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Thread: That Awkward Moment When...

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    Senior Member Nb22x's Avatar
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    Smile That Awkward Moment When...

    You ring a homeowners doorbell to notify them you will be in their yard working and you see the cars in the driveway, you can see and hear the people inside, one person stares at you from the window.
    They don't open the door for you. You need their backyard marked too. there's a gate. a small dog...
    This career is very interesting sometimes...
    Homeowner - "They still bury lines in the ground?
    I thought they didn't do that anymore!"
    Me - "Yes sir they do."
    ____________________
    Homeowner - "...But you're painting all over people's property"
    Me - "Yes I am. It's the law."
    ____________________
    Homeowner - "My gas line is not over there"
    Me - "Yes it is."

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    Senior Member CableAvoidanceTool's Avatar
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    I have one suggestion that might be helpful. In fact I wouldn't even go that far to contact the homeowner. I would just call the excavator's number on the locate ticket, and request a site meeting. During which, it is his problem to get the dog out of the backyard, as well as get the fence unlocked.

    If he ignores your call, and he digs and hits something, you can document that you requested a site meeting, delayed the ticket, and he ignored you.
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    Senior Member jayc's Avatar
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Quote Originally Posted by CableAvoidanceTool View Post
    I have one suggestion that might be helpful. In fact I wouldn't even go that far to contact the homeowner. I would just call the excavator's number on the locate ticket, and request a site meeting. During which, it is his problem to get the dog out of the backyard, as well as get the fence unlocked.

    If he ignores your call, and he digs and hits something, you can document that you requested a site meeting, delayed the ticket, and he ignored you.
    That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. So If I have a rear-easement job to replace a power cable - going ped to ped, you want me to leave the jobsite I'm on to come out there and ask the homeowner to put the dog in when you're on-site and too lazy to knock on the door or ring the bell?

    Re-think your profession.
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Jayc it says he rang the doorbell

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    Senior Member jayc's Avatar
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Quote Originally Posted by orangeboots View Post
    Jayc it says he rang the doorbell
    Nb22x did, but CAT says he "wouldn't even go so far as to contact the homeowner."

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    Mke
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Quote Originally Posted by jayc View Post
    That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. So If I have a rear-easement job to replace a power cable - going ped to ped, you want me to leave the jobsite I'm on to come out there and ask the homeowner to put the dog in when you're on-site and too lazy to knock on the door or ring the bell?

    Re-think your profession.
    Don't be a dick. He didn't say anything about not doing the ticket.

    I look at it this way... As a locator, we don't do anything of our own accord. We are requested to work in the back yard of homeowners who typically don't read or receive any information of the work to take place. If the homeowner does not want to participate, it isn't our job to persuade them. It's the excavators.

    Boo f'ing hoo. You have to leave a job site to secure locates for the next job. You have no issues calling locators back to the site looking for a utility that is just a little deeper then what you potholed, or is it because you feel that your role as an excavator is of higher standing then us worthless locators?

    I think you need to get down from Mt. Olympus and realize that locators are a resource to be managed, not just a pawn to be shit on.

    Half of my job is coordinating locates for our facilities with the contractors and their subs. I have no issues dropping everything to leave one site and going to another to make sure a public locator knows exactly what area to locate and to get him access to what they need. You know what happens when you can speed their process up? You start getting better responses from the one-calls. Ive even been able to get a favor out of them... It's almost like we have the same goals in mind..... Like not pulling the reamer back with 800' of mule tape and cable wrapped around it.

    Mke
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    Senior Member jayc's Avatar
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Being a dick is making an excavator drive out to a jobsite to ask a homeowner to put a dog in.

    I look at it this way....As an excavator I'm contracted by the power company to replace a line. I call in my locates. As a locator, you are contracted by the power company to locate their lines. So even though the excavator requested a locate - you don't work for the excavator - you work for the power company or the phone company or the gas company or the cable company to locate and protect their lines.

    Boo f'ing hoo. You've got to take 5 minutes out of your day to ask a homeowner to put a dog in, and if you whine about that keep in mind you want me to drive 30+ minutes wasting time and fuel to do the same thing. And where did this potholing come from? Something you just pulled from your ass to make an argument out of it? If I'm crossing 3 gas services on a run and I've potholed one at 2', one at 2'7" and the next one I'm at 5'5" and I still haven't found it, I'm going to call to verify marks because it doesn't add up. Why would out of 3 houses right next to each other the first 2 be < 3', then next one at almost 6'? You'd be questioning it too if you had to dig it up.

