Overhead School

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Overhead School

Overhead School

Date: September 11-14, 2018
  • Day 1: 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Day 2: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • Day 3: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • Day 4: 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: MMUA Training Center, 1004 Michigan Road, Marshall, MN
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Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association and our partners, Minnesota Rural Electric Association and American Public Power Association, are pleased to announce the 2018 Overhead Lineworker School. The class offering is diverse; offering useful instruction for all levels of lineworker. Please read through the information carefully and make your selection according to your interests and level of expertise.

NEW THIS YEAR – Students will rotate through four different 3-hour training sessions (exception is those registered for Advanced Class). This creates an opportunity for participants to take advantage of all hands-on training sessions, learn about a variety of topics and hone practical skills for efficiency and safety.

NOTE: Members of MREA need to register on their site directly.

What You Will Learn 


Tuesday, September 11

Customer De-escalation Strategies
Learn about pre-assault behaviors both verbal and non-verbal. A variety of methods will be discussed on ways to calm a verbally aggressive or potentially disruptive individual. Learn how personal space, body language, and listening skills can help effectively de-escalate the disruptive behavior of those you may be dealing with. The ability to organize your thinking and calmly respond are effective de-escalation techniques that can help you avoid a potential crisis.

Friday, September 14

Drone Operation
Interest is growing and any mystique around the use of the drone or UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) is decreasing over time. It’s finally being understood that the drone is simply a mechanism to get access to hard to reach or potentially unsafe environments facilitating the collection of data valuable to the utility itself. Today, drones are being used to find the source of outages on power lines and pinpoint leaks in underground water pipelines and gas lines. These are just a few ways drones are transforming utility and energy operations.

Drones bring safety benefits to the inspection and maintenance side, where crews face risks from climbing poles or towers, assessing damage after natural disasters, driving remote roads inspecting the line or trimming foliage near high-voltage equipment.

2018 Rodeo Recap
Minnesota was again well represented at the national Rodeo in April. A total of five teams and six Apprentices competed in North Carolina. Hear from several who participated and learn first-hand what the experience was like and how they plan to prepare for next year's Rodeo, which will be held in Colorado Springs, CO. Plus we'll recap this year's Minnesota Rodeo.

CLASS OPTIONS: Multi-Session Class or Advanced Class


Registrants will rotate through all four 3-hour classes (does not include Advanced Class). These classes are intended for lineworkers of all experience levels.

Session 1:  Primary Double Dead-End
This session will cover all the proper steps needed to change a wood tangent inline arm into a double dead-end fiberglass arm. Safe and proper techniques will be taught along with the proper use of cover-up needed. Use of jumper placement will be taught as well as proper rigging that will be used when changing out the crossarm.

Session 2:  3-Phase Transformer Bank Troubleshooting
3-phase transformer bank issues can be confusing at times. This session will go through different scenarios to help better understand troubleshooting issues. Proper testing and hookup for the bank (both internal and external wiring) will be taught. Safety protocol for replacement of transformers and returning them to service will be covered along with important things to be looking out for in the field.

Session 3:  Rigging and Knots
Knowing the proper way of rigging and tying knots plays a crucial role in linework. This session covers knots and rigging used in all aspects of line construction and maintenance. Knowing the different types of knots and their functions along with their safety factors will be taught in this session. Achieving mechanical advantages with rigging principles will also be covered.

Session 4:  Troubleshooting
Participants will have the opportunity to practice several different troubleshooting techniques including testing, grounding and proper rubber cover up. A primary goal will be to focus on becoming proficient at system maintenance while adhering to all safe work practices and methods. There will be different scenarios that will be presented in which the participants will be instructed to repair/fix.  Scenarios may include: Broken jumpers, delta-bank backfeed, tracking insulators, cracked/broken cutouts, tree on line, etc.


Budgeting and Finance 101
Making the transition from the line crew to management can be a big undertaking. This class is designed to help you along that path. Topics to be discussed include the following but are not limited to: safety, work management, budget planning, mutual aid/emergency preparedness, and finances.

