Underground School

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Underground School

Underground School

Date: May 9-12, 2023
  • Day 1: May 9, 2023 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Day 2: May 10, 2023 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • Day 3: May 11, 2023 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Day 4: May 12, 2023 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: MMUA Training Center, 1004 Michigan Road, Marshall, MN
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This event is now closed for online registration

Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association and our partners—Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) and American Public Power Association (APPA)—are pleased to offer the 2023 Underground School.

The Underground School features a hands-on training track with a variety of sessions. Whether you are a seasoned journeyman looking to stay current or an apprentice just starting out, this school offers something for everyone. 

Participants will rotate through six different sessions, covering a variety of topics that can enhance safety and improve efficiency.

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

What You Will Learn 

General Session Details

The General Sessions are held on the first and last day of the school. Participants must attend these sessions to receive full credit for course hours.

Tuesday, May 9

Load securement and CDL requirements
This course is designed to expand lineworkers’ knowledge and understanding of proper load securements and the regulations dealing with CDL holders. The class will reference the Federal Motor Carrier Standards, MnOSHA regulations, MnDOT requirements and current best practices for load securement. Multiple scenarios will be covered and real-life investigations of improperly loaded equipment will be discussed.

Friday, May 12

A lineworker's worst nightmare
Every year in the United States, there are multiple lineworker accidents and deaths caused by contact incidences. Anyone in the industry always has this on their mind: what if it happens to me? Hear firsthand from someone who has survived an accident on how the incident occurred and how it has affected his life and the lives of those around him since that day.

Hands-on Training Session Details

Session #1 - Troubleshooting secondary 
This class is designed to give students an insight of megging secondary wire. Because secondary faults are a never-ending issue, troubleshooting is of utmost importance. Instructors will cover different ways of restoring power. Participants will be taught the need for an add-a-phase and how to properly install one, as well as hooking up a meter socket with armored cable. After service has been restored, individuals work on finding the fault.

Session #2 - 600-amp terminations
This session will help participants gain important knowledge in the process of terminating 500 MCM aluminum wire. Three different types of terminations will be taught. A skirted termination for a riser, 600-amp elbow in a PME switch, and a splice will all be covered. Proper tool selection and grounding will also be covered.

Session #3 - Directional drill operations
In this session, participants will gain hands-on experience operating a directional drill as well as the equipment needed to complete a project. Whether you have experience with a directional drill or not, this class will be beneficial.

Session #4 - Underground distribution design
Design of your underground distribution system is an extensive and complex capital venture. Understanding proper system layout & design, coupled with critical planning is essential to ensure system reliability, operability, and economic return on investment. We will review fundamental principles of proper underground design and other important topics.

Session #5 - Troubleshooting and fault-finding primary cable
In this session, students will be taught how to isolate and restore power on URD primary systems. Proper use of phasing sticks with DC hi-pot adapters, fault indicators and thumpers will be demonstrated to help students understand and address the issues related to URD faults.

Session #6 - Circuit isolation and switching
This session will cover the importance of following switching orders when they are needed to be completed. Instruction on proper steps will be taken to cover the techniques needed to switch and isolate underground equipment. Required procedures and use of tools and equipment will be taught on how to effectively test and ground your work area.


Tuesday, May 9

12:00 pm  Registration/check-in
1:00 pm  Welcome
1:15 pm General session: load securement and CDL requirements
4:00 pm  Wrap-up

Wednesday, May 10

8:30 am  Hands-on training sessions
11:45 am  Lunch
12:30 pm  Hands-on training sessions
4:00 pm  Wrap-up
5:00 pm  Optional activities (at participant's expense):

  • Golf
  • Sporting Clays
  • Archery

Thursday, May 11

8:30 am  Hands-on training sessions
11:45 am  Lunch
12:30 pm  Hands-on training session
4:00 pm Lineworker rodeo mystery event

Friday, May 12

8:30 am  General session: Skywarn/weather safety
9:30 am General session: A lineworker's worst nightmare
12:00 pm  Wrap-up

*Schedule/program subject to change without notice.

What to Bring

  • High visibility clothing/outerwear—appropriate for the weather
  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Rubber gloves
  • Work boots

Lineworker rodeo mystery event

This mystery event is open to all classes of lineworker, from first-year apprentice to the advanced journeyman. This is a fun event which demonstrates safe working practices and a little speed. The individual with the best time and fewest infractions will be recognized.

Optional evening activities

Wednesday, May 10

Sporting Clay Shoot, Golf or Archery
Participants are responsible for any fees associated with these optional activities. For archery, participants need to supply their own bow and arrows.


Participants will receive a certificate of achievement. Watch for an email notification from MMUA after the event.

Hotel / motel information—Marshall, MN

Marshall offers many hotel options, in addition to the hotels listed here. MMUA has arranged for discounted lodging at the AmericInn and EverSpring Inn. Please ask for MMUA’s reduced rate when making your reservation. We recommend making your hotel reservation as soon as possible, as availability cannot be guaranteed. 

1406 East Lyon Street
Marshall, MN

EverSpring Inn & Suites (formerly Ramada Inn)
1500 East College Drive
Marshall, MN

Sleep Inn & Suites
1300 Nwakama Street
Marshall, MN

Registration fee

Member—$515 per person
Non-member—$690 per person

Registration fee includes: workshop tuition, materials, refreshment breaks, two lunches, and a certificate of achievement. Participants are responsible for their own transportation and lodging.

Registration fee increases $50 per person on April 8. Deadline to register is April 18.


Cancellations are subject to a $35 charge per person if received by 4:30 pm on April 18, 2023. No refunds issued after April 18.


By registering for this event I/we 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/we understand that I/we will not be paid for giving this consent. 


If you have questions about the program and its content, contact Cody Raveling by calling 507.530.2096 or email craveling@mmua.org.

If you have questions or problems with registration please contact Theresa Neddermeyer by calling 763.551.1230 or email tneddermeyer@mmua.org.

This information is available in a printable brochure as well.