SRP crews, grid prepared for record heat

Heat wave advisory in effect

With the National Weather service warning of a record heat wave in the Phoenix area until Wednesday, SRP crews are prepared to make sure the power stays on for our customers.

Our robust electrical grid is fortified and maintained year-round to handle the predicted record temperatures of 119 degrees. We have crews on standby as well because of the extreme high temperatures.

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Super-sized bucket truck

Meet SRP’s new Palfinger 650i: the tallest utility truck in the U.S.

What can reach more than half the length of a football field, extend 92 feet side to side, yet fit into small spaces to repair 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines? The tallest utility truck in the United States, which is the newest piece of equipment in SRP’s fleet to ensure grid reliability so the power stays on for customers.

The 88,980 pound vehicle, which runs on biodiesel, is called a Palfinger P650i. It is the tallest insulated aerial work platform in the United States. By design, it does what no other vehicle in SRP’s fleet does, such as extend 213 feet into the air, fit in more compact spaces and, with a five-axle chassis, easily maneuver and travel off road on desert terrain to maintain and repair remote transmission lines.

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Far from reality

Linemen give ‘Power and Ice’ reality show a frosty review

Alaska can be a wild place, but a new “reality” TV show based there that dramatizes the work of line crews could use less drama and a bigger dose of reality, according to several SRP linemen.

Power and Ice, on the History Channel, follows Alaskan linemen working for independent contracting companies as they endure dangerous conditions and subzero temperatures. The show, which recently wrapped up its season, definitely brings the drama of reality TV — ominous music, outlandish situations and personalities bigger than Alaska itself.

But it also brings some major safety issues, as I quickly learned when I sat down for a viewing of the show with SRP Line Working Foremen John Kunnary and Paul Martinez, along with SRP Linemen Ryan French and Jake Haines.

They noticed problems immediately.

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Camaraderie in competition

International Lineman’s Rodeo fosters brotherhood, gets back to the basics of the trade

BONNER SPRINGS, Kansas — Some grew up the sons of linemen. Others are former military. Some love to two-step and dance the cha-cha; others like to ride ATVs. One even grew up without electricity.

But they’re all brothers — brothers who had a healthy competitive spirit and, most important, each other’s backs at the 32nd annual International Lineman’s Rodeo, held here Oct. 17.

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