16 Rules For Apprentices

16 Rules For Apprentices

Here are 16 rules for apprentices, getting started in a skilled trade in the blue collar world. What rules are they? These 16 rules for apprentices pertain to apprentices in the lineman trade. However, these rules can also be easily applicable to someone starting out in any skilled trade. 

Whether you are starting out as a helper, groundman, laborer, apprentice; these rules apply to you. With this list of rules, it can & will help you be a successful apprentice in your skilled trade!

What Are The Rules

This list of 16 rules for apprentices, is a list written by a lineman inside of a bin door. Sure, you can look at this list of rules and see for yourself, what rule is what. But here, I will break it down, what rule mean what! Here is the list of 16 rules for apprentices 👇🏼

16 Rules

Rule Number 1

Be on time.

If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re 15 minutes late. It’s a good idea to be able to show up to work early (on time). It shows true intent of taking your job serious. Don’t make it a habit of showing up 1 or 2 minutes before start time. Give yourself some grace time, and leave for work early so you can be to work 15 min early.

Rule Number 2

 1st one out of truck. 

When showing up to the job site/work location, you should be the first one out of the truck and start getting the job ready. Material, tools, truck setup, etc. 

Rule Number 3

Last one in

This refers to being the last one into the yard. At the end of the day. In the lineman trade, you will typically work out of what’s called a “yard”, that could be a substation, a leased couple acre junk of property, whatever. You should be the last one there, at the end of the day.

Rule Number 4

Know to the last bolt on your truck. 

You should know exactly what material you have on your truck. Every bolt, nut, connector, etc. Have a mental note of what you have on your truck for material.

Rule Number 5

They are all your trucks.

 All of the trucks you use at work (for your crew) the line truck, bucket truck and foreman truck, they are your responsibility to keep clean and

Rule Number 6

No phone from start time – end of day. 

Get in the habit of not being on your phone at all at work unless for serious purposes. Crew group chat, GPS, emergency phone calls, etc, sure use your phone. Just don’t get in the habit of being on your phone when you have down time.

Rule Number 7

Just say yes or okay.

 It’s in your best interest as an apprentice to just agree, say yes or oaky, in most situations. As much as you would like to argue, show attitude…don’t. It’s easier to just say yes or okay. At the end of the day, you’re the low man on the totem pole, accept that fact and just agree. Getting in an argument, talking back, getting mad get’s you no where good! 

Rule Number 8

If you take it out, put it back. 8a) If borrowed from another crew, return back to crew. 8b) If not sure where it goes, ask where it goes. 

Make sure, if you take something off the truck, especially tools, you put it back to where you got it. If you borrow something from another crew, whether that is; a tool, some material, whatever, make sure they get that “stuff” back. If you’re not sure where a tool, material, ect, goes…ask someone who does!

Rule Number 9

Cones & chocks go out (unless at gas station).

If your company requires wheel chocks to be put out when the truck is stopped/parked, make sure you put out wheel chocks on each truck. Same goes for cones, if where you’re working doesn’t already have cones/traffic barricades set up, it’s a good idea to put out cones. Especially if you’re working where there is traffics/vehicles driving by your equipment.

Rule Number 10

Climb with all tool regardless of task.

If you have the luxury to climb a pole to complete some work, you better climb with all of your tools AND a hand line. Regardless of task. Don’t get in a habit of thinking “ohhh i’m just pounding in some staples, so I only need my hammer…”

What tools should you have in your climbing belt? Enroll in “become a lineman 101” & we’ll teach you there! Last thing you want to do is a climb a 100 foot pole & realize “oops forgot my hammer” & have to climb back down.

Regardless of what trade you work in, it’s good idea to have the necessary tools on hand to complete any job that comes your way. 

Rule Number 11

Do not assume anything.

Assuming kills. Well, assuming can kill. Don’t assume anything at work. Communication is vitally important in most trades you will work in. If you don’t know, don’t assume…ASK. Remember, every action you take at work has a reaction. And that reaction can kill someone. Keep your head on a swivel, look up & live and don’t assume! 

Rule Number 12

Open your ears and not your mouth. 

You have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason. Try to listen and learn more than you talk. Unless you have a question to ask, a concern, or you’re talked to, try to keep your mouth shut. Of course, doing casual conversation at work and what not, sure…talk. Just try not to be the one that always has something to say. 

Rule Number 13

Lock bin doors (truck) when not in use.

When you’re not around the trucks or the truck is out of sight, it’s a good idea to lock the trucks up; the bins and cab. If you’re going into a restaurant for lunch, or maybe your job is away and out of sight of the trucks…take a moment and lock the trucks top. Last thing you need is, to have tools stolen off a truck because you failed to lock it. 

Rule Number 14

G.F, Foreman & lineman on the crew gets to bang your girlfriend whenever they want

This, of course, isn’t necessarily a rule to follow, but it is on the list. This is how guys out in the blue collar world like to talk. They like to haze each other, talk crap, banter, joke around. If you cant handle it, the trades might not be for you. Don’t take anything personally. You don’t have to take this rule serious..but it does give good context on how guys like to talk! 

Rule Number 15

Keep all trucks clean. (Refer back to rule number 5)

Some of your core duties as an apprentice is keeping thing clean and organized. This means all the trucks. If you work in the trade like the lineman trade, there are usually 3 trucks: a digger Derek, bucket truck & a foreman pick-up.

It’s usually the apprentices duty to keep theses trucks clean and organized. When you have down time during a day, bust out the window cleaner, start cleaning & organizing trucks (bins, cab, belly). This is usually a task a lot of apprentices do at the end of the day.

Rule Number 16

Put down outriggers and put up outriggers. 

Be the one that puts down the outrigger pads/outriggers & to pick them up when job is done. This rule can go hand-in-hand with rule number 9. Once arriving at the job site, there is a sequence that most grunts/apes can/will follow that is almost always correct. 

  1. Once arrived at job site, if there is no traffic control, put out cones and out down wheels chocks.
  2. If truck is where it needs to be to complete work, put down outrigger pads & outriggers. 
  3. Start getting tools & material ready for *job.
  4. Go up to the bucket, get bucket cover off, make sure bucket is clean of garbage. 

Learn These Rules

Hopefully from reading this list of 16 rules, you have a better understanding of what these rules are and what they mean. It is a pretty basic list of rules that anyone can & should follow. Write these rules down, screen shot them, save them for when your time comes to be a apprentice in either the lineman trade, or any skilled trade! 

Click and watch the video below or click HERE if you want to watch and learn how these rules can be applied at work! Let these rules help you become a successful apprentice and a ultimately a master of your trade! 

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