View Full Version : Chopper work vs. utility/contractor
07-01-2007, 08:27 PM
Hey ya'll, I'm just about done with SLTCs program and have an interview with Haverfield which is a solely transmission related company that does all of its work from a chopper, pole inspections, line repair insulator washing etc. It sounds like an awesome job with great advancement opportunities. My only concern is that I will have no distribution background to flesh out my resume in the future if I ever do need to change jobs, any advice anyone? I feel like I would be missing out a lot on storm chasing, hurricanes etc. Thanks ya'll.
07-01-2007, 09:35 PM
I've only done distribution for all of my 2+ years in the IBEW contractor apprenticeship and I feel the same way about not having enough well roundedness. My BA said my transmission stint will probably be my last six months as an apprentice.
I have heard of transmission crews going out on storm work alot though. I'm not sure if it is as much as distribution, but they still go out.
07-26-2007, 01:37 PM
I worked for haverfield it was so cool to do. I did it right out of nlc. But your not an apprentice so i would recommend to do it until you find an apprenticeship. did u interview with beezs
07-29-2007, 11:13 AM
Yeah bud I did, why did you end up leaving them? And how long did you work for them? I'm being offered a job but unfortunately I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone who has worked for them. I would like to hear a little bit about working conditions and what the company has to offer future wise. The lack of an apprenticeship program really does freak me out a little bit, but I do know that this is an opportunity that I could not pass up! Any info you got would be great bud, I appreciate it!
07-30-2007, 06:23 PM
I worked for them for 4 months until I got a call from jatc. It was cool they treated me right and no complaints. but as far as future, it hard to move up because of the fact that there is no apprenticeship. So take it but stay looking for something that offers one. BUt to say that you barehanded 500 kv is cool. I'm from cali and not many people around here have
07-30-2007, 10:07 PM
How Much does Haverfield pay you guys to sit on a skid, and barehand 500kv?
07-31-2007, 12:47 AM
not enough. But guys straight out of school about 40,000 a year, and jw lineman about 70,000. i worked three weeks on and three weeks off and a 50 per diem plus they pay hotel, air fare, and rental cars
08-01-2007, 12:06 AM
so, what kinda wage are you gettin to sit on a skid, and barehand 500? Here in the Northwest, a first step apprentice, that works hard, makes between 50 and 90K a year. A journeyman lineman doesnt put his boots on for less than a 120K average. So, explain to me, please, where this is a good job. Cool, yes. Good???
I cant believe that they take kids right out of "climbing school" and let them do this job.
So, if I take a job with Haverfield, and something goes wrong, the guy that is gonna save my ass doesnt even have a clue how to do it???
There aint enough money in the world, that would get me to work with ALL hands that are LESS than a 1st step apprentice.
08-01-2007, 05:05 PM
They aren't all 1st step fellas. There are a LOT of long-term career lineman that came out of JATC programs, municipals, co-ops etc. that just wanted to chance to say they worked out of a chopper. The pay doesn't compare to the hourly wages of a JATC program, but you also aren't working a ****load of overtime hours like you do when working for a contractor. Where I'm from in Washington J-lineman are making about $35 an hour, which translates into about $70,000 a year. I'm sure if you count in all the OT you are no doubt making $120,000. Also, its not all skid-work. One of their guys came into my class to talk about the company (he was a former student) and he has done more than enough climbing in his time there. There are places where even choppers can't go and the job still has to get done. I think its an awesome opportunity, but I do see where you are coming from WALine, its not traditional linework, it takes a different breed
08-01-2007, 10:45 PM
No disrespect, but one of these days you will learn, that we are all a different breed.
08-02-2007, 02:42 PM
First of all if something goes wrong your screwed because no one can save you. If something happens to the heil, your goning down and aint no one going to stop that. Now I am an apprentice in so cal but I still do't count my overtime in my income because it might not always be there
08-02-2007, 09:10 PM
Thats the **** truth Ready. How you likin So. Cal? Are you doing the Cal/Nevada JATC program or are you doing something different? And WALine I do agree man, and no disrespect was meant by my comments either bud, I apologize if any was taken! And you are **** lucky to be on the dry side.
