MMUA Training Roars Back to Normal

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MMUA Training Roars Back to Normal

May 17, 2021

MMUA’s hands-on training schedule roared back to normal May 11-14 with our annual Underground School. Sixty attendees to the school—held in conjunction with the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) and American Public Power Association (APPA)—came from 31 municipals and three cooperatives in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Wisconsin.

Participants to the School—held at the MMUA Training Field in Marshall—worked through a rotation of four real-world, hands-on tasks.

The school also included general sessions on its first and last days.

Our Multi-Session Class Instructors included:

  • Troubleshooting Primary Outages & Implementing Switching Procedures: Scott Thoreson, Elk River Municipal Utilities; Brad Olson, Brainerd Public Utilities.
  • Directional Drill Operations: Tony Mead and Nate Janssen of Marshall Municipal Utilities; Kevin Kollos, Wyatt Peiffer and Mark Chicoine, Ditch Witch of Minnesota and Iowa; Chris Conrad, RDO Equipment Co.
  • Troubleshooting Secondary: Chad Peterson and Rob Castillo, Rochester Public Utilities.
  • 600-Amp Terminations: Jeff Martinson, Austin Utilities; Jim Stephens and Jared Allen, 3M.

General Sessions topics and teachers included:

  • Cable Design, Prep and Handling, by Eric Thoreson and Joel Donner of The Okonite Company.
  • Best Practices for Designing a Cable Installation, by Larry Lamote of Marshall Municipal Utilities; Matt Hannafin, Upper Midwest Utility Sales and Mark Williams, American Polywater Corp.       
  • Proper Traffic Control, by Kathleen Schaefer, Minnesota LTAP.

A Mystery Event—the Transformer Change Out Challenge—was held Thursday afternoon. This offered lineworkers the opportunity to participate in a timed event demonstrating how to safely and effectively de-energize underground cable in preparation for transformer change out.

MMUA thanks all those who attended, the utilities that sent them, and the instructors and speakers for sharing their time and expertise.

A big thank you also goes to the utilities and companies that provided equipment & materials, including:

  • American Polywater Corp.
  • Austin Utilities
  • Brainerd Public Utilities
  • Ditch Witch of Minnesota & Iowa
  • Elk River Municipal Utilities
  • Marshall Municipal Utilities
  • RDO Equipment Company/Vermeer
  • Rochester Public Utilities
  • The Okonite Company
  • Upper Midwest Utility Sales
  • 3M

          The School in Photos

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