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Thread: How about some white paint !

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    Member alamo's Avatar
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    Default How about some white paint !

    SURE ITS NOT A LAW....BUT DON'T YOU THINK IT WOULD JUST BE SMART . NO , THIS IS EVEN BETTER, HOW ABOUT YOU CONTRACTORS AT LEAST VISIT THE SITE ONE TIME BEFORE YOU DIG SO YOU WILL AT LEAST KNOW HOW TO CALL A DIG TICKET !
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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    The law here is that if a locator deems the information to be insufficient, they can require, by law, a white line.
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    Mke
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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    Quote Originally Posted by sauroke View Post
    The law here is that if a locator deems the information to be insufficient, they can require, by law, a white line.
    Ditto

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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    Ditto and Ditto

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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    only the power company's over this way use white paint and barely few contractors . ....
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    Don't take this wrong you guys but on some jobs there is no white line to mark until after the utilities are known, we do a lot of trenchless installs for water lines to sewers and I have no idea where they are going until it's marked. I do mark in white the spots I know we need when I can.

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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    Do you have proposed plans? is this a government project? An Engineer had to draw up the prints with specs. If so mark & STAKE where your proposed running line should go. It gives us an idea where you want to go.

    Just this last week we had a company installing FOC for a government project. Three different fiber companies refused to mark. This was a 2 mile job and we required the contractor to white line the entire distance. They were mad as hell.

    But they want me to mark all my fibers for 2 miles but you do not want to put white paint down to give me an idea and then you do not get there in 30 days and I have to go out again and again.

    I DON'T THINK SO.

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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    I think it is just to difficult for them. They were never trained how to use spray paint. It would be to hard to paint the ground and then call in a 20 foot radius of the white lines. Really love it when they call in both rows when they are only digging in one. Last year there was a job where they were installing sewer in an entire town. They were replacing the old septic systems with city sewer. They called in the entire town on one ticket. It was a town with a population of roughly 1000 people. Locate everything within the city limits. I have one now that I have located about 12 times. Supposedly they are installing sidewalks. They are from out of state and they have yet to even arrive on site. Then they wonder why we are always behind.

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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    I do residential and light commercial, I am the engineer lol. I have it easier than you guys I only locate for our own jobs and sometimes friends. I locate and sweep everything before we start digging my insurance and my guys life's depend on it. I locate before the bids as well to make sure there are no surprises. I call 811 just because I have to .
    Last edited by Cuda; May 13th, 2013 at 12:15 AM.

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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda View Post
    Don't take this wrong you guys but on some jobs there is no white line to mark until after the utilities are known, we do a lot of trenchless installs for water lines to sewers and I have no idea where they are going until it's marked. I do mark in white the spots I know we need when I can.
    You go to the site and determine where you want to go and white line that. If you determine you want to go another route white line your new route and call in a new ticket.

    If you are unwilling to take the effort your work needs do not expect locators to go the extra yard to do your work you will not do.


    Think of this also, time is money. If you will not put in the time and effort (money) to do your own work the locator's employers have no interest spending the locator's time ( their company's money) on your work. Their bosses have no interest in losing profit so your firm can make a larger profit. As a supervisor, former full time locator, part of my job is to protect the company's profits. We get paid by the individual ticket and if a bif job comes in we will lose money on part of my job is to reject that ticket if possible. I have to tell the excavator to call in a new ticket.

    Wnat to get yur work done as a priotity? Here are some tips.

    White line a job that needs it, especialy a long job.

    Break long jobs up into smaller tickets as this is good for everybody. Lcoate firms are most often paid by the ticket, not job length. In most areas it costs yuou nothing more to send in 10 tickets for a mile long job rather than 1 tickiet. To make things better for you have the areas of the tickets overlap. Now you have the company operators wnating to fet all those tickets done. In most companies locators are given ratings and pay rates on their production numbers, a mile long ticket for many contributes towards a pay cut. Give them 10 tickets where one was and they now want to come to your site.

    If you enter a long ticket and one thing goes wrong your whole ticket, and the job with it, is stopped.I one of the ten tickets went wrong yo still have most of your job site you can work on.

