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  1. #1

    Default Troubleman's pay more than a lineman?

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    Our company is real close to creating a Troubleman's position and rumor has it that it will probably be 104% of lineman scale. Up untill this point we have had a "service truck" that the lineman would rotate on every two months or so. (some districts leave the servicemen on forever.) The servicemen handle small jobs like services, D to D lights, meets with electricians, etc. They also are called when there is a trouble call that comes in during business hours. (After hours we have a lineman on call). When they create the troubleman's position the person awarded the job will be doing the exact same thing. Why does he deserve more pay? Troublework is a lot easier than line work, and you rarely work hot primary. The district that keeps the service truck running with the same guy all the time is because he doesn't really work well with others and the forman would rather not have to deal with him on there crew anyway. So, the way I see it, they're giving the most worthless lineman a pay raise. The only change will be his start time. Rumor also has it that he will start at 9:00 and get off at 8:00 with an hour lunch. 4 tens, M thru Thurs. The other troubleman will work same hours Tues. thru Fri.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    South East Texas
    Posts
    3,278

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    There is more than a few variables in that equation. First off Remember that serviceman will be working alone most of the time and that kinda sucks both from a safety standpoint and a work load aspect. If the workload aint too bad and all he does is secondary work he can still get hung out to dry if sumpin goes amiss. Next is the amount of knowledge needed to actually be a decent troubleman. When one of em calls in a bad pot or wire down he should also be prepared to answer bout a million question from the super like what could we get by with or how can we acess it and how many folks need to be sent out to accomplish the job.Couple that with bad weather on a routine work day and while most of the linemen are sittin on their ass That service guy is gonna be bowed up.Not all customers are dumb and some of em can ask some pretty complex questions, Better be prepared to answer em. Some can be downright nasty when faced with being cut off. At most utilities a troublemans position usta be a preferred job......... But thats long since passed and now they cant hardly give a troublemans job away.From my perspective a good troubleman hasta be every bit as sharp as the linemen , and there is no one to spell him off when fatigue sets in, Unlike a linecrew. So 104 percent dont sound like much for the trade off to me.Been there done that and have the tee shirt.Trust me a linemans job is better and less stressful.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pootnaigle View Post
    There is more than a few variables in that equation. First off Remember that serviceman will be working alone most of the time and that kinda sucks both from a safety standpoint and a work load aspect. If the workload aint too bad and all he does is secondary work he can still get hung out to dry if sumpin goes amiss. Next is the amount of knowledge needed to actually be a decent troubleman. When one of em calls in a bad pot or wire down he should also be prepared to answer bout a million question from the super like what could we get by with or how can we acess it and how many folks need to be sent out to accomplish the job.Couple that with bad weather on a routine work day and while most of the linemen are sittin on their ass That service guy is gonna be bowed up.Not all customers are dumb and some of em can ask some pretty complex questions, Better be prepared to answer em. Some can be downright nasty when faced with being cut off. At most utilities a troublemans position usta be a preferred job......... But thats long since passed and now they cant hardly give a troublemans job away.From my perspective a good troubleman hasta be every bit as sharp as the linemen , and there is no one to spell him off when fatigue sets in, Unlike a linecrew. So 104 percent dont sound like much for the trade off to me.Been there done that and have the tee shirt.Trust me a linemans job is better and less stressful.
    As far as our servicemen go, (they don't have that Troubleman title yet) when they get an actuall trouble call they go and check it. If it's just a line fuse, or a bad neutral or hot leg, they handle it. Almost anything else they call a line crew for assistance. As far as storm work and talking with customers all of us take call on a rotation, and make decisions like access, manpower, equipment, etc. Like I said, I'm not sure what would be more difficult for a troubleman than a lineman does day to day. NO disrespect, just my observation in my little world.
    I know back in the day they would give a seasoned lineman a little bucket or pick up and give him easy street until he retired due to respect for the time with the company/work that he had put in. It erks me to see a guy that goes through an apprenticeship, puts in a year maybe with a linecrew and spends the rest of his career doing electrician type work for better pay. Again, this is just my observation at my place of work. I'm sure it's alot different at most utilities.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Chicago Illinois
    Posts
    237

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    Our Troubleshooters make 105% of Lineman's wage. He needs to know how to build it before he can shoot trouble on it,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    N.E. Mass.
    Posts
    2,030

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    Poot just about said what I was gonna say word for word. But when I took the T-job in 86 it was a buck above crew leader. After a few years crew leaders caught up! Anyway when someone suggested the T-job was a tit I would tell em to "bid it then".
    National Grid = Retired! US Army vet. 68 - 70
    As of April of 2010 I quit smoking! It's been hard but so far no butts! I am now an X smoker!