    I think you need to get down from Mt. Olympus and realize that excavators are contractors just as the locators are considered contractors too.

    You want a scenario where it'd be OK to ask the excavator to talk to the homeowner? If the excavator is doing the work specifically for the homeowner and not a public utility. If the excavator was contracted by the homeowner, then at least the excavator will have a phone number to call and talk to them.

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Quote Originally Posted by jayc View Post
    You want a scenario where it'd be OK to ask the excavator to talk to the homeowner? If the excavator is doing the work specifically for the homeowner and not a public utility. If the excavator was contracted by the homeowner, then at least the excavator will have a phone number to call and talk to them.
    jayc, I normally would not get involved, BUT I am there to locate a yard that the homeowner has no idea work will be taking place. It is NOT my job to inform them there will be digging on their property. That Job is YOURS!!! You were hired to do the work and it is YOUR job to inform all people involved.

    That is the problem. Contractors not informing the all involved as what is going to happen. If you did they would not question what we are doing or put up dogs as the contractor SHOULD have told the affected that the locator will be coming to mark the property.

    Off my soapbox.
    Last edited by UULC; October 25th, 2015 at 09:29 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Here is the way I take care of these situations. I locate everything I photo the locked gate, dog whatever then call the contractor and tell them there is a problem with that address and to call me when the crew gets there and I can get into the yard. then I document the hell out of it. Seems to work for me and the contractors.

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    Senior Member jayc's Avatar
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Quote Originally Posted by UULC View Post
    jayc, I normally would not get involved, BUT I am there to locate a yard that the homeowner has no idea work will be taking place. It is NOT my job to inform them there will be digging on their property. That Job is YOURS!!! You were hired to do the work and it is YOUR job to inform all people involved.

    That is the problem. Contractors not informing the all involved as what is going to happen. If you did they would not question what we are doing or put up dogs as the contractor SHOULD have told the affected that the locator will be coming to mark the property.

    Off my soapbox.
    OK, now hypothetically what if the homeowner isn't home when we're there and they either don't see or throw out the door tag without reading it? Many people have side entrances to houses and don't always use the front door?

    Either way this is getting side-tracked. The lazy SOB earlier said that even if the homeowner were home, he wouldn't deal with it and call the contractor to handle the situation. Knock on the door - that is part of YOUR job too.

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    Premium Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Quote Originally Posted by jayc View Post
    Being a dick is making an excavator drive out to a jobsite to ask a homeowner to put a dog in.

    If I'm crossing 3 gas services on a run and I've potholed one at 2', one at 2'7" and the next one I'm at 5'5" and I still haven't found it, I'm going to call to verify marks because it doesn't add up. Why would out of 3 houses right next to each other the first 2 be < 3', then next one at almost 6'? You'd be questioning it too if you had to dig it up.



    There are lots of reasons services show up at different depths JC. Maybe the main crosses something buried like a boulder and drops after crossing it. Maybe sometime in the last few decades erosion made it shallow or an landscaper backfilled over it and now it's even deeper.

    As a former bore operator, all I ever did was pothole the marks down about a foot deeper than I'm boring. If I don't find the line, I'll send my rod right through the pothole. If it was deeper than my rod, no problem. If it was mismarked and I hit it ten feet away, that's on the locator. I have enough faith in my quality that I've given that advice to contractors over the phone to keep from driving out to the site.

    As for knocking on the door, it is part of the job but if they're not home or won't answer there's not much you can do except what Orangeboots said. Not sure I'd refuse to locate any job where a dog was out because I don't wanna ring a doorbell. Do that and you'd have to skip 80% of the tickets you get in subdivisions.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Quote Originally Posted by jayc View Post
    Being a dick is making an excavator drive out to a jobsite to ask a homeowner to put a dog in.

    I look at it this way....As an excavator I'm contracted by the power company to replace a line. I call in my locates. As a locator, you are contracted by the power company to locate their lines. So even though the excavator requested a locate - you don't work for the excavator - you work for the power company or the phone company or the gas company or the cable company to locate and protect their lines.

