SMDI to Provide Steel Utility Pole Hotline Training for Members of New Mexico Rural Electric Cooperative Superintendents' Association on March 19-22

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15, 2013 – The Steel Market Development Institute’s (SMDI) Steel Utility Pole Task Group, in cooperation with T&D PowerSkills, LLC and the Institute for Safety in Powerline Construction (ISPC), will conduct a training session for utility linemen and managers on March 19-22, 2013 at the New Mexico Line Superintendents’ 2013 Overhead Hotline & Maintenance School in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The session will include training in steel pole overhead procedures, focusing on the transfer of existing lines and equipment to set steel poles. The linemen and managers are employed by utility companies that are members of the New Mexico Rural Electric Cooperative Superintendents’ Association. SMDI is a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

The 2013 Overhead Hotline & Maintenance School covers hotline procedures for different utility pole materials. Training includes classroom presentations and field demonstrations. The steel pole classroom session will take place on Tuesday, March 19. It will include general information about the SMDI steel pole training program, as well as an overview of the T&D PowerSkills training products and services for line construction training and the recent introduction of steel pole training into their existing materials. Field activities on basic hotline maintenance, advanced hotline maintenance and hot tension stringing will take place in daily 3.5 hour sessions on March 20, 21 and 22.

The steel utility pole training will be conducted by Tim Self, ISPC Director of Operations; and Danny Lonergan, Distribution Product Manager with Valmont Newmark. The courses are designed for qualified climbers and qualified aerial device operators. A breakout of the sessions is included here.

“Line and equipment transfers are a necessity for all utilities,” Dan Snyder, manager of SMDI’s utility pole program, said. “No matter how brief, power interruptions inconvenience customers and are a source of lost revenue for utilities. Steel distribution poles help utilities keep distribution systems intact and lines live.”

Snyder said that the exact same safety precautions must be followed when using steel, wood or any other material. SMDI held a live-line training session in Sidney, Nebraska in 2010. A short informational video of the session is available at the SMDI website (click here). 

Snyder said that more than 600 electric utility companies in North America use steel poles in their distribution systems. For more information on the SMDI steel utility pole workshops, contact Dan Snyder at or visit

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth opportunities in emerging steel markets.  For more news or information, visit  or follow us on Twitter at .

The steel utility distribution pole program is conducted under the Construction Market Council of the Steel Market Development Institute. The investor companies of the Construction Market Council include:

• AK Steel Corporation
• ArcelorMittal Dofasco
• ArcelorMittal USA LLC
• EVRAZ North America
• Gerdau
• Nucor Corporation
• Severstal North America
• SSAB Americas
• Steelscape, Inc.
• ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
• United States Steel Corporation
• USS-POSCO Industries 

Debbie Bennett
Manager, SMDI and Construction Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179

Dianne Newton-Shaw
The Placemaking Group
Tel: 510.835.7900 ext. 206