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Thread: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

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    Default Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    I just heard that the Maryland Utiliquest locators assigned to mark in DC have been restricted to a 20 hour work week, allowed to mark only 4 hours a day.

    Anybody from Utiliquest that can confirm this? My source seems pretty good but confirmation from the horses mouth is always good.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    You need a new "source".

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paint Gremlin View Post
    You need a new "source".
    It would be appropriate if someone from that firm would speak up and confirm or deny the reports.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    PL, I think thats his way of saying he has information that contradicts the information. Its just as valid as stating that you have a "source" that states otherwise.

    True information is just a phone call away. Call the local office and ask.

    Is it more likely that they are limited to a certian 4 hour period to mark due to congestion, and not so much as being limited in total time? I'm just speaking from my experience, we only let locates happen in certian areas during certian times to limit the impact on the congestion to planes and vehicles.

    Just a thought

    Mke

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    I've been with UQ for over 6yrs and in the business for 12 workin for 3 different companies. I won't say who the others are but they are 2 bigger ones. I work in one of the md offices now and can tell you we dont have any limitation of hours. i almost left in 2007 because the company and management sucked, not enough people, to much OT, but over the last year things have gotten so much bettter. We have taken on at least 3 new contracts, not short handed, better equipment, new trucks. i think there was a rough period the first couple years dicom owned us with trying to understand the business, adding techno, weeding out crappy managers. But now If you show up and do your job they treat you very well. not all the "spying" bs i see posted. health insurance is expensive though.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by locateman2011 View Post
    I've been with UQ for over 6yrs and in the business for 12 workin for 3 different companies. I won't say who the others are but they are 2 bigger ones. I work in one of the md offices now and can tell you we dont have any limitation of hours. i almost left in 2007 because the company and management sucked, not enough people, to much OT, but over the last year things have gotten so much bettter. We have taken on at least 3 new contracts, not short handed, better equipment, new trucks. i think there was a rough period the first couple years dicom owned us with trying to understand the business, adding techno, weeding out crappy managers. But now If you show up and do your job they treat you very well. not all the "spying" bs i see posted. health insurance is expensive though.
    Interesting, "We have taken on at least 3 new contracts". I had not heard about them, perhaps you could enlighten us. I do know you lost the DelMarva Power contract which reaches from Delaware to some parts of Eastern Maryland. Lost the WSSC contract. Lost Charles County Pepco to OCC and looks like OCC will move into the other counties, and probably DC, as they are ready. BG&E has put up their contract for bid and had put out feelers for a replacement for Utiliquest last year.

    You did keep the Verizon contract but only by bidding at $1.00 (one dollar) a ticket so that is losing money and must either be renegotiated or exercise an out clause and drop that contract. As part of that $1.00 a ticket you picked up the parts of Maryland OCC was marking. But then OCC got Pepco, not profitable exchange.

    So they took the "spy cameras" out of your trucks? These were video and audio recording cameras with factory setting to record on a g-force indicating a crash, then reset to go off at the slightest jarring. Those have all been taken out of your trucks?

    And syou work in one of the Maryland offices and have no limitation of hours, I heard that the locators in DC were limited. So what about the locators in DC? There is no office in DC, they work out of an office in Maryland.

    Looking for accurate information, not rumors and not what is just happening in one small section.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    Interesting, "We have taken on at least 3 new contracts". I had not heard about them, perhaps you could enlighten us. I do know you lost the DelMarva Power contract which reaches from Delaware to some parts of Eastern Maryland. Lost the WSSC contract. Lost Charles County Pepco to OCC and looks like OCC will move into the other counties, and probably DC, as they are ready. BG&E has put up their contract for bid and had put out feelers for a replacement for Utiliquest last year.

    You did keep the Verizon contract but only by bidding at $1.00 (one dollar) a ticket so that is losing money and must either be renegotiated or exercise an out clause and drop that contract. As part of that $1.00 a ticket you picked up the parts of Maryland OCC was marking. But then OCC got Pepco, not profitable exchange.

    So they took the "spy cameras" out of your trucks? These were video and audio recording cameras with factory setting to record on a g-force indicating a crash, then reset to go off at the slightest jarring. Those have all been taken out of your trucks?

    And syou work in one of the Maryland offices and have no limitation of hours, I heard that the locators in DC were limited. So what about the locators in DC? There is no office in DC, they work out of an office in Maryland.

    Looking for accurate information, not rumors and not what is just happening in one small section.
    Wow, I'm not sure how to follow up that post.

    I'm assuming you are referring to the portion of PG County that OCC now locates for Pepco. Charles is SMECO, unrelated to Pepco. DC and Montgomery (the majority of Pepco) is still under UQ. Cannot speak on Delmarva Power.

    I am close friends with some OCC employees, they have 10 locators - what could they "take over"? Could they ramp up? Sure, but where and on what utility?

