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Thread: Hello All

  1. #1
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    Default Hello All

    Well it looks like im the new guy around here so i thought i would say hello to everyone, and give a little background on myself.

    I have done underground utility construction about 6 years. I ran top for a few company's in Colorado springs. Went back to school for computers, moved to IL an have been doing IT for the past 3 years. Now with the job market slow, i was thinking of getting back into construction again ( that and i hate to say it but in the summer i kinda missed working outside ) and happen to seen openings for locators and applied. that's how i found these forums,i have spend a few hours reading posts and all, to get a idea of what im getting myself into.

    so just incase i do get hired on, any tips for the class? i was told its a 4-6 week class. is it a state cert test when its done or just a ok this guy knows and can do it kind of thing?

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    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello All

    Welcome to the show Top and Nixon.
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Mental Illness."
    "America isn't free, in America you are free to follow the rules." -Anthony Cumia


  3. #3
    Senior Member beyond help's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello All

    Welcome to the vine Top.
    Different companies have different training methods.
    STRESS: The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out of some idiot who desperately deserves it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello All

    Hello new guy. Welcome.

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    Senior Member MIG4000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello All

    Welcome to the to the Vine TopMan, post lots.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Panther's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello All

    Indiana? Always been from there?

  7. #7
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello All

    Quote Originally Posted by TopMan View Post
    Well it looks like im the new guy around here so i thought i would say hello to everyone, and give a little background on myself.

    I have done underground utility construction about 6 years. I ran top for a few company's in Colorado springs. Went back to school for computers, moved to IL an have been doing IT for the past 3 years. Now with the job market slow, i was thinking of getting back into construction again ( that and i hate to say it but in the summer i kinda missed working outside ) and happen to seen openings for locators and applied. that's how i found these forums,i have spend a few hours reading posts and all, to get a idea of what im getting myself into.

    so just incase i do get hired on, any tips for the class? i was told its a 4-6 week class. is it a state cert test when its done or just a ok this guy knows and can do it kind of thing?
    Welcome to the industry.

    You will find that the locating firms are becoming more and more dependant on computers. They need programmers to write custom applications and configure, install and keep running the apps they purchase.

    They are heavily dependant on networks. Equipment techs are in constant demand as most firms use yuppie office laptops in a construction envirment. If a locator is not bringing their laptop in for repairs the foreman should go out and audit their work as they are likely not doing their job.

    So locating will give you employment and an inside look at what the field IT needs are of locating companies. All the IT people I have seen know nothing of what is needed of the IT support in the field. They get told but they do not have the experience to fully comprehend it.

    As for the class, first ; do not fall asleep during class.
    It is like any schooling, do extra study after hours from the material you are given.

    Training varies among the firms. Some firms you only go out with another locator who shows you everything. You get a good locator to train you and you will do well. Some firms rely almost entirely on classroom training. The best is a 50% of classroom matched by 50% of time riding with an experienced locator.

    Some firms will have a contract to mark just one utility, others will mark up to five utilities.
    If you get a firm that marks five utilities you will have to learn how to read five different drawings which are from each of the different utility firms. There are a lot of symbols and acronyms to learn and remember.

    If you mark a lot of different utilities there is a lot to learn on how to actually mark each one in the field. If you get trained by an experienced locator in the filed there is a lot to learn. Pay attention to them because this training is at least as useful as classroom training. That classroom training is useless without the ability to consistently correctly mark those utilities.

    Learn who to listen too. There are people who will tell you how to get "numbers" which is to say total up a lot of completed tickets without doing the full job. There are people who will tell you that you "don't need to mark that kind of ticket". Go out with the attitude you are going to put down accurate marks on everything you do. There are lots of reasons to mark every ticket not the least of which is the law requires it. There are legal issues that can directly affect you from getting fired to getting sued to going to jail. Just mark those tickets!

  8. #8
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello All

    Welcome aboard. The classes are pretty easy. You shouldn't have a hard time with your background.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hello All

    Thanks for the welcome guys.

    Panther, i was born here, moved at a young age to Colorado Springs and spent 25 years there, moved to IL an been there about 3 years then just crossed the border closer to the family a few months ago.

    ProfessionalLocator, thanks for all the info man. it would be kind of nice to get my foot in the door an locate and maybe move to the IT dept IF they needed that ( even if they did that in the winter when its slow ). having someone from the field and knowing what is needed is priceless. i always got upset with blueprints because you got some one that has never worked in the field sitting behind the desk saying this will work like this and that and in the field it never works. things always look better on paper.
    and yes knowing who to listen to is always a good thing to know no matter what field you are in. and with my past exp, i dont want to be like a few i have had marked for me, iv had some real winners before that have been 10 foot off. ( got a few horror stories i might share later on with bad marks and got a few with operators that thought they knew where things are and didn't check the marks. )

    btw ill say this now sorry for the novel posts i tend to alot.

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    Default Re: Hello All

    Topman welcome. I to am a newbie, just found this site last month. With your background I think you have a headstart than most of your other classmates. Your computer skills you should have no problems there. Being in construction and dealing with the locators you already understand the concept and importance of marking it out correctly. Also from horror stories understand what happens when one does not mark it out correctly. You will have the visual skills and have an understanding on how the utility companies install things. Good luck in class. think positive, spring is only 4 months away. Post ofetn and do not worry about novels i do them too.

  11. #11
    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello All

    welcome to the vine dude......most classes are set up only for you to get an idea of what you're getting your self into and then to give you a little hands on training to start you in the field as soon as possible.....good luck dude
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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