08-03-2007, 03:23 AM
it's nice in socal. I work for a city. nothing special just tryin to get the apprenticeship done. and get that ticket
08-07-2007, 05:37 PM
Dont get me wrong it is always good to get someones opinion, BUT if you want to do the work and are comfortable with the pay then go for it. If you do not like a type of work then what difference does the pay make. Look at the safety rating of a company before you look at pay, cant spend any fat check if you are not around.
Many guys want no part of the work but "pay" is always brought up like you should get paid $100 an hour for this type of work. How many people have been injured (in any given period of time 6 mo, 1 year, 10 years - you chose) bare handing 500 vs. working distribution?? 500 work sounds crazy but what do we do that is not.
Also there are things that if you do wrong in this business you are screwed no matter if you are in a bucket or bird, thats fact.
08-08-2007, 07:28 PM
08-09-2007, 12:17 AM
YUP...do ya get paid heli time? High time? Or do you just work their time...and thanks for the experiance! And the training and the privlage to be in their esteemed company and breath the same air as them! WOW...Helo work...lets all jump. Always looking for new hands...up north we called em lemmings. woody
08-09-2007, 05:50 PM
Believe me, the chance to do this job, and experience the things that we do in this career is much more important to me than the money. Don't get me wrong, the fact that the pay is out there is great, but that would never be the only reason. From what I've seen, Haverfields MOD rating is exceptional, which is a huge benefit to me. Like you said, money is good, but if you're dead all it will buy ya is a nice funeral. Personally I just want to be thrown out in the woods, but thats besides the point. PK my only concern, and the main issue I have doing this kind of work, is if I want to move on a couple years down the road, how screwed will I be trying to transfer to a local utility? Any ideas/comments folks let me know.
08-09-2007, 08:47 PM
you won't be screwed but that is what I did. And after I turn out i will probably go back to haverfield because the most important thing to me is to get that ticket and after that have fun with that. but i was lucky to transfer to a utilty within 3 months but it is whatever is important to u
08-10-2007, 11:35 AM
Thats good to hear Ready, like I said when I first started this thread, the fact that they only do tansmission work bothered me experience wise, so I'm glad you were able to hop onto a local utility. Wish ya the best of luck man, can't see turning down an opportunity like this! One of my buddies that works for 'em is getting ready to head to Venezuela and then Puerto Rico..they got ALL KINDS of new and different STDs out there I bet! LOL
08-10-2007, 08:07 PM
The training you get will limit your "marketing leverage" later on. If all you have done is underground per say, you are limited in your skill set. Guys have done very well for themselves in many different variations of this business, there are many. Whether its transmission or distribution, construction or utility, make sure it is something YOU want.
As far as helo work, it took me about ten years to find the right situation for me. I hope I get to do this for a long time, I love it. About 1 in 5 new hires stay on I hear, so it is not for everyone.
Whatever decision you make think it through, FOR YOU. In the long run I hope you get to feel the same as I do in the end, wake up every morning, sit through a tailboard and hear what my assignment is for the day and say " I LOVE MY JOB". Good luck in whatever road you chose and be careful
08-11-2007, 07:53 PM
PK, who do you work for now if ya don't mind me askin?
08-12-2007, 09:05 PM
Worked for the original Haverfield in 1988-1990. I was a topped out journeyman with 12 years under my belt. Looked really attractive good money back then 50 k a year. We were working for a lot of the bigs then AEP Southern co Virginia power PGE etc. Work was fun fun fun. Everthing rocked along real good 1st 6 months. Wife called while I was working for Detroit edison and says got your check today. But it bounced. Things went down hill from there. No pay No Per-deim. 3 Months no pay thru Christmas Holidays in 89. Some things remain the same to this day when it rains it pours. Got freinds that I can refer you to outside the public forum that just got out of the H company that used to be Ag-Rotors that went thru the same things that I did 17 years later. I got out in 90 took 4 weeks to cash final checks. I was fortunate.
And yes Gracie they have a good safety record when they show all the stats. I can re-cite 5 lost souls to you if you'd like. It's glamorous but un regulated. Just ask all the right questions before you leap.
Leave each day with the same 21 appendages you came with.
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