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Thread: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy121 View Post
    What bothers me about contractors is they will call in tickets for 4,000 feet on both sides of the road just to see what side of the road has the less amount of stuff. Then you spend all day marking the hell side and maybe on the other side you have some crossings. Well they go with the side with little to nothing on it. do i blame them, no. But I mean if you want us to suck it up and mark everything out on both sides of the road then you suck it up and pick a side and call in tickets for that one and that one only. Then when they get the 4,000 feet bored in a week or two weeks they will call in refresh tickets and sometimes haven't even made it half way through their first 2,000 feet. But expect us to be all go go go and get their stuff marked when they haven't been go go go since they started their project. Then when they finally get the boring done and it becomes time for tie ins. They will recall the whole 4,000 feet back in just for 3 areas that need marked. Instead of taking some of that white paint they have from locating their rods and just white marking where their tie ins are they will complain and call us lazy cause we call and ask if they are only doing tie ins. But at the same time they are being lazy by not marking the 3 places where they are doing tie ins and calling in 1-3 tickets with these areas and these areas only.

    And whats really awesome is when they put this non armored fiber in for miles but want to make their job easy by not pulling tracer back with the fiber or ducts, which they are supposed to do. Then a few months will go by and the same contractor will need to cross that fresh new fiber with no tone wire. So they call in their ticket, I show up spend a few hours going from hh to hh looking for the tone wire this lazy contractor didn't put in. And when i call the contractor and tell them they will have to wait to cross it until a tone wire is put in. Then they wanna bitch and call me lazy and tell me i don't know what im doing? But yea its all the locators out here. There is no bad contractors and they all do everything up to code and follow what the contract says.


    If only they would learn if they would put more effort into being a contractor and taking what 45 min out of their day to call in where they have put in white paint. Their jobs may get done faster and easier but na, they would rather put everything on the locator and say hes the lazy one


    Oh yea, the contractors that will call in second notcices for need all utilities to verify markings because they have pot holed 2 feet and cant find it. But in all reality it means they sit and wait till the locator comes while they sit on their ass and collect hourly. I know contractors do this because my buddy will laugh about doing it to me all the time. And in indiana when you call in a second notice for my fiber the law states I have 24 hours to respond and i take that 24hrs if i marked my stuff right. Not my problem its 10ft and you gave up at 2ft.

    And emergencies. I have 2 hours to make contact. I have 6 hours to get the ticket marked. So ive been cussed out of alot because Im not dropping what I am doing and heading straight to you because you decided to forget to call in a ticket and show up and decide to call an emergency


    Done with rant, This week has just been horrible. And i get along great with my contractors, its these new guys from out of town that thinks they come in writing my paycheck that has basically made me give up on caring for this week lol
    Well said 121!!!!

    JC we are not going after you. But it is your trade that has caused us to be like this. Not you personnaly. Excavators think we owe them everything and we DAMN sure don't. I will tell you and any contractor in FLORIDA where I work that you F*(K me once and I will make every ticket you call in ever again and I will make every future job a bitch and mark every signal I get and take up the whole R/O/W.

    Like Teddy said, excavators has to start taking on more of this burden. Contractors bid on a contract so include a line item for verifing facilities.
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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    Quote Originally Posted by UULC View Post
    Well said 121!!!!

    JC we are not going after you. But it is your trade that has caused us to be like this. Not you personnaly. Excavators think we owe them everything and we DAMN sure don't. I will tell you and any contractor in FLORIDA where I work that you F*(K me once and I will make every ticket you call in ever again and I will make every future job a bitch and mark every signal I get and take up the whole R/O/W.

    Like Teddy said, excavators has to start taking on more of this burden. Contractors bid on a contract so include a line item for verifing facilities.

    LOL Same here had a contractor call in 9,000 ft for test pits. He will never do that again since I marked the correct one and gave him a fake conduit the entire length on the other side since I had to walk back away In my old area that i had for a LONG time the contractors would never call in long markout because they knew if they did they would be guessing which line is actually there lol.
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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    Quote Originally Posted by locatepro View Post
    LOL Same here had a contractor call in 9,000 ft for test pits. He will never do that again since I marked the correct one and gave him a fake conduit the entire length on the other side since I had to walk back away In my old area that i had for a LONG time the contractors would never call in long markout because they knew if they did they would be guessing which line is actually there lol.
    Do the words "malicious intent" mean anything to you? Talk to a real damage prevention professional and tell him that story, then ask him if you don't know. You could also get your customer sued. You're a real winner, aren't you?

