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Thread: Started a Private Locate Businiess

  1. #1
    Senior Member Nb22x's Avatar
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    Cool Started a Private Locate Businiess

    I just started my own private locate business.

    "The Utility Detectives"

    I'm always getting asked by contractors to mark private lines, so why not start a business?

    I'm working to make contacts and advertise during my off days and when I have enough
    work I'll do it full-time and quit production locating. I already have my own equip and stuff.

    I'll have at-will contracts and Per hour fees.

    Any advice from you older folks?
    It would be helpful.

    Thanks Y'all.
    phoenix827 likes this.
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  2. #2
    Mke
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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    Quote Originally Posted by Nb22x View Post
    I just started my own private locate business.

    "The Utility Detectives"

    I'm always getting asked by contractors to mark private lines, so why not start a business?

    I'm working to make contacts and advertise during my off days and when I have enough
    work I'll do it full-time and quit production locating. I already have my own equip and stuff.

    I'll have at-will contracts and Per hour fees.

    Any advice from you older folks?
    It would be helpful.

    Thanks Y'all.
    Older? How bout seasoned?

    Private locating is a different beast. Even though waivers are far from "iron clad", you really need one on all your invoices. Carry a crapload of insurance and a wide range of equipment, especially a locator that can induce like there is no tomorrow(810 or a pipe horn and I mean an old 810). Induction is a must for the private side. Find your niche and work it.

    Mke

  3. #3
    zen
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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    I second Mke, get insurance, and then get more insurance. document everything. give the client a proposal with a scope detailing what you will be looking for, let him know pvc, pe, concrete, Asbestos concrete, and fiberglass does not tone!!! get a signed notice to proceed (email or initialed works too.)


    don't forget to get the x-ray specs as shown in the comic ads.
    Nb22x likes this.

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    Premium Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    Quote Originally Posted by zen View Post
    don't forget to get the x-ray specs as shown in the comic ads.
    Dude, don't fall for the hype. Alls you need is a kick ass set of witching sticks.
    zen, LocatingAngel, yahoo and 1 others like this.

  5. #5
    Mke
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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    Quote Originally Posted by daman1 View Post
    Dude, don't fall for the hype. Alls you need is a kick ass set of witching sticks.
    don't be crazy, all you need is an AML... SubSurface Instruments ? AML Buried PVC Pipe and PE Pipe Locator (All Materials Locator)

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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    Must have a locatable rodder I use mine on almost every private I do

  7. #7
    Mke
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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    Quote Originally Posted by orangeboots View Post
    Must have a locatable rodder I use mine on almost every private I do
    Jameson?

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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    yep 3/16 and 1/2
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  9. #9
    Premium Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    Back in the old days alls we had was a club and a prybar. You put your ear to the ground and thumped the dirt with the club to find buried lines. The prybar was for in the winter when your ears got froze to the ground.
    phoenix827 and Mke like this.

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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    on the main page there use to be an article of a woman that started her own private locating firm. Might want to drop her an email and ask her some questions

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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    buy a back hoe. you will find everything just fine.
    Nb22x likes this.

  12. #12
    Premium Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    Quote Originally Posted by zen View Post
    I second Mke, get insurance, and then get more insurance. document everything. give the client a proposal with a scope detailing what you will be looking for, let him know pvc, pe, concrete, Asbestos concrete, and fiberglass does not tone!!! get a signed notice to proceed (email or initialed works too.)


    don't forget to get the x-ray specs as shown in the comic ads.

    You can raise your rates on untonables if you need to accesss and fishtape an untonable or take troubleshooting efforts. Sometimes that's what they need located most and will pay more. I've heard of private companies who would only use pink "proposed" line markers and have the customer agree that it is a "tentative" locate for survey purposes only. The customer basically agrees to the repair if a line gets damaged. I know only 811 locators are allowed to locate public utility line so you'd always have to call them first.
    My gut tells me there's no one size fits all tool so I think you'd have to be ready to buy new equipment that specializes on certain lines as you run into new things.

    I've never started an SUE company so feel free to disregard everything I said. Good luck though. Anyone who works for himself and makes a living has to be happier than just working for a paycheck.
    Last edited by daman1; July 2nd, 2015 at 06:11 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Started a Private Locate Businiess

    Good Luck ..hope it works out for you .
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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