View Poll Results: Will USIC stay intact through 2012

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  • 100% they will stay the same

    2 6.90%
  • I kinda doubt it

    12 41.38%
  • I sure hope not

    7 24.14%
  • I would rather locate in Russia than for USIC

    10 34.48%
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Thread: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

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    Question USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    ?? with all USIC's recent acquisitions of other large locating contractors expenses have gone through the roof and the MEGA locating company is reported to begin selling off a majority of its current assets as early as spring 2012. Many Utility companies are pulling the plug on contracts with USIC and going with "safer" companies.?? Doesnt anyone remember history class? Rome fell, Nazi Germany fell, the Myans dissapeared, and USIC is next. The bigger they are the harder they will fall. More locators=less training=more damages=bad reputation.

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    What safer company? ELM? Utilitquest? who can take over that much work

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    usic is setting themselves up for fail by doing what they are doing, forcing utility owners(customers) to take locating back in house. it eventually will happen with the bs they are pulling and doing to their own work force i.e. the money makers of the company. I hope they lose some customers that consolidated had prior to the by out by usic; who had usic as a locating company previously, who went with cus because usic sucked. they are either stuck with usic or take it back in house for the most part unless some of the others decide to come back to where they used to serve and outbid usic in a contract. i dont work for usic nor will i ever. ill take perm layoff(like i recently have last day before the merger) opposed to working for that pos company they call a "company"

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by fiberlocator99 View Post
    usic is setting themselves up for fail by doing what they are doing, forcing utility owners(customers) to take locating back in house. it eventually will happen with the bs they are pulling and doing to their own work force i.e. the money makers of the company. I hope they lose some customers that consolidated had prior to the by out by usic; who had usic as a locating company previously, who went with cus because usic sucked. they are either stuck with usic or take it back in house for the most part unless some of the others decide to come back to where they used to serve and outbid usic in a contract. i dont work for usic nor will i ever. ill take perm layoff(like i recently have last day before the merger) opposed to working for that pos company they call a "company"
    WOW! Aren't you Captain America

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    who me? nah im cap'n crunch minus the crunch berries

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by francisadam7 View Post
    ?? with all USIC's recent acquisitions of other large locating contractors expenses have gone through the roof and the MEGA locating company is reported to begin selling off a majority of its current assets as early as spring 2012. Many Utility companies are pulling the plug on contracts with USIC and going with "safer" companies.?? Doesnt anyone remember history class? Rome fell, Nazi Germany fell, the Myans dissapeared, and USIC is next. The bigger they are the harder they will fall. More locators=less training=more damages=bad reputation.
    Do business like AIG or GM. Then get a bailout. It's the new normal. They're "too big to fail" now.

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    Ya'll just don't understand - It's the mean old customer's fault! They demanded that locates be done for less and USIC had no choice but to bid on these 'cheap' contracts. But, in order to do that, they had to cut our raises, hours and insurance so those 'poor' retired municipal employees in Canada can put bread and water on the table.
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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    Going back in-house presents the major problem of the start up costs of reopening their locate departments from scratch. It is not the money itself, it is passing the costs of start up to the customer requires approval from the area utility commissions approval.

    The utility companies went to the locate firms in the first place trying the cut costs to placate their area utility commissions.

    There is a way to do this and I am not going to talk about it, no reason to talk myself out of a job.

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    USIC is only a couple of years old, started by investors, not locate professionals. Selling off assets puts return on their money faster than long term profits. I have heard it speculated here this was the plan all along.

    As to who would but such a big outfit, they do not need a buyer for such a big outfit. They are spread out and can sell it off small sections at a time. The potential buyers include the utility clients themselves as many states have allowed this firms to put money into diversification. You can bet they will approach their clients with an offer.

