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Thread: Hand dig distance

  1. #31
    Mke
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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    Jim,

    I think in those situations it would be idiotic not to have a locator. If I had a dime for every Call I got for a Home, or Rural land owner doing some work, and them Balking at the Bill I wrote up. My boss finally gave me the option to charge for these jobs or not. If they were near where I was going, i'd just eat the bill. The Phone company I did the locates for, recomended for all new homeowners, (Rural) to bury a phone line with their water line to their well house, that way when the One-call was called in, we would located the water line as well.

    mke

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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    I skimmed the Texas law on dig locating the other week (don't ask why). I didn't catch anything about the law stating hand-dig distance.

    when I was working our fault tolerance was by contract and it was 2 foot on everything. AT&T/SBC, toward the end of my reign there, wanted to change it to a foot or something like that.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    Quote Originally Posted by mattm211 View Post
    I skimmed the Texas law on dig locating the other week (don't ask why). I didn't catch anything about the law stating hand-dig distance.

    when I was working our fault tolerance was by contract and it was 2 foot on everything. AT&T/SBC, toward the end of my reign there, wanted to change it to a foot or something like that.
    A good point that shows the diveristy of call before you dig laws.

    http://www.onecalltexas.com/faq.html

    #8 How close can I dig to the marked lines?


    It is the excavator's responsibility to avoid damaging marked lines and no specific tolerance or hand-dig zone is specified in the Texas One-Call law. However, APWA and several industries accepted Best Practices set 18" on either side of the marked utility as a reasonable tolerance zone. Within that zone it is recommended that hand digging or other acceptable method be used to locate the exact location of the utility before more extensive excavation is started.

    It is also interesting that it does not say how accurate the marks must be. How far off can your marks be before the locate firm is responsible for a damage?

  4. #34
    Senior Member 1idejim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    A good point that shows the diveristy of call before you dig laws.

    http://www.onecalltexas.com/faq.html

    #8 How close can I dig to the marked lines?


    It is the excavator's responsibility to avoid damaging marked lines and no specific tolerance or hand-dig zone is specified in the Texas One-Call law. However, APWA and several industries accepted Best Practices set 18" on either side of the marked utility as a reasonable tolerance zone. Within that zone it is recommended that hand digging or other acceptable method be used to locate the exact location of the utility before more extensive excavation is started.

    It is also interesting that it does not say how accurate the marks must be. How far off can your marks be before the locate firm is responsible for a damage?
    damage is usually the excavators fault unless it's mis-marked, don't get me wrong as i'm not taking sides, just my point of view.
    You Can't Fix It Till You Find It - Jim 3:23

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    Quote Originally Posted by 1idejim View Post
    damage is usually the excavators fault unless it's mis-marked, don't get me wrong as i'm not taking sides, just my point of view.
    In many areas, perhaps most, the hand dig distance is also the 'miss-marked' tolerance. Say the hand dig mandate is 18" and an excavator does not expose the utility but digs at 20" and hits the utility. Well in some areas that makes the marks far enough off to have the locate firm charged with the damage as a miss-mark.

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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    In many areas, perhaps most, the hand dig distance is also the 'miss-marked' tolerance. Say the hand dig mandate is 18" and an excavator does not expose the utility but digs at 20" and hits the utility. Well in some areas that makes the marks far enough off to have the locate firm charged with the damage as a miss-mark.

    That's a good point also. I remember I had one home owner who knew about the mis-marked tolerance and the hand digging within a certain range. He thought he had to hand dig when he was within 18 inches of the 2 foot mis-marked leeway, not the actual utility. So he could of been hand digging 3 1/2 feet away because he thought that was right.

    There is a difference there. I corrected him and saved him some manual labor.

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    Junior Member fizat07405's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    IN NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK IT WAS 18''
    HERE IN FLORIDA IT'S 24

    I M A R K ' E M W I D E W I T H P R I D E ! ! ! !


  8. #38
    Senior Member 6feetunder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    Not to sound ignorant but really it doesn't matter what the " law " states, very few contractors actually hand dig, regardless of said law. I guess the benefit would be to that of the locate firm or utility who would then have a bigger tolerance and take fewer at-fault damages. Nothing really is about safety and damage prevention because people & companies are usually too focused on getting things done fast and keeping short term gains looking good for their stockholders. Quality costs too much because of time, bottom line. As for my personal opinion yes I would like to see a wider tolerance zone for the fact that it protects the locators just that much more, but I don't think the increased tolerance would actually protect the facility anymore than it is already.
    Life's a garden, dig it! - Joe Dirt

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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    60cm (24"). Hydrovac satisfies 'hand exposed' requirement.

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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    Amen Linerider.

    We get called in many times to settle the disputes / arguments of just "where are the lines". I'm not an expert in locating like most of the forum members, but I have seen major discrepancies in where utilities were "marked and flagged", to where they "really are"...

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    Cool Re: Hand dig distance

    Kansas is 24". what we have found is that when ever there is a damage, every one points at the locator. Our crew makes an effort to perform a good toneable locate and take alot of good post locate photos. Most of us have experianced jerks who wipe out marks and outright lie about the locate performed to try to get out of the damage. When we pull out the photos the utility tech looks at them and calls them a liar and tells them to PAY UP. But thats for another thread.

  12. #42
    TMO
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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    This is where company policy takes over . Ours is 18inches on all of our customers.
    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    A good point that shows the diveristy of call before you dig laws.

    http://www.onecalltexas.com/faq.html

    #8 How close can I dig to the marked lines?


    It is the excavator's responsibility to avoid damaging marked lines and no specific tolerance or hand-dig zone is specified in the Texas One-Call law. However, APWA and several industries accepted Best Practices set 18" on either side of the marked utility as a reasonable tolerance zone. Within that zone it is recommended that hand digging or other acceptable method be used to locate the exact location of the utility before more extensive excavation is started.

    It is also interesting that it does not say how accurate the marks must be. How far off can your marks be before the locate firm is responsible for a damage?

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    Here in New Mexico we have 12" if hand digging and 18" if using mechanized equipment. Excavators are supposed to pothole but of course none do. Except oilfield. I wish all excavators had to work with BP or some other oil entity. They make those guys follow their safety rules to the T.
    Work smarter not harder!!!

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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    Bigger than the hand dig distance, would be that some customers like Qwest, think they are above the law and have their own arbitrary standards for damages. In a Qwest contract, the ticket can be out of date, but they will still require you to prove that you marked it correctly. Regardless if it is proven the contractor was clearly digging outside of the locate window for time and distance to marks.

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    Default Re: Hand dig distance

    VA is 2ft from the edge of the marks.. All utilities.

    As mentioned above(if i were marking gas or water): If i marked a 16" water main I would put a dot on the signal and 8"(Radius of pipe) off of the dot put lines on both sides..

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