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Thread: Just a "Locator"....

  1. #1
    Mke
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    Default Just a "Locator"....

    Everytime I get to a point where I feel that i'm progressing in the industry and in my job I have an excavator remind me that i'm "just a locator". Don't get me wrong, i'm actually proud to work where I do, doing what i'm doing. I just wish that there was more respect for what we do day in and day out.

    I recieved a ticket for a typical bore job. It wasn't that long and wasn't in the worst area. All in all, an easy ticket. The only thing we have there is an irrigation system which is fed by a 8" PVC water line. This waterline has been my arch enemy for going on 8 years. One of my at fault damages involved this line, 15' short of where it ended. It has no access to the tracer wire (18 guage, which is usually broke upon backfilling of the trench).

    I called the contractor to let him know that this line was in his dig area and I wanted to meet with him upon the start of the job so I can show him the approximate location (we have pretty reliable as builts for this area). I went through my typical "My name is..... i'm calling because...." stuff when he interupted me as soon as I refered to the line as unlocateable. He stated "there is no such thing". I was kinda puzzled, but I tried to progress through the conversation.

    He would not get off the fact that there was no such thing as an unlocateable utility. I told him that the utility does not conductive properties, and that the only way to transmit a traceable signal through a utility, is to have some conductible properties. He then told me after reiterating his "No such thing" statement that it was our job to locate the utilities, and that is exactly what we needed to do.

    I told him that I was not interested in getting into a pissing contest about the basics of radio frequency and state law, when he interupted me once again to state that he is very familiar with state law and that he is involved with most damage investigations for his company and he knows that there is multitudes of ways to locate utilities that do not have conductive properties. He followed up with "haven't you ever heard of Ground Penetrating Radar? These things can see everything in the ground." I let him know that i'm well versed in GPR, and that it would do no good where he was proposing to bore due to soil conditions, uneven terrain and the s@#$ load of utilities in the area.

    I have to meet with this a$$ clown on monday to do exactly what I told him I was going to do.... show him the approximate location of our water line.

    I'm just tired of the utter lack of respect that unfortunately is well earned by some of my counter parts in the industry, but normal human decentsy should prevail unless we show them that they need to treat us like the pieces of crap they think we are.

    And to top it all off.... i'm a public employee so I can't just yell at him.... thats what sucks the most.

    Here is the kicker, then i'll drop it. They are boring this line on our street, too feed our properties. The only reason there is utilities on this street is because the company I work for has built it. So I made a call to our properties department and told them the tennents are installing a communication line outside of the normal utilities (Power, Phone, Cable Tv, Gas,) and that they will be encroaching the limits of the Easment..... What this does is add about 3 weeks to the start of the job for properties to survey the easment and investigate the reason for the install and to finally approve the install. All because the guy was an ass.

    Mke

  2. #2
    Senior Member locator00566's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just a "Locator"....

    Power of the paint stick brother. Trust me, you can earn all contractors respect by this inexpensive tool. Most know by now in my district that locators run the show, not the contractor. Thats the way it should be every where. If you need some pointers on how to use this ultimate locator (paint stick) I will be happy to teach.

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    Member Danger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just a "Locator"....

    Listen Mke, what you are dealing with is an asshole... I was a contractor and operator for years before I started locating... and I learned early on that a good locator can make or break you.... this guy sounds like someone who knows just enough to be dangerous, but to little to realize how big of a jackass he is making of himself...
    I work with contractors everyday, and I work close with my contractors.... they know they can depend on me to be as accurate as possible... I often times will get them to pull out the prints and I'll show them on their prints where they will have trouble spots... and for doing this... it's a mutual trust thing.... like yesterday... one of my road crews uncovered a gas line... I knew it was likely abandoned... but I told them I would come out and take a look at it and spot the active line for them... when I got there... sure enough 2" MP.... I hooked up to the test station I had installed on the active line and couldn't get a signal on the other.... so I escalated the ticket to the gas company to come out and verify the line... and as I suspected it was retired.. I even went to the trouble to dig down and expose the active gas line for them...this is one of many cases where the contractor called me rather than calling the PSC screaming that I didn't have the line marked....
    Now, I'm not naive.... if these guys hit the active line and I didn't have it marked... they would throw me under the bus... but... they know I will do everything I can to keep them AND myself damage free...
    Last edited by Danger; August 12th, 2011 at 06:36 PM.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just a "Locator"....

    when the damage is his to pay and he realizes that.... as all the news crews are pulling up...... I would love to be standing there....close by !
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Member Jcbro86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just a "Locator"....

    i would tell this guy that i would give him $50 to locate that line without the use of his backhoe or a witching stick/dowsing rod, then tell me just how locatable it is as i put the money back in my wallet.
    "You can never trust AT&T to do the intelligent thing..." - SM&P Lead Tech

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just a "Locator"....

    This is to me the crummiest part of this job. You go above and beyond, and.......not good enough for some. This is easily the most stressful job most of us have ever done. And from what I've seen here, most on this forum get up every morning and do the best they can for their company, crew and everyone else involved. If I had a dollar for everytime some bully deserved to have his/her ass handed to them, I would have quite a few dollars now!

    Try not to think of this as an instance of you being humbled or belittled. This is just another case of you being the sole adult in a situation that normally would require two adults. Maybe someday this fella will grow up and be one too.

  7. #7
    Member Jcbro86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just a "Locator"....

    hope everything went well today Mke, i know i got my a$$ eaten by a h/o today but i hope your meet went smoothly with that contractor.
    "You can never trust AT&T to do the intelligent thing..." - SM&P Lead Tech

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    Default Re: Just a "Locator"....

    I just have to remind myself when dealing with homeowners and contractors, Who almost always are ready to bite your head off because they are uninformed or ignorant. That a soft answer turns away wrath. And I keep it at that haha

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