    About 20 years ago I had a new homes subdivision from clearing the ground to completion. The guy calling in the tickets got the job becasue he was the owner's son in-law. Clearing the land was fine but once roads and houses were going up he insisted on just one ticket for the 125 houses. So with that many new homes not yet on the gas company microfilm there was always one gas service that did not give a good tone. For this we had to request the mail delivery of a Service Record Card showing the measurements of where the gas service was installed, delay the ticket for up to a week. Once this guy got the idea, took awhile cause he was a bit of an idiot, the site was broken up into many smaller tickets.

    It's like poker, learn to play the game and you will make money.
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    Mke
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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda View Post
    ...I have it easier than you guys I only locate for our own jobs and sometimes friends. I locate and sweep everything before we start digging my insurance and my guys life's depend on it. I locate before the bids as well to make sure there are no surprises...
    With this, you still have trouble finding your route?

    I think we are so pressing on this issue because, if white paint was used properly, we would have quick recognition of work areas, and we would be able to get field confirmation of the proper work area. If contractors don't take the time to properly mark the work area (this is a whole nother subject) it slows the locating process down. I.E.; NE Corner of said intersection.... well North is at this weird angle. So, depending on how they look at this... it could be one of two corners. The other example I like is... 12500 NE 12th St, Suite 401. mark from building to planter. This is great. I have found the address (a big industrial park) and I have found Suite 400 and 402, but no 401. This building is over 1000' long and there is at least a dozen planters around this building.

    Are you honestly telling me that you need the utilities marked to understand the proposed route?

    Also know that I work for a rather large company out of portland, and am currently based in the engineering department and take care of everything from design locates to construction. Most of the time, the contractor knows the path. Some utilities change the path, but most of the time, you can stay close to the designed location. The only variable would be trying to "cowboy" it in. Which in most cases is a contractors way to hurry up and put shit in the ground before the complaints come in. This is when they get enough leway to know they have to put in a service line through a neighbor hood and just know enough to be dangerous. We have to go from Pole # 1234 to this building. So we will do what ever it takes to get it done quickly to get our money. 3k feet aday. thats our goal.


    I just had a contractor call in a ticket for a locate for a job trailer. He had one white mark up on a jogging path which is not visible by the road. He called the intersection "Airport Rd." which for you who don't work near an airport, is any road without a name that the airport owns. However, there typically is an Official Airport road near all airports. Because this guys paint wasn't visible by the road, all the locators succsessfully painted the wrong intersection.... Twice. (He Recalled the ticket). I had to personally go out and paint the work area properly, and low and behold... the locators could find it.

    just saying.

    mke
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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    Well, no one said you have to be a "rocket scientist" (and I used that term very sarcastically) to dig a hole in the ground.

    I had a contractor on a large county wide water project a long time ago, who kept cutting my catv and phone cables like crazy, 7 or 8 a day. He kept telling me that they weren't marked.

    Come to find out, he thought he was supposed to dig where my orange marks were....DUH!!

    Most of the time, at least in my area, white lining isn't done at all mostly because the contractors I am dealing with are a sub of a sub, and everyone is too darn cheap and lazy to get out there and do the job correctly. I used to buy the white marking paint myself and offer it to contractors on large jobs, and heard every excuse under the sun why they couldn't white line.

    I had one "fly by night" catv contractor that came into town on a large sweep project. Everything they called in was a Short Notice, usually due within 24 hours or less, and they would call it in on a Thursday afternoon, every time. They did start white lining the jobs, but then they also marked the storm drains, sewer services, water services, irrigation lines, water valves and everything else you could think of with white paint.

    I have one catv contractor, that uses missles to put everything in. The other day they called a ticket in to bore from a pole on a corner of a T intersection, around the corner for about 100 feet to another pole. They called in the entire intersection for 1500 ft in all directions both sides of both roads (on one ticket), and then down the cross street in 1/4 mile increments for two miles. I couldn't get any of their guys on the phone, the master contractor, of course, had no further info on the job. I waited just before a big rain storm hit on a Friday afternoon late, to mark it, since they didn't want to offer any type of info. Needless to say, come Monday morning, there were no marks, and their crew was on site waiting.