    Boo f'ing hoo. You've got to take 5 minutes out of your day to ask a homeowner to put a dog in, and if you whine about that keep in mind you want me to drive 30+ minutes wasting time and fuel to do the same thing. And where did this potholing come from? Something you just pulled from your ass to make an argument out of it? If I'm crossing 3 gas services on a run and I've potholed one at 2', one at 2'7" and the next one I'm at 5'5" and I still haven't found it, I'm going to call to verify marks because it doesn't add up. Why would out of 3 houses right next to each other the first 2 be < 3', then next one at almost 6'? You'd be questioning it too if you had to dig it up.

    I think you need to get down from Mt. Olympus and realize that excavators are contractors just as the locators are considered contractors too.

    You want a scenario where it'd be OK to ask the excavator to talk to the homeowner? If the excavator is doing the work specifically for the homeowner and not a public utility. If the excavator was contracted by the homeowner, then at least the excavator will have a phone number to call and talk to them.
    Again, you keep inferring that it is our job to gain access. All locators will attempt at least once. If there is a locked gate, angry homeowners, or a dog that is less than trust worthy.... Access falls on your shoulders. If you are a dick to the locators, expect them to write off that ticket or schedule a meet for the littlest amount of resistance.

    As for both being a contractor, you are correct. However, our responsibilities are laid out by the contract language. Each contract is different, but similar. The contract for excavators will typically put the responsibility for locates on the excavator. That responsibility doesn't stop when you are away from the job site. Where as the contract for providing locates puts the responsibility on the locator to provide services but their job is to protect the utility, calling an excavator to gain access is an acceptable and responsible action depending on the situation.

    As for bringing up pot holing, I was highlighting a specific situation where you expect a response from a locator better then the response you would give to a locator.

    As for the examples you are giving... that is the nature of the beast, just like driving 30 min to the next job site to help a locator get access to a yard they felt inaccessible.

    As for your last two comments....

    I'm a locator. The only way I get to the top of Mt. Olympus is if you need locates. Just don't lock the back gate.

    I think you need to read those generic clauses the put into the contract that puts all that responsibility onto your shoulders. You can always bid the job a little bit higher when there is a rear easement or fenced facility involved to cover those added expenses of due diligence.

    Mke
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    The order of how to deal with an inaccessible property is first the state rules and then company orders.

    In Virginia there is a code foe inaccessible property, code number 90, No Access. It is also the responsibility of the excavator to make sure all occupants are aware that they must make their property accessible to locators. If there is a problem getting access it is responsibility of the excavator to arrange access.

    In Va. we knock on the door to see if someone will answer and get us access. If no answer we put that in notes, take a photo with camera held over the gate to show the lock if possible, a photo of the gate and a photo of the front of the property. The same goes for dogs or other animals on the property though a dog loose in the front yard may make knocking on the door impossible.

    Once the ticket is coded 90 it is gone and a new ticket must be called in. Locked gates, animals, resident says they will not allow you to mark there all are valid for a 90 code.
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    depending on my mood ..............well...most of you know how I would have handled that situation .
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    Default Re: That Awkward Moment When...

    Quote Originally Posted by jayc View Post
    OK, now hypothetically what if the homeowner isn't home when we're there and they either don't see or throw out the door tag without reading it? Many people have side entrances to houses and don't always use the front door?

    Either way this is getting side-tracked. The lazy SOB earlier said that even if the homeowner were home, he wouldn't deal with it and call the contractor to handle the situation. Knock on the door - that is part of YOUR job too.
    I can chime in on both sides of this fence. Having been a locator, running, managing and owning one call and SUE companies, AND being licensed as a General, Engineering and/or Utility Contractor in seven states, I have to agree that the locator is correct. The contractor is responsible to ensure that the area they are requesting to have locates performed in/on, is accessible to the locator, that includes informing the property owner and ensuring that the locator has access to the property. As mentioned above, there is a positive response code in most states for 1) Locked Gate or 2) Loose animal in yard, both of which when entered, requires the excavator to recall a new ticket and make the necessary arrangements to have the gate unlocked and/or the loose animal restrained.

    Unfortunately, a lot of contractors have the same attitude that JayC has, and they make the rest of the contractors look bad.
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