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Thread: Utiliquest really does suck!

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    Default Utiliquest really does suck!

    After browsing this forum for a bit, staying in the background and learning as I can, the one thing that really stands out is the angst that locators feel for Utiliquest.

    I've been working for them for several years, and the first two years were very nice. No gps. No esketch. No micro-management by people that don't have a clue what they're talking about.

    But I see that our area was just late to the party!!

    We are consistently short-handed and have been for several years. It's not that they can't hire anyone, but that they can't hold onto them after they get out of training. Management is ragging new-hires hard about production and damages, conveniently ignoring that the guys haven't been in the field for even a year! What's that about?

    Supervisors are so tied up with reports and meetings that they can't get out in the field to help these new guys during their on-the-job learning phase, and damages pour in. Why is a guy with two months of locating experience put on a high-profile ticket with fibers everywhere, and no supervisor around to help? And it's the locator's fault when something gets cut?

    But then you have another guy that's buds with the regional manager. He can fail more than 30 audits and get some really stupid damages, and he's cool. Can't get fired no matter what he does!

    And then there's the issue of pay. If the company acknowledges that the locators are the backbone of this endeavor, and it's the locators that make the company money, why don't they treat the locators like kings? Bust those chumps that aren't pulling their weight, and coddle those guys that are doing great. You have two or three small 'at fault' damages in a year, when you closed out over 5000 tickets, no big deal.

    Instead, you have managers making a huge show about even the smallest damages and using that as an excuse to not give any raise.

    But they can afford to buy hundreds of super-paintsticks at the cost of some $1600 each.

    And they expect loyalty? They expect you to stick around?

    Honestly, good locating companies are going the way of the DoDo Bird and good locators are going to go with them. Low pay and constant harassment means you're only going to get the worst kinds of people to stick around - the idiots that don't know any better!

    Thanks for listening. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrum View Post
    After browsing this forum for a bit, staying in the background and learning as I can, the one thing that really stands out is the angst that locators feel for Utiliquest.

    I've been working for them for several years, and the first two years were very nice. No gps. No esketch. No micro-management by people that don't have a clue what they're talking about.

    But I see that our area was just late to the party!!

    We are consistently short-handed and have been for several years. It's not that they can't hire anyone, but that they can't hold onto them after they get out of training. Management is ragging new-hires hard about production and damages, conveniently ignoring that the guys haven't been in the field for even a year! What's that about?

    Supervisors are so tied up with reports and meetings that they can't get out in the field to help these new guys during their on-the-job learning phase, and damages pour in. Why is a guy with two months of locating experience put on a high-profile ticket with fibers everywhere, and no supervisor around to help? And it's the locator's fault when something gets cut?

    But then you have another guy that's buds with the regional manager. He can fail more than 30 audits and get some really stupid damages, and he's cool. Can't get fired no matter what he does!

    And then there's the issue of pay. If the company acknowledges that the locators are the backbone of this endeavor, and it's the locators that make the company money, why don't they treat the locators like kings? Bust those chumps that aren't pulling their weight, and coddle those guys that are doing great. You have two or three small 'at fault' damages in a year, when you closed out over 5000 tickets, no big deal.

    Instead, you have managers making a huge show about even the smallest damages and using that as an excuse to not give any raise.

    But they can afford to buy hundreds of super-paintsticks at the cost of some $1600 each.

    And they expect loyalty? They expect you to stick around?

    Honestly, good locating companies are going the way of the DoDo Bird and good locators are going to go with them. Low pay and constant harassment means you're only going to get the worst kinds of people to stick around - the idiots that don't know any better!

    Thanks for listening. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
    Our regularly scheduled program as of late, is usually a USIC employee. And they usually say what you just said. Almost verbatim.

    Friend, I am sorry to hear about your situation. Many of us have been there, and we can relate. Good locating companies are disappearing at a rapid rate. This will continue until enough time, money, and yes, blood get shed to change it. I don't think this is going to happen any time soon.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    Don't mean to come off as a grumpy gus, but this stuff just amazes me. The few USIC guys I work next to regale me with stories of what they have to go through, but they still shake their heads at what UQ does. We're only a step or two behind them.

    Odd thing is that it doesn't have to be this way. Companies were making profit before all this techno stuff, but the higher ups want to try and bleed every last penny from each ticket. Unfortunately, they have it rather backwards. Technology doesn't make money, locators feeling good and wanting to excel make the money for the company. Riding them like a cheap stag only decreases their overall performance and increases turnover, both of which cost oodles of mulla.
    second notice likes this.

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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    Quote:
    " Riding them like a cheap stag" Now that's a new saying for me!
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


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    Senior Member locator00566's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    Sounds like Utiliquest is preparing you guys for the inevitable. It is all but guaranteed USIC will buy you guys. You think its bad now, wait until the soul sucker company known as the seventh circle of hell (USIC) is your daddy. You will wish for your days back at Utiliquest

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    Senior Member ctdon1952's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    Had a guy who worked for usic tell me he drank, smoked, and used bad language. Thanks to this job at usic, he now have good reason.

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    Senior Member locatethis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    Riding them like a cheap stag ! I always say work em like a rented mule....