    I told them, when they finally called me back that morning, that "Yes, I could go back out there and re-mark the job, but I will need refresh tickets, and they would owe me a favor. All they did was keep calling 811 and getting the one call to retransmit the tickets. Well, I had my pictures and refused to go back out there. They cut a pretty good sized phone fiber shortly thereafter and went out of business a few days later....imagine that.

    I can't wait for NC to make white lining mandatory. When that happens, there will be a butt load of catv drops contractors out there that will have plenty of invalid tickets....
    "No, installing your fence is NOT an emergency"...

    - or -

    "It's call BEFORE you dig, not AFTER you've hit something."


    Yes, my avatar does describe my attitude towards many others...

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    Quote Originally Posted by locator_smbk View Post

    Most of the time, at least in my area, white lining isn't done at all mostly because the contractors I am dealing with are a sub of a sub, and everyone is too darn cheap and lazy to get out there and do the job correctly. ..
    This is an industry wide problem, in many industries, and also affects ours. The 'sub of a sub of a sub' is where a contractor is the 'prime' who does not have the crews to do the job but charges the price as if they did. They then slice off money from the job, money for doing nothing, and offer the work to a subcontractor. The subcontractor slices off more money and then contracts out the job to a sub of a subcontractor who by now is getting just a fraction of the money the job really pays. By the time the job gets to the contractor doing the work 60% to 80% of the money is going to companies that do nothing.

    So the contractor doing the dig, the one calling in the tickets, has so little money they do not spend time (which is money) white lining or a site visit to get the ticket called in correctly.

    The subbing out process gets maximum profit for the prime contract holder and allows them to tell the 'lie of half truth'. I read the interview of one such contractor about their using illegal aliens on their jobs. They answered "all of our employees are thoroughly checked for right to work in this country". I know the firm, they have relatively few employees. Most of their workforce are subcontractors and very few of them even speak English. So their "employees" are legal residents but the one's that do the work are mostly illegals. They even did a layoff this last Winter for their employees but kept all the subcontractors, it is supposed to be the other way around.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    I have to add a little bit to this. Alot of times the Prime contractor doesn't get as much money as one thinks. Typically the contract goes to the lowest bidder. These prime contractor will hold the bond for the jobs and that frees them up sub some work to smaller companies. The Subs love this because they don't have to carry huge insurance or bonds to perform the work. If there are any wierd requirements, typically they will be obsorbed by the Prime contractor. untill the job is done, and no one is the wiser. In order to get the most profit out of the contract, the subs won't get on site till the day they plan on digging. Hence the issue with white paint. The Prime does bid the contract higher then actual cost, but it doesn't give them tons of profit. They Sub out because not many companies can do everything. Or have equipment or the knowlede of the the equipment to do everything. Everytime a company tries to expand, so does their insurance prices. The money maker for contracts is the "change orders". This is where the locators really hellp out.

    When a project is designed without proper utility marks. They plan for lines to go in a certian area. When they go to install the lines and there is a utility that magically appears that wasn't marked for the survey, the contractor can start charging the company who has contracted them to do the work. For example. They are installing a Sewer line. However, they have found a FO duct that runs withing 2' of there proposed work area. The sub stops the work, but continues the time clock. They contact the prime contractor and state that there is something in the way. The prime goes to the contract host and says that there is a difference in the field as compared to the As bid contract. They then can bill the wait time and charge higher prices for the time and material to the associated changes to the design documents.

    The main goal for the prime contractor is to find any and all of these possible "Change Orders" they can for any given project. Alot of the smaller subs don't know all the ins and outs of this process.

    Sorry for the ramble.

    I work in a situation where the company I work for hires these prime contractors and if you think 60%-80% goes to companies that "Don't do nothing". I think you are a bit off the mark. You are on the mark about the prime contractor aiming for Maximum Profit. That however is the goal for most companies. Even locating companies.

    mke

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    Default Re: How about some white paint !

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda View Post
    Don't take this wrong you guys but on some jobs there is no white line to mark until after the utilities are known, we do a lot of trenchless installs for water lines to sewers and I have no idea where they are going until it's marked. I do mark in white the spots I know we need when I can.
    this is why we have joint meets

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