Staking Technician Certification Program

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Staking Technician Certificate Courses:

  • Basic Surveying
  • Construction Contract Administration
  • Easement Acquisition
  • Joint-Use Staking and Make-Ready Surveys
  • Line Inspection
  • NESC - National Electrical Safety Code and Utility Specifications
  • Obtaining Permits
  • Overhead/Pole-Line Structure Design and Layout
  • Protection/Basic Sectionalizing Design
  • Sizing Transformers and Conductors
  • Underground Line Design and Subdivision Layout
  • Unique Structures
  • Qualified Worker Training (Optional, but highly recommended)

Who Will Benefit

Staking technicians and field engineers.

Basic Surveying

This three-day course is part of the Comprehensive Staking Technician Program. It will teach students the basic and advanced methods of line route surveying. Students will learn how to:

  • Make accurate distance measurements
  • Turn and dissect line angles
  • Measure changes in elevation
  • Conduct a complete point survey using a total station

A basic overview of GPS and its application to line design and staking is also included. To complete the study, the student will learn how to transfer both paper and electronic field data to hand drawings or computer-aided drafting programs.

Construction Contract Administration

A well-written construction contract and properly drawn set of plans and specifications will go a long way toward getting the lowest bid prices and ease of administration. Accurate accounting of the materials and close monitoring of the contractor’s progress are essential to completing a project on time and on budget. Learn how the construction contract affects every aspect of the project and how to administer the contract terms and conditions for a successful outcome.

Easement Acquisition

This course is part of the Comprehensive Staking Technician Program. Experienced line designers say obtaining the right-of-way easement is the toughest part of staking. A well-designed power line is of little use if it cannot be built on the land. In this section, participants will learn about:

  • Easement laws
  • Land ownership rights
  • Titles
  • Easement descriptions
  • Easement records
  • Negotiating skills used to aid in the procurement of an easement

These are people skills that enable the staking technician to obtain an easement and establish a high level of trust with the customer.

Joint-Use Staking and Make-Ready Surveys

The communications industry is forever scrambling for pole rental space on distribution structures to attach telephone, CATV, and fiber optic cables. With rights-of-way becoming harder to obtain, electrical utilities, both distribution and transmission, are combining circuits on one pole line to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. This course covers joint-use attachments and make-ready surveys. Specific topics include clearance measurements, strength requirements, construction estimates, final inspections, and the requirements of joint-use contracts.

Line Inspection

This course is part of the Comprehensive Staking Technician Program. The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) requires that a utility inspect its facilities periodically to ensure that they are safe and adequate to distribute electricity. In this domain, the student will learn the principles of making an inspection, including:

  • The importance of a systematic method
  • Elements that should be checked
  • Different ways to perform the actual inspection

NESC & Utility Specifications

The NESC establishes the rules used in the design and maintenance of power systems. This course provides staking technicians with a working knowledge of the NESC and its application. The course will focus on those rules that specifically apply to distribution line design, such as grounding, overhead line clearances, overload factors, strength reduction factors, ice loading, and underground line construction.

Obtaining Permits

Today, property owners are more reluctant to give right-of-way easements for overhead or underground power lines. Consequently, technicians are likely to use existing public rights-of-way. To do this, technicians must obtain permits from the governing agency. This module of the staking program covers the information required on a permit, methods to set up an efficient permitting process, how good personal contacts can ease the process, and how to prepare permit documents and drawings.

Overhead/Pole-Line Structure Design and Layout

Attendees will learn to design overhead electrical distribution structures. The course is organized as a set of building blocks; each segment building upon the other. The building blocks include conductors, poles, pole-top assemblies, guys, and anchors. Attendees will be provided with tables and graphs of design values that can be immediately used in the field. Course participants will also learn basic calculations to determine maximum allowable spans; wind and ice loading; and total guy load.

Protection/Basic Sectionalizing Design

This course is part of the Comprehensive Staking Technician Program. It is designed to give students a basic understanding of the devices and techniques used to protect distribution lines and customers from damage or injury due to over-current/over-voltage. The following topics will be covered:

  • Fault current, including the basic application of devices to interrupt the maximum available fault current produced by short circuits
  • Voltage surges caused by lightning and the use of lightning arresters to shunt the over-voltage to ground
  • Basic theory of voltage regulators and capacitors, with a focus on correct placement and application of the devices on the circuit when a line is being staked

Sizing Transformers and Conductors

This course focuses on basic electric theory and the methodology to correctly size transformers and service conductors for standard residential and small commercial loads. Attendees will learn to perform basic calculations for current, voltage, power, and voltage drop. The instructors will also review basic circuit theory and its application in an electric distribution system and cover transformer connections and their application to specific electrical loads.

Underground Line Design and Subdivision Layout

This workshop is structured to teach the skills necessary to design and lay-out URD residential subdivisions. Attendees will learn the proper application of underground components into a complete system. The instructor will discuss the components of primary cables in conjunction with selecting the proper secondary cable size and length. Emphasis is placed on the construction and operations of the system, including proper grounding of cables and apparatus.

Unique Structures

Attendees will learn to design special structures that require additional strength due to extreme wind load, long spans, and multiple circuits. This session also includes designing steel pole and unguyed, wood pole structures.

Qualified Worker Training (Optional – Recommended)

This one-day workshop is structured to teach the skills required to enter secured areas. The course content covers state and federal regulations related to entering a secured area; personal protective equipment; job briefings; electrical clearances; substation entrance procedures; and opening pad-mount transformers, switchgear, and metering compartments. This course includes a substation tour so please wear substantial footwear and bring a hard hat and safety glasses to the course. (Because staking technicians are often near potentially dangerous equipment or are in dangerous areas, this course is strongly recommended for staking engineers. This course is taught by a lineman with extensive experience and expertise to share so that your employees can avoid near-miss incidents or serious accidents. It is an optional course that is not required for the staking engineering certificate.)

View our online calendar to find out when staking classes are scheduled.

For questions or more information contact Arnie Winkler at arnie@nwppa.org or by phone at (360) 816-1445.