At J.L. Matthews, we are a family-owned business since 1946 and are your one-stop shop for linemen, ironworkers, and arborists. We get it that every project is unique when you're living life at height. In this blog series, we will cover everything from the craziest storms lineman, arborists or ironworkers have worked to how they keep in touch with loved ones while they are away. We'll even ask them to offer tips to those who are interested in joining the trade.

If you want to nominate someone whose story we should tell next, have them complete the Life on the Line or Life at Height form, or email

Get to know Hunter Richardson, a 4th generation lineman with Southern Electric Corporation.

As a 4th generation lineman, Hunter says, "It’s a family tradition. My Great Grandpa did it along with my Grandpa out of the Local 2 in St. Louis. Then after the Vietnam war ended, my Dad joined a crew with my Grandpa. I am also a twin and my twin brother, Bow, is also a lineman."

Richardson family photo of Hunter's Great Grandpa, Grandpa, and Dad who were linemen.

Hunter shares what he's most proud of about his job.

"It’s one big brotherhood; doesn’t matter where you go or what crew you’re with, it’s like a big family." And if there's anything that he could change about his job, it would be to remove the phrase,"That’s the way we always do it." He believes that sometimes a little change or a new way of doing something is for the better.
The utility trade is like a brotherhood. 3 men standing in front of a bucket truck.
We asked Hunter to share how he manages the crazy schedule and calls where he often has to drop everything.
Hunter resides in St. Louis and works in Oklahoma and is currently working towards moving union from non-union, so he drives back and forth every week or every chance he gets to see his fiancé. She holds down the house while pursuing her Doctorate of Chiropractic. 
When he's away working for extended periods of time, his family understands how storm season works and they know that he will reach out when he can.
Working in the utility trade has its perks. Find out a few of Hunter's most memorable moments. 
Last year, he stayed on South Padre Island in Texas during Hurricane Hannah and swam in the ocean at night. And a week later, he traveled to Benton Harbor in Michigan and swam in the Great Lakes!
For anyone who is considering getting into the trade, here's Hunter's advice:
"Ask questions and don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve. This trade will provide for you and your family if you’re willing to put in the work and make it happen, but it definitely won’t be an easy route."


J.L. Matthews has over 2,000 products from top brands like RudeDog USABashlinHastings, and more. We provide free shipping to first time customers who spend over $75. 

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