Simmons Finds Growth, Opportunities as Tower Technician
Fast forward. That is the term that best fits John Simmons’ telecom career. A resident of a small town in Iowa, he has found a fast-paced career in the tower services industry just a short drive away in Carlisle, Iowa.
Simmons joined Murphy Tower Service LLC in 2015, one year out of high school. He had worked with a local building contractor where he found that he liked working with his hands and being outside. Murphy Tower had 50 employees back then.
“I really love being outside just in the fresh air with new scenery every day, instead of being cooped up inside doing the same thing,” Simmons told Inside Towers.
With no tower experience, Simmons took part in a two-week in-house training program and then joined a crew as an apprentice for a little more than a year. “I worked with an awesome crew out in the field and really learned a lot,” he said.
Simmons became certified for Telecommunications Tower Technician I and II by the National Wireless Safety Alliance. He worked on a tower service crew for two years before being certified by NWSA to be a Foreman. Then he began running his own crews. That opened up a new set of challenges, including liaising with the wireless carriers.
“I think it’s really amazing what you can accomplish when you actually put your mind to it and you see the results of what you’ve done,” Simmons said.
Only seven years after joining Murphy Tower, Simmons was promoted to his current position as Superintendent for Iowa Services, where he has taken on the responsibility of managing six crews across the state.
“My project manager and I keep the crews running as efficiently as possible, jumping all the hurdles every day, meeting all the challenges,” Simmons said. “We have a really awesome group of guys in this company. It’s like one big family. We all work really well together, and that makes it easier.”
Simmons schedules jobs for his tower crews, tracks assets and visits a couple of job sites a day. He even pitches in and climbs the towers on days when an extra technician is needed.
“Our maintenance jobs range from changing a coax line out to replacing light bulbs. We also replace a lot of radio heads on the towers,” Simmons said.
Simmons developed his work ethic in high school by participating in track and playing baseball and football. He also learned the importance of teamwork. “My coaches really pounded it into my head that if you work hard, great things will come. And I believe that every day,” he said. “It’s especially important having a great, solid group of guys on the tower that you can count on, almost like brothers.”
In a way, Simmons’ career has mirrored his company. As he has been promoted and taken on more responsibility, Murphy Tower has expanded to serve 18 states and quadrupled in size with just under 200 people on staff.
“It just keeps getting busier and busier, every week.” he said. “But Murphy is a very family-oriented company. On the maintenance side, we are home most every night.” That is a good thing for Simmons and his wife. They have a new baby boy to care for.
By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor
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