    WSSC went with the lowest bid, you get what you pay for.

    The Verizon comment is just so far out of wack I cannot put together a response. Simple math and a little common sense will tell you this is untrue. But then again, you state that there is no "profitable exchange" when comparing picking up 7 or 8 counties of Verizon to losing 1 county of Pepco. Hmmm.

    The hours have not been limited in DC or MD. End of story.

    The previous poster did not mention removing "spy cameras", as the drivecams are alive and well. I believe he was referring to the frequent statements on here that UQ uses the GPS to spy on their employees. I have not personally seen this, if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, there are no issues.

    You state that you are looking for "accurate information, not rumors". That is all you are stating in your post, except you word them as fact (see Verizon comment). As I stated in my earlier post, you need a new source. I may be incorrect, but you seem like a bitter ex-UQ employee with an ax to grind.

    UQ is not perfect, but things have changed greatly over the past year or so.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paint Gremlin View Post
    Wow, I'm not sure how to follow up that post.

    I'm assuming you are referring to the portion of PG County that OCC now locates for Pepco. Charles is SMECO, unrelated to Pepco. DC and Montgomery (the majority of Pepco) is still under UQ. Cannot speak on Delmarva Power.

    I am close friends with some OCC employees, they have 10 locators - what could they "take over"? Could they ramp up? Sure, but where and on what utility?

    WSSC went with the lowest bid, you get what you pay for.

    The Verizon comment is just so far out of wack I cannot put together a response. Simple math and a little common sense will tell you this is untrue. But then again, you state that there is no "profitable exchange" when comparing picking up 7 or 8 counties of Verizon to losing 1 county of Pepco. Hmmm.

    The hours have not been limited in DC or MD. End of story.

    The previous poster did not mention removing "spy cameras", as the drivecams are alive and well. I believe he was referring to the frequent statements on here that UQ uses the GPS to spy on their employees. I have not personally seen this, if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, there are no issues.

    You state that you are looking for "accurate information, not rumors". That is all you are stating in your post, except you word them as fact (see Verizon comment). As I stated in my earlier post, you need a new source. I may be incorrect, but you seem like a bitter ex-UQ employee with an ax to grind.

    UQ is not perfect, but things have changed greatly over the past year or so.
    Regards Verizon, the bid process was more like an open auction, all bidders saw what the other companies bid. So Utiliquest bid $1.00 a ticket which Verizon accepted. Then one month after the contract was signed Utiliquest told Verizon that they had made an error and is unable to work the contract at $1.00 a ticket. My take was they bid $1.00 figuring they were going to lose that contract to shut down the bidding process.
    Then try to renegotiate the bid without competing firms at the table. If they cannot get Verizon to pay them more money they will option out of the contract.

    You say the Verizon comment is "just so far out of wack", do you actually know what Verizon pays per ticket? I am betting you do not.

    As for Pepco, UTiliquest has had that contract since they were Byers Engineering, around 30 years, when Pepco went from in-house locating to subbing it out. Pepco has never parted out their contract into individual counties. My take is that one county at a time will be transferred to a new locate company, apparently OCC, as the new firm is ready to take over the remaining counties.

    OCC filed for bankruptcy but I am unsure if that was just their call center operation or the entire firm. I have heard speculation that OCC is just a subcontractor covering the area until the winning bidder builds up to take over the entire Pepco contract.

    Many companies have GPS in their trucks, it is just a matter of how closely it is monitored. So yes, you still have audio and video monetering of the cab of your truck. About four years ago I was talking with a Utiliquest employee on a job site. The GPS was tied into the laptop and the locator was required to sign out for lunch at a specific time. Since they had not completed marking that ticket they could not leave the job site to get lunch as the GPS would make an e-mail be sent to their supervisor saying they had left a job site uncompleted. So that day that employee sat there for their lunch time without getting anything to eat.

    The other poster mentioned Utiliquest picked up three new contracts, what were they? Utiliquest Maryland has lost some number of contracts as I have mentioned, Verizon is not secure and Pepco has already started shedding Utiliquest one county at a time.

    As for being a bitter ex-employee. most Utiliquest employees, both current and ex, are bitter.

    It is good to hear that "The hours have not been limited in DC or MD. End of story". Those Utiliquest employees who stated that to my sources must have been having a big joke.

    Utilquest has a history of making things right when things get too bad. Once they get through the immediate crises the improvements are removed. Ask the old timers if there are any left.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    Regards Verizon, the bid process was more like an open auction, all bidders saw what the other companies bid. So Utiliquest bid $1.00 a ticket which Verizon accepted. Then one month after the contract was signed Utiliquest told Verizon that they had made an error and is unable to work the contract at $1.00 a ticket. My take was they bid $1.00 figuring they were going to lose that contract to shut down the bidding process.
    Then try to renegotiate the bid without competing firms at the table. If they cannot get Verizon to pay them more money they will option out of the contract.