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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    Quote Originally Posted by UULC View Post
    Like Teddy said, excavators has to start taking on more of this burden. Contractors bid on a contract so include a line item for verifing facilities.
    I want all of you guys to think about this for a while. Think about some of the contractors you've come in contact with that cut corners, do as little as possible and take extreme risks. Now imagine that they try to do it themselves and not hire a private locating firm. Now, thinking about all of that, do you really want someone like that marking facilities? How about the ones that can't read prints and don't speak English? The ones that don't follow the easement and will bore a new electric primary on a diagonal through someone's backyard. These are the people you want to put in the hands of protecting other peoples facilities?

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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    the future of contract utility locating will come to this ...how low are you willing to go to save a dollar....! the name of this game is , how do we save just ONE MORE DOLLAR ???
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    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    the future of contract utility locating will come to this ...how low are you willing to go to save a dollar....! the name of this game is , how do we save just ONE MORE DOLLAR ???
    When you think about it, this is exactly what the gas, power, and telco companies are doing right now. However, it is their own facilities that they are gambling with to save a buck. Are peoples lives worth it? An excavator hits a power line and the operator dies. Someone hits a gas main and a house, business, or apartment building blows up. Is it worth it to save a buck?

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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    Quote Originally Posted by jayc View Post
    Do the words "malicious intent" mean anything to you? Talk to a real damage prevention professional and tell him that story, then ask him if you don't know. You could also get your customer sued. You're a real winner, aren't you?
    Yes I am Jason C. a real winner, and no you can not get the customer sued all you have to say is you picked up a signal. Contractors who call in miles for ONE small hole deserve what they get.
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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    The real future of contract locating may be a small future.

    The clients have created two environments;


    The locate firms trying to underbid each other AND bidding so low there is no profit just to keep a competitor from making a profit. Both of these practices have resulted in poor locating service, you get what you pay for.


    The client companies have contracted out their locating and disbanded their locate departments. The lack the people needed to bring locating back in house. Plus they in most cases need approval of the regulatory agency to pass on the expense of startup and operation of a locate department.

    The answer for the client companies is to lower costs by eliminating profit and to gain significant control of locate operations. Their answer is to form their own locate company but as a cooperative. So a local power company, gas company, communications company, etc. all get their locate services from the cooperative they all own a share of. Any profits are either reinvested in the coop or given back to the clients.
    Kramit69, jayc, UULC and 1 others like this.

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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    Quote Originally Posted by UULC View Post
    Well said 121!!!!

    JC we are not going after you. But it is your trade that has caused us to be like this. Not you personnaly. Excavators think we owe them everything and we DAMN sure don't. I will tell you and any contractor in FLORIDA where I work that you F*(K me once and I will make every ticket you call in ever again and I will make every future job a bitch and mark every signal I get and take up the whole R/O/W.
    Like Teddy said, excavators has to start taking on more of this burden. Contractors bid on a contract so include a line item for verifing facilities.

    Yea i blame Jay C for none of this. Im sure hes a good guy, and hes already a better guy from not being in my area boring stuff lol

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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    shit, in companies planning on taking any of their contracts back to "in house" in Indiana hire me. Ill go for the same amount of money as long as you staff accordingly and I believe half of the locators in the business will jump right along as long as someone gets some damn organization in the field. Hell Ill go for the same hourly pay to just match the insurance company i have now lol
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  11. #41
    Mke
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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    I started out as a public contract locator. Within 2 years I went to a private locating company, and spent the next 5 doing private locates. The last 7 years I've been handling all locates for a company that has its hands in all sides of the utility industry. We, design,construct, maintain, and contract for services.

    You wanna know what the future will hold? 2 things, 1: we will be muddling in our current situation for years. Contracts will change hands. The majority of excavators will still be asses. The majority of locators will have less than 5 yrs experience, and be better suited to greet customers at Walmart then to figure out if it is a telephone line or an electric line that he is locating. 2: you will see this shift Steve is talking about. It will not be the paper prints you guys are thinking of, it will be a series of coordinates that a field tech will download into his GPS unit. This tech will be employed by the excavator, or the prime contractor overseeing the work. This same tech will record the GPS coordinates for the newly installed line which will be submitted to the utility for there record keeping.