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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    USIC buy utiliquest? I don't think so... Utiliquest, STS, Locating INC, and UTI are all owned by Dycom... Dycom not only owns locating firms... they own utility installation firms... so not only do they get paid to locate it... they make money when they get hit....

    here's a list of the firms Dycom owns.....
    Ansco & Associates, LLC
    Broadband Express, LLC
    C-2 Utility Contractors, LLC
    CableCom, LLC
    Cable Connectors, LLC
    CAVO Broadband Communications, LLC
    Communications Construction Group, LLC
    Communication Services, LLC
    Ervin Cable Construction, LLC
    Globe Communications, LLC
    Ivy H. Smith Company, LLC
    Lambert's Cable Splicing Company, LLC
    Locating, Inc.
    Midtown Express, LLC
    NeoCom Solutions, Inc.
    Nichols Construction, LLC
    Niels Fugal Sons Company, LLC
    Point to Point Communications, Inc.
    Precision Valley Communications of Vermont, LLC
    Prince Telecom, LLC
    RJE Canada, ULC
    RJE Telecom, LLC
    Star Construction, LLC
    Stevens Communications, LLC
    S.T.S., LLC
    TCS Communications, LLC
    Tesinc, LLC
    Triple-D Communications, LLC
    Underground Specialties, LLC
    UtiliQuest, LLC
    White Mountain Cable Construction, LLC
    Last edited by Danger; September 9th, 2011 at 11:47 PM.

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    Senior Member Dave72's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    Its just a sign of the times.. theres a steady enough stream of people willing to lay down and take it in the bottom, that these companies can continue to focus on Walmarting the locate system.
    Its up the utils if they contract company X over company Y. As long as it isnt a money loosing deal, theyre happy. Get some hits, well.. as long it doesnt cost them anything/or more than before, then fine.

    It would take customer driven dissatisfaction to change things. If locate company Y had so many outages, that they figure it was loosing them more customers than using company X.. then they would instead hire company X..

    Its quite human, to not want your efforts to be in error.. everyone wants to be professional. So you run faster and faster to keep your company in the Walmart zone..

    Nice..

    Signed: Ive spent time as a 'fat lazy union locator'.. uh.. ok.. if thats how you want to look at it..
    (May you live in interesting times)

  10. #10
    Senior Member locator00566's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    Quote Originally Posted by Danger View Post
    USIC buy utiliquest? I don't think so... Utiliquest, STS, Locating INC, and UTI are all owned by Dycom... Dycom not only owns locating firms... they own utility installation firms... so not only do they get paid to locate it... they make money when they get hit....

    here's a list of the firms Dycom owns.....
    Ansco & Associates, LLC
    Broadband Express, LLC
    C-2 Utility Contractors, LLC
    CableCom, LLC
    Cable Connectors, LLC
    CAVO Broadband Communications, LLC
    Communications Construction Group, LLC
    Communication Services, LLC
    Ervin Cable Construction, LLC
    Globe Communications, LLC
    Ivy H. Smith Company, LLC
    Lambert's Cable Splicing Company, LLC
    Locating, Inc.
    Midtown Express, LLC
    NeoCom Solutions, Inc.
    Nichols Construction, LLC
    Niels Fugal Sons Company, LLC
    Point to Point Communications, Inc.
    Precision Valley Communications of Vermont, LLC
    Prince Telecom, LLC
    RJE Canada, ULC
    RJE Telecom, LLC
    Star Construction, LLC
    Stevens Communications, LLC
    S.T.S., LLC
    TCS Communications, LLC
    Tesinc, LLC
    Triple-D Communications, LLC
    Underground Specialties, LLC
    UtiliQuest, LLC
    White Mountain Cable Construction, LLC
    You highly underestimate the greed of USIC

  11. #11
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    OMERF , which owns USIC, has investments of over 56 Billion dollars. If STS, UQ or any other of Dycom's locating companies aren't producing enough profit , Dycom will sell them if the price is right.
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


    It's better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On or Stood On and Pissed Off Of !


    The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer. or my wife , if that matters.

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    Member Danger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    same goes for OMERS.... one thing we found out from the most recent financial crisis... when private equity companies such as OMERS buys a company... they usually do it to build it up and sell it off.... chrysler is a good example of that.... dycom is heavily invested in the infrastructural business... OMERS has only USIC... and Dycom's posted profits for last quarter are more than what OMERS paid for USIC all together...

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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    You can say that again brother where we role maqicquest want even get out of the trucks to locate....This one dood was called BIG KEV this guy weighed 500 lbs he moved on to a better company called concrapadated....

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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    Hearing RUMORS!!!!!!! UtiliQuest is in bad trouble???? CONTRACTS SUCK Not MAKING MONEY..... going to start laying off or give up contracts???? Wait and see........

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    Senior Member GPGrasshopper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utiliquest really does suck!

    All the big boys have private equity companies that have funded expansions. Sales always happen at the equity company level, not the USIC/ Utiliquest level. Careful on believeing any of the rumors though, a lot of them are nothing but talk started in the field without any facts behind them.
    I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.

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