VOLTA Academy Highlight

It is not every day we have a student break one of our records at VOLTA Line Academy. Due to this, we wanted to know a bit more about our record-breaker Judson Hall.

In a recent interview, we asked him a few questions about VOLTA as a whole, the record he broke, and more about himself. Please see the Q&A listed below:

Judson Hall – VOLTA Graduate

Q: How did you hear about the VOLTA training academy and why did you decide to attend our program?

A: It all started six years ago when Judson’s cousins attended VOLTA. He explained, after hearing all about their experiences he knew he needed to attend in the future. He’s always been very interested in outside construction line work and wanted a good foothold in the industry. Since he’s been planning to attend from a young age there was no question, he was attending our Spring Session.

Q: Tell us more about yourself?

A: 19 years old and a recent high school graduate, Judson is from Kellogg Idaho, and has always enjoyed being outdoors. This passion has been a huge influence on why he’s wanted to join the trade. He expressed how working outdoors seemed right up his alley.

Q: Which VOLTA record did you break?

A: The “H” structure insulator replacement. For this test the student must ascend the pole, the clock starts once the participant takes off. The student will reach the top of the 55’ pole, hanging the handline on the steel arm above the insulator to be replaced. They will then call out for the proper rigging, this typically consists of two nylon slings and a double chain hoist. The ground help will then send these items up the handline. Next, the student installs one nylon on the steel arm, hangs the chain hoist, and installs the other nylon around the conductor. At this time the student will take the slack out of the chain hoist and slack the bells. The student will then remove the old bells, sending them down the handline so the groundman can replace the old bells with a new string of bells. Once the new string of bells is hung the student will have to re-pin them, allowing the bells to carry the load while the chain hoist is slacked, the nylons removed, handline has been ran to the ground and the student will descend the pole.(This is a simulated dead and grounded event).

In Judson’s case, he detailed his practice sessions leading up to his final test. He stated how during practice he was able to beat the record. When it came down to the actual test Judson not only beat the record but beat it by over a minute! With a time of 2:54, the time on average is 7 minutes.

Q: What are some of your favorite VOLTA memories?

A: Being able to meet 30 new people who he has never met. He enjoyed learning about their backgrounds and training together during the 10 weeks. Since this interview fell right before graduation, he expressed sadness leaving his new friends, the group trained hard together and Judson stated, “It’s crazy how fast you can grow and learn together as a group.” All in all, he enjoyed being out in the yard, especially, learning new tasks and skills. He had a hard time relaying just one favorite memory since he enjoyed the entire experience.  

Q: Would you recommend this program to friends or family?

A: Above all, he encourages everyone to try our program. It met all his expectations. Judson reflected, “I enjoyed every minute. I couldn’t have asked for a better program, instructors, or training!” The excitement rippling off of him almost inspired me to sign up for VOLTA. The energy pulsing off of him was inspiring.

Q: What advice would you give out to future VOLTA students?

A: Judson expressed how future students should not get wrapped up in drinking or partying. He said to know your knots and study so you can succeed.

Q: What are your future plans?

A: He is already starting in the industry! Judson took a groundman job with a utility company and has an interview scheduled for July to get into our line apprenticeship program. We wish him luck and hope for his success.

It has been such a great experience working with all the great new talent coming through our VOLTA Academy. We can’t wait to see where all our students will end up!

2021 VOLTA Spring Session