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by sprayandpray View Post
    Ya'll just don't understand - It's the mean old customer's fault! They demanded that locates be done for less and USIC had no choice but to bid on these 'cheap' contracts. But, in order to do that, they had to cut our raises, hours and insurance so those 'poor' retired municipal employees in Canada can put bread and water on the table.
    You're right. The utilities never should have been allowed to out-source these jobs. Public safety shouldn't be profit driven and trusting your infrastructure to the lowest bidder is insane. The safety margins have been slowly peeled away over the years. Now, the only way to keep shareholder profits rising is through more cuts risking major damages or through creative accounting. What's done is done though.
    So what do you do about it now? Labor unions would do to locate companies what they did to GM. Public worker unions would do what they did for airport security. Utility prices would rise if locates were pulled back in-house causing a public outcry. The costs of anything you do will be passed on to the consumer (ie. me and you) so I don't know. As long as locate companies are publicly traded these issues will not go away. It's easy to complain, not so easy to solve.
    All I've ever wanted wanted was to earn enough money to support my family and have enough time at the end of the day to spend with them. Someone has to loose in this and I'm sick of it being the locator. If you were king what would you do?

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    AT&T would never go back in-house because they are now using damages as a profit generator and so is Verizon. They are basically guaranteed that every damage is paid for by the contractor or USIC. Since the going rate for repairing a copper drop is around $300.00, they clear at least $200 for each one that's cut. Forget it on a major cut - they charge about $100 per hour, per employee, including breaks and lunches.

    If they had in-house locating, the would get zero for a lot of these damages.
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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by sprayandpray View Post
    AT&T would never go back in-house because they are now using damages as a profit generator and so is Verizon. They are basically guaranteed that every damage is paid for by the contractor or USIC. Since the going rate for repairing a copper drop is around $300.00, they clear at least $200 for each one that's cut. Forget it on a major cut - they charge about $100 per hour, per employee, including breaks and lunches.

    If they had in-house locating, the would get zero for a lot of these damages.
    The phone and CATV present little hazard to the public if damaged but consider gas and electric.

    If gas or electric is cut there is immediate danger to the excavator and with gas danger to the surrounding area as well. If a client uses a locate company that it knows does a poor job then they are very vulnerable in a lawsuit for death or injury.

    As for phone and CATV that is more dependent on pressure from the local regulatory agency where fines and denial for rate increases can be placed upon them. Still someone dies because their 911 call did not go through could result in piercing their corporate shield just like gas and electric.

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    I think I was the first to mention how I saw this coming.... with investment companies such as USIC is owned by... they either build it up and sell it off or they tear it down and sell it off.... in the end the result is always the same... they sell.... I wouldn't be surprised if Dycom didn't start picking up parts of USIC here and there.... that's what they did with STS, Utiliquest, UTI, and Locating Inc. and since they pulled out of Texas, LA, and Mississippi.... that might have been the plan all along....

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by sprayandpray View Post
    AT&T would never go back in-house because they are now using damages as a profit generator and so is Verizon. They are basically guaranteed that every damage is paid for by the contractor or USIC. Since the going rate for repairing a copper drop is around $300.00, they clear at least $200 for each one that's cut. Forget it on a major cut - they charge about $100 per hour, per employee, including breaks and lunches.

    If they had in-house locating, the would get zero for a lot of these damages.
    I couldn't agree more spray. This is all about the major players having their cake, and eating it too. The margins are razor thin, and when it gets too tight, out come the knives. I really don't know how you guys do it, my hat's off to you.

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    Default Re: USIC, to many damages,selling off to un-named fortune 500 co's 2012-2013

    Quote Originally Posted by daman1 View Post
    You're right. The utilities never should have been allowed to out-source these jobs. Public safety shouldn't be profit driven and trusting your infrastructure to the lowest bidder is insane. The safety margins have been slowly peeled away over the years. Now, the only way to keep shareholder profits rising is through more cuts risking major damages or through creative accounting. What's done is done though.
    So what do you do about it now? Labor unions would do to locate companies what they did to GM. Public worker unions would do what they did for airport security. Utility prices would rise if locates were pulled back in-house causing a public outcry. The costs of anything you do will be passed on to the consumer (ie. me and you) so I don't know. As long as locate companies are publicly traded these issues will not go away. It's easy to complain, not so easy to solve.
    All I've ever wanted wanted was to earn enough money to support my family and have enough time at the end of the day to spend with them. Someone has to loose in this and I'm sick of it being the locator. If you were king what would you do?
    Let's keep in mind that ALL of this is really just an ongoing social experiment. The contract industry, and locating in general for that matter, are not that old. I for one think the contract thing has run itself into a blind alley. And no one seems to know where it should go from here. In my perfect world, it would be federally regulated and staffed by qualified professionals who would have the last word on digs, but I am dreaming mind you.

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