In October, linemen from around the country will descend on Kansas to compete in the International Lineman’s Rodeo. Sixteen of those competitors will be from Michigan, having earned top spots in the 23rd Annual Michigan Lineman’s Rodeo.
While the term “rodeo” usually evokes images of cowboys riding broncos or roping calves, the lineman’s rodeo is a bit different. Events in the rodeo lineup are meant to test the skills of journeymen and apprentice linemen and include challenges, such as a hurt-man rescue, pole climbing, and jumper change out.
Journeyman linemen will compete in three-person teams, while apprentice linemen will compete as individuals.
“The linemen are judged on their speed, but also by the number of ‘gigs’ (or mistakes) they make,” said lineman Danny Salisbury. “You want to be quick, efficient and error free.”
Sixty-two linemen from DTE, Lansing Board of Power and Light, ITC, and contract companies competed in the Michigan event, hosted at the DTE training center in Westland.
The DTE team of Salisbury, Andrew Baron, and Andrew Rice took first place in the journeyman competition. Second place went to Josh Daniels, Mike Cole, and Bob Hall. DTE took the top four spots in the apprentice competition. Andrew Butlin won first place, Paul Vivian second, Brandon Bowman third, and Brand Saunders fourth.
The top teams and individuals are advancing to Kansas.