  6. Default

    At my company the Troubleman used to be the same pay as a Lead Lineman. Then we got "benchmarked" and out pay was put below the Lead Lineman. They said it was because we worked alone and we didn't have other people to look after. When I first started Troublemen were like Gods. It rarely got below the most senior Lineman when an opening came up. I don't know how it is in other utilities, but all that has changed. No one wants a Troubleman's job now. In addition to the pay, it's weekend work, night work, when it's raining and the crews are inside, you're out working. But it's quite a bit of responsibility and it's just not a job that everyone is cut out for. Just my 2 cents.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    N.E. Mass.
    Posts
    2,030

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lineman8641 View Post
    At my company the Troubleman used to be the same pay as a Lead Lineman. Then we got "benchmarked" and out pay was put below the Lead Lineman. They said it was because we worked alone and we didn't have other people to look after. When I first started Troublemen were like Gods. It rarely got below the most senior Lineman when an opening came up. I don't know how it is in other utilities, but all that has changed. No one wants a Troubleman's job now. In addition to the pay, it's weekend work, night work, when it's raining and the crews are inside, you're out working. But it's quite a bit of responsibility and it's just not a job that everyone is cut out for. Just my 2 cents.
    Just before I retired they were forcing people to fill trouble shifts! And when you force it's done from the bottom of the list so it's all junior people.
    National Grid = Retired! US Army vet. 68 - 70
    As of April of 2010 I quit smoking! It's been hard but so far no butts! I am now an X smoker!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    LEE'S SUMMIT, MISSOURI
    Posts
    180

    Exclamation Welcome.....

    Welcome to the 21st century. Do you work for a little R.E.C./R.E.A. ? The big electric companies (Utilities) have had troublemen for years and years. And they have always made more $$$. At the big companies, most of them are paid a straight 8. No break for meals or anything. Also they have to pull shift work on a normal basis or as part of their normal shift. 24 hour coverage. Round the clock trouble truck shifts. Most have to work much more overtime than us; whether they want to or not. If you don't like the idea of making less money as a crew lineman, then bid a trouble truck. Personally, I'm fine working on the crews.
    Proud to be an IBEW (Utility) Journeyman Lineman; and d@mned proud to be an Army Lineman (12 quebec) and an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran in the U.S. Army Reserve ...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiberglass Cowboy View Post
    Welcome to the 21st century. Do you work for a little R.E.C./R.E.A. ? The big electric companies (Utilities) have had troublemen for years and years. And they have always made more $$$. At the big companies, most of them are paid a straight 8. No break for meals or anything. Also they have to pull shift work on a normal basis or as part of their normal shift. 24 hour coverage. Round the clock trouble truck shifts. Most have to work much more overtime than us; whether they want to or not. If you don't like the idea of making less money as a crew lineman, then bid a trouble truck. Personally, I'm fine working on the crews.
    No Cowboy, I don't work for a little R.E.C./R.E.A., I work for an I.O.U. As I said, we already have "Service Trucks" that handle the day to day calls, and they rotate linemen in some districts, and leave the same guy on in other districts. They are Journeyman lineman. Same pay as linecrews. There job duties will not change, just the pay scale. As far as the 24 hr. coverage goes we rotate being "on Call" and that's 24/7 for a week at a time. The "Troublemen" that they promote will more than likely be the guy that never answers the phone after his shift when the On Call Lineman needs a hand.
    I don't want to bid the troublemen's position, because that would be a pay cut. I'm a foreman, just looking out for the Journeyman on the line crews.

  10. #10

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    Where I am at it used to be the older guys in the troublemen jobs and they made the same thing as a line crew foreman, nowadays those guys have all long since retired and today the pay is the same as any other lineman on the linecrew and the only ones who bid the jobs are the ones who can't cut it on the linecrews, put them in their gloves all day re-conductoring or in their tools on rear lot jobs and they will be in the office letting the GF know what an asset they would be on the trouble truck, it is what it is.

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