Minnesota Lineworker Rodeo

The Minnesota Lineworker Rodeo will precede the Overhead School. All classes of lineworker—from the first-year apprentice to the advanced lineworker—are eligible to participate. Individual events will include Hurtman Rescue, Rope Toss and Obstacle Course for Apprentice and for Journeyman.

Trophies/plaques will be awarded to top 3 individuals in each category, for each event. Plus we’ll award an overall trophy in the Apprentice category and Journeyman category.

To top off the event, we will hold a reception and present awards to the Rodeo winners that evening. The reception is open to all Rodeo participants and participants of the Overhead School.

NOTE: Separate registration required for the Minnesota Rodeo. No onsite registration allowed.

Evening Activities

These optional activities are available at participant’s expense on Wednesday evening. Sign up form will be available during the school.

  • Golf 
  • Sporting Clay Shoot

Schedule *

Tuesday, September 11
1:00 pm  Registration
2:00 pm  Welcome
2:15 pm  
General Session: Customer De-escalation Strategies
5:00 pm  Reception/Rodeo Awards

Wednesday, September 12
8:30 am  Multi-Session / Advanced Class Training
12:00 pm  Lunch (provided)
12:30 pm  Multi-Session Class (rotate) / Advanced Class (continued)
5:00 pm  Golf or Sporting Clay Shoot (at participant’s expense)

Thursday, September 13
8:30 am  Multi-Session / Advanced Class Training
12:00 pm  Lunch (provided)
12:30 pm  Multi-Session Class (rotate) / Advanced Class (continued)

Friday, September 14
8:30 am  General Session: Drone Operation
10:00 am  Rodeo Recap
12:00 pm  Closing Comments & Wrap Up

* Schedule subject to change without notice.

What to Bring

  • Hard Hat
  • Safety Glasses
  • Work Gloves
  • Work Boots (no tennis shoes allowed)
  • High Visibility Clothing–appropriate for the weather
  • Rain Gear (just in case)
  • Fall Restraint (if your class involves climbing). Required regardless of experience. MMUA has a limited number of fall restraint devices available for participants to use.
  • Note Pad and Pen/Pencil
  • Calculator

Certificate of Attendance

Overhead School participants earn 18.5 hours for attendance and a certificate will be available online. Watch for an email notification from MMUA after the school. Please note: we must have the participant's email address on file in order to send the certificate.

Registration Fee

Registration Fees (by August 9, 2018)

Members —$465 per person
Non-Members—$690 per person

NOTE: Registration fees increase $50 on August 10, 2018

Deadline to register: August 20, 2018

Registration fee includes workshop tuition, materials, Tuesday evening reception, Wednesday and Thursday lunch, refreshment breaks and a certificate of attendance.


MMUA charges a $30 per person processing fee for registrations cancelled by August 21, 2018. MMUA must be notified by 4:30 pm on August 21 to qualify. Sorry, no refunds issued for cancellations after August 22.

Hotel / Motel Information - Marshall, MN

For a map of hotels in Marshall, click HERE. The AmericInn and Ramada offer special pricing for participants. Just ask for MMUA's reduced rate when making your reservation.


By registering for this event I, the attendee, authorize Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) to photograph me at this event and use such photographs in MMUA marketing materials (both electronic and print). I understand that I will not be paid for giving this consent. 


Please contact Theresa Neddermeyer by email tneddermeyer@mmua.org or phone 763.551.1230.

printable version of the Overhead School brochure is also available.


Thank You, Annual Sponsors

View all Annual Sponsors

Video Captures 2016 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo

We now have a 4-minute rodeo recap video of the 2016 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, live on the MMUA YouTube channel.  It features great footage and interviews with a number of key players in the event.  The April 2 event was hosted by Shakopee Public Utilities and MMUA, and brought together lineworkers from across the country. Watch this video and enjoy reliving that amazing day.  Be sure to bundle up before you click!