    You say the Verizon comment is "just so far out of wack", do you actually know what Verizon pays per ticket? I am betting you do not.

    As for Pepco, UTiliquest has had that contract since they were Byers Engineering, around 30 years, when Pepco went from in-house locating to subbing it out. Pepco has never parted out their contract into individual counties. My take is that one county at a time will be transferred to a new locate company, apparently OCC, as the new firm is ready to take over the remaining counties.

    OCC filed for bankruptcy but I am unsure if that was just their call center operation or the entire firm. I have heard speculation that OCC is just a subcontractor covering the area until the winning bidder builds up to take over the entire Pepco contract.

    Many companies have GPS in their trucks, it is just a matter of how closely it is monitored. So yes, you still have audio and video monetering of the cab of your truck. About four years ago I was talking with a Utiliquest employee on a job site. The GPS was tied into the laptop and the locator was required to sign out for lunch at a specific time. Since they had not completed marking that ticket they could not leave the job site to get lunch as the GPS would make an e-mail be sent to their supervisor saying they had left a job site uncompleted. So that day that employee sat there for their lunch time without getting anything to eat.

    The other poster mentioned Utiliquest picked up three new contracts, what were they? Utiliquest Maryland has lost some number of contracts as I have mentioned, Verizon is not secure and Pepco has already started shedding Utiliquest one county at a time.

    As for being a bitter ex-employee. most Utiliquest employees, both current and ex, are bitter.

    It is good to hear that "The hours have not been limited in DC or MD. End of story". Those Utiliquest employees who stated that to my sources must have been having a big joke.

    Utilquest has a history of making things right when things get too bad. Once they get through the immediate crises the improvements are removed. Ask the old timers if there are any left.
    Your take on the entire VZ bid process and pricing is flat out incorrect and I will leave it at that.

    Same for the Pepco contract. The contract was parted out, maybe around 20 - 25% of the contract being awarded to OCC in PG County. Your speculation is just that, speculation. We could speculate on here all day, I like to discuss facts. Not opinions, rumors or wild stories.

    Are you sure you are referring to UtiliQuest regarding the GPS? They did not have GPS capabilities 4 years ago. In late 2008, the GPS started. The story you recite sounds sketchy at best, it seems someone may have been having fun with you.

    I guess he is referring to the Comcast and Verizon contracts in MD. Not sure what the the third could be, I heard about something being picked up in WV. I know UQ VA has picked up additional work as well. You are speculating once again on how secure they are.

    Regarding the bitterness - I disagree. Obviously, you and your horribly inaccurate "sources" that you seek out are. No company in America will have 100% happy employees at all times, but UQ has come a long way over the past several years.

    I am an "old timer", your statement was true, at one time.

    You sound as though you have been in the business for quite a while. In saying that, I would think that you would understand the amount of rumors in this business. One locator gets 10% of a true story and runs with it and the next locator he tells will put his spin on it. That will probably never change, but stating it as fact is not the way to go. I could start a rumor today and you would be posting about it early next week.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    New work is Comcast-entire state, Verizon-entire state, Alegany Power additional area in MD and WV. Plus we have a new contract with Pepco for montogmerry, dc and va. i cant say about the rest of the company but i know we are getting rid of the bad contracts from the past. ill agrree with paint grimlin, MD management sucked in the past but in the past yr things have gotten much better. i have the tools to do my job, we are staffed, and all my co-workers are as happier. i mean its still a job and we still have to work but mgmnt supports us and they arent just a guy behind a desk with a hammer. you actually see them in the field and they communicate with you. i called my managers boss at 8 in the evening and he talked to me for a half hour to helping me with a personal porblem. DOn't get me wrong, I still hate the drive cam but they use it like you say. the good is good and summers are still busy but it ffels like we are all wroking together. i have a buddy that went to work for usic and they sound terrible.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    I heard we also got Columbia Gas in VA from consolidated.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    You guys need to go back and read the title of this thread "Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?" That thingy on the end is called a 'question mark' showing I was asking a question. That I put down what some Utiliquest locators told people
    I knew but took it with a grain of salt, though thought the possibility the information was correct was high, and was asking for confirmation or denial.

    As for that UTiliquest bidding $1.00 a ticket for the Verizon contract. I got that from someone who was privy to the bidding process. I do not know where you guys got your info from but this guy was there. So you are telling me this guy was lying to me. One thing I ask of you guys that say Utiliquest got better than $1.00 a ticket, ask if the person you got the info from was present during the bid process.
    If that person was one of your supervisors, well we know Utiliquest management never lies to anyone, especially their mangers and locators.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    The 4 hour work day is not true. UQ in DC/MD is still hiring.

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    Default Re: Utiliquest 4 Hour Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by LP PRO View Post
    The 4 hour work day is not true. UQ in DC/MD is still hiring.
    Nothing like that in my area of Maryland.

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