    The locator will be phased out for the most part. The only ones that will be spraying paint will be private guys doing small residential stuff or they will transfer over to fault finding, leak detection, and inspections.
    It's just a matter of time.

    As for the main question, "is Jayc an ass?" It sounds like he's trying to get what he needs done the way he has been shown. You can't fault him for that. I think the local one-call boards need to pull their heads out of their rear and stop paying for advertisements, golf tournaments, contractor breakfasts and the like and require all parties involved in the calling of one calls to take a training class. If the locator, operator, or excavator goes against the training 3 documented times, they start paying more for the locates. If they can follow the guidelines, the charges will stop. If it continues, the cost goes up and the utilities commission steps in and puts in a claim against their bond for the job or similar depending on how the state works. As for survey and design tickets, there has to be a system in place to share info between the parties before a locate is called in so that scope can be narrowed.

    As for stupid locate of the week... I had a bore crew call in a mile and a half long locate. That in and of itself sucks, but the kicker is that they were just doing one road crossing. Roughly about a 70' of actual locates needed.

    Mke

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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    How about this one, "please locate entire property"
    Answer: property corners were not staked, could not locate utilities within 15 feet of described work area. Please hire survey crew to establish property lines and string line perimeter. Or premark where you are putting your stupid pool." Thanks haha
    daman1, phoenix827 and elvee like this.

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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyfish87 View Post
    How about this one, "please locate entire property"
    Answer: property corners were not staked, could not locate utilities within 15 feet of described work area. Please hire survey crew to establish property lines and string line perimeter. Or premark where you are putting your stupid pool." Thanks haha
    planting tree in yard,,, WTF? WHERE?!? I had one of these with probably a 5 acre ft yard. REALLY?

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    Premium Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix827 View Post
    planting tree in yard,,, WTF? WHERE?!? I had one of these with probably a 5 acre ft yard. REALLY?
    This reminded me of an old post of mine......

    I had a landscaping company do this on every tree ticket. When I'd call for specifics they'd say that they might want to plant the tree somewhere else and needed the whole property located. After about the tenth time, I had a slow day and got one of their tickets for this really big yard with a beautiful lawn. Got the same line when I called for specifics. I didn't paint the drive or anything but this time I painted a thick line every 12 inches in the lawn. I flagged EVERY line. I did the mains along the road. It was a four way locate. Phone, cable, buried electric, and gas. I went through four cans of paint on that lawn in each color. By the time I got done it looked like the circus had come to town. I did it on two more of their tickets that day. I imagine the homeowners raised a fuss because suddenly their tickets became quite specific for the rest of the summer.
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    Mke
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    Default Re: The Future of Contract Utility Locating.

    I had a contractor call me today and let me know he was going to call in a couple of one-calls for next week, because he wanted to show the actual excavator what is in the ground. (He was curious if the public locators were badged for our facilities, they aren't)

    I asked him if he was going to dig soon after, and he stated..."no, we are not scheduled for any excavation till mid October."

    What I told him, "let me get this right. You have yet to get an excavator on contract for any excavation. So, you want the locators to mark two separate jobs so you can get bids on the work so you can see what excavator is the cheapest, during construction season when certain companies can't even provide timely locates for active construction sites, just so the excavator can call in the same ticket in a month when they actually get closer to the dig time?"

    There was a pause, then he said, "yes"

    I then told him, "I, like most locators are too busy to deal with "lookie-see" locates. We spend a shit ton of money on our electronic utility base map. In these areas, we have done a lot of work. Use the maps provided for the project, they are to scale and show the utilities you are requesting. If you choose to not heed my advise and call in the locate anyway, I guarantee that no one will locate it."

    He grumbled a bit and then asked me how I can be so certain no one will mark?

    I told him," because I will tell them not to."

    The guy is a douche, and works for a company that thinks they can walk on water.

    All I'm trying to do is help them understand why they are not getting the locate response they are assuming they deserve by law.

    Contractors believe the one call system is a black and white system. They say jump and we are supposed to paint. they think we are not smart enough to be excavators, little do they know we have to dumb down our marks so they can make sense of them.

    "Mark it so a kindergartener can follow it, that's about the limit of their education" - my trainer

    Mke

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