and discover ways to improve their daily work. Additionally, it promotes pride in the line worker trade and develops a bond among participants. All of this helps improve our employees to be the safest, most effective and cost-efficient they can be, which, in turn, helps provide lower-cost, high-quality service to our members.
As a result of this year’s rodeo, these STEMC employees received trophies:
Apprentice Tyler Pickens, second place, Hurtman Rescue
Apprentice John Mayo, third place, LED Security Light Change-Out
Journeyman Team — Thomas Carlton, Dalton Stephenson and Tyler Selph, second place, Double Dead End Bell Change-Out
With regards to overall performance, John Mayo placed fifth, Tyler Pickens placed seventh and Cody Essary placed 29th in the Apprentice events. Thomas Carton, Dalton Stephenson and Tyler Selph placed sixth in the Journeyman Team events. Also, Jimmy Young placed sixth and Ricky Hutcherson placed 14th in the Individual Journeyman events.
We are very proud of our rodeo participants and all our employees at STEMC. And, as members, you should be proud of them as well.
For more information about the Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo, results or future events, visit tnrodeo.com.