WHEN RETIRED PHARMACIST CHESTER HILL needed an electrical line installed for a newly constructed garage on his Big Stone Gap farm, he knew exactly who to call. Hill, a Powell Valley Electric Cooperative member, got on the phone to PVEC, and in no time at all, a four-member construction crew from the co-op’s Jonesville, Va., branch was on the job.
Phil Jarvis, manager of safety services for the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives, was in town for a safety seminar and went along for the ride. Foreman Jamie Hughes and lineworkers Dakota Banks, Tyler Haines and Justin Miles set out to install a new pole and transformer, building Hill a two-span service to turn the lights on and power his new shop.
But first, the crew had to dig through 6 feet of rock to get the pole into the ground. “Poles need to be buried 10%, plus 2 feet into the ground,” says Hughes. “For a 40-foot pole, that means 6 feet deep.” Utilizing both a massive, carbide-tipped core auger and a compressed-air-powered drill bit, the crew was able to install the pole in less than two hours. “I’m really appreciative of their hard work,” says Hill. “My son has a 1985 Jeep Scrambler that has been sitting around here for quite a while, and I want to build a lift inside the shop so he and I can finally restore it.”