Twardoski accepts warehouseman position
He won’t be climbing poles or responding to power outages anymore, but during the next big storm, you can bet Dale Twardoski will be thinking of the linemen at Capital Electric Cooperative. Once a lineman, always a lineman at heart. Dale has taken over for Mike Schneider, the co-op’s warehouseman who retired in January.
Dale worked as a lineman for 30 years; 25 years for Capital Electric, and five years for an electric cooperative in Dickinson. Raised in Bismarck, Dale and his brother, Dave, enrolled in the lineworker program at Bismarck State College. When Dale took his first job as an apprentice for West Plains Electric Cooperative, he said working as a lineman was like “hunting without a gun.”
“Back in the day when I started out in Dickinson, it was rural. We could drive around looking at wildlife [while doing line patrol]. It was great,” he says.
Dale moved to Bismarck in the early 1990s when a lineman position opened at Capital Electric. After working as a journeyman lineman for several years, the cooperative promoted him to lead lineman. As a mentor, Dale held countless “tailgate” sessions with the guys about the various projects they were working on, building and maintaining the cooperative’s overhead and underground electrical system.
“I had my ideas, but there was always more than one way to do something,” he says. “I would ask them, ‘What do you think? How do you want to do it?’ Then, I’d let them do it and help them out.”
After 30 years of doing physically demanding work on extremely hot and cold days, and fixing power outages in the middle of the night, Dale says it was time to give his rubber gloves, belt and hooks back to the cooperative. Replacing Mike as warehouseman, Dale will still have the opportunity to work outside and help the lineman, unloading supplies and making sure the line crews have what they need.
The transition should be relatively easy for Dale, who knows every part and piece of the electrical system. Even though he’s had to brush up on his computer skills and learn the processes of contacting vendors, getting estimates and ordering supplies, Dale says he was ready for a change.