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Thread: low bidding

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    Default low bidding

    Is this an issue that NULCA can address?

    Why not make it mandatory that all contract locating companies become a member of NULCA. Then set some sort of minimum bid requirements that all companies must agree to and abide by. For example, any company bidding on a contract who currently has no other contracts in a given footprint be required to bid no lower than $14/locate. If you currently locate one other utility make it $12/locate. Two others.... $10, and so on.

    This would make it harder for a new company to the area to get a foot in the door but should solve the low bidding problem. If company A cant get the job done or can't keep customers happy then company B moves in and more than likely takes all contracts in area instead of just the one for next to nothing. This would definately encourage contract locating to focus on the true task at hand.

    I would think that this would seperate the true damage prevention companies from the ones who are in it to make a buck.

    I dont think the problem lies with Federal regulation. God knows we dont want the government getting involved and really screwing things up. Unions sure has hell cant solve this problem. I think the only organization that even has a chance at correcting this problem would be NULCA, and they have a long way to go. The problem is one that we have brought on ourselves and only we can fix. The only way to fix it is by coming together. Where better to do so than NULCA. Many of you complain that NULCA is all CEOs and VPs. I think that is exactly what we need in order to get all these companies on the same page.

    .............Rant over

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    Default Re: low bidding

    I don't think putting bid requirements on contracts is the answer. The horrible answer is that we have to show companies that good locating is a profitable need.

    For example. you can pay for crappy locates and hope their insurance covers all damages... or you can pay a little bit more for service and save with all the legal issues dammages comes with. The bad part is, that most companies who contract out locates no longer deal with damages and the ramifications. Its all settled by the contract locating company. You need to show the utilities that your service is proffitable enough to make sense for them to contract it out, but also save them money from the damages.....


    Its kinda confusing but limiting bid prices will cause other issues.

    Slippery slope

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    Senior Member GPGrasshopper's Avatar
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    Default Re: low bidding

    Also anti-trust laws and silimar things come to bear.
    I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.

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    Senior Member AULupstate's Avatar
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    Default Re: low bidding

    If there were a 'set' bid price such as suggested the FIRST thing that would happen is this. NO MORE CONTRACT LOCATORS, they would bring operations back IN-HOUSE to be able to control cost. Second thing, now seeing that 99% of ALL utilities are unionized the 'cush' job of locating would be given to those with MORE SENIORITY with said Utility. Yes I said 'CUSH' due to the fact they WOULD NOT be doing a 5 way locate or mile after mile road jobs. They WOULD DO their own utility, 1 ticket at a time, with REDICULOUSLY low production numbers (why? because they DON'T CARE about production when THEY are doing it).

    This would go on for a period of time until all the hoopla died down about it and the Contract companies go ALMOST extinct. Then it would be a LOW BALL BONAZA for whoever was left to fight for those contracts again.

    THIS IS A GUARANTEE, NOT SPECULATION!

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    Default Re: low bidding

    Okay, so maybe this idea wasn't thought out very well.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: low bidding

    ahh... at least your thinking about the issue.... thats half the battle (G.I. Joe theme plays in the background)...

    the contract Locate industry is intrinsically wrong. There is just fundemental pieces that do not help the contract locate companies. Most try to circumvent (sp?) the underlying pieces and enact policies that mask the issues. If you set up a flow chart you will start to see how the industry is caught in a Catch 22... and thats why sometimes it feels like your hitting your head up against a wall.

    welcome to the club.

    mke

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    Senior Member GPGrasshopper's Avatar
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    Default Re: low bidding

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    ahh... at least your thinking about the issue.... thats half the battle (G.I. Joe theme plays in the background)...

    the contract Locate industry is intrinsically wrong. There is just fundemental pieces that do not help the contract locate companies. Most try to circumvent (sp?) the underlying pieces and enact policies that mask the issues. If you set up a flow chart you will start to see how the industry is caught in a Catch 22... and thats why sometimes it feels like your hitting your head up against a wall.

    welcome to the club.

    mke
    Mke,
    You are right. It is a catch 22. While most locate companies rely on production to make money, the one piece that can sometimes get left by the wayside is quality. If you listen to USIC1, you should drop the box, induce and run passive sweeps for everything. While that might give you production, you sacrife quality. If you focus on quality, you sacrifice production. The question really become whether you want to put your name and your company reputation on the line by taking shortcuts. I don't know about you, but I would always rather know I did the right thing. "The easy path is not always the right path."
    When peoples lives depend on the service a locator supplies, I prefer not to take the easy path. Let someone else figure out how to make it profitable.
    I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.

  8. #8
    Mke
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    Default Re: low bidding

    in total agreement with you Grasshopper. I always try my best to give the excavator or surveyor the most complete understanding on what is in their way.

    the only thing I take some offense to is thinking that droppin the box is a bad thing....

    As my wife always tells me... " its all in the way you use it"

    The bad part, is not many places teach induction.
    Induction is a god send once you know its place in the bag o'tricks.

    mke

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    Default Re: low bidding

    Regarding dropping the the box. if you never hooked up on it, you better, it will bite you in the butt.I've been dropping for yrs now,kind of Addicted to it. But if I never been on it I direct connect. Induction has it's place for productivity and for quality but you need to know when and were. It's called Experience!!!!!!!!!!!! and thats the problem. so many companies just want profit not quality I will always go for quality, We all know that if you marked it and it gets hit your the one that feels like crap and your name is on that locate. Were not the ones that signed these stupid contracts. It's some numbers pushing knob. I'll bet that none of them knows what it takes to do a locate correct. Just that they want a locate done every 6.34min. thats even in a three way. Can you say PRESSURE.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: low bidding

    well with that said i'm glad i'm still getting paid by the hour
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: low bidding

    What make of locating equipment are you guys using to "drop the box"? I have been locating for over a decade and can count on 1 hand the number of times I have had luck with this. I have used RD 400, 433, 4000, subsite 75, 950, dynatel 2250, and the metrotec i5000 These are just the ones that I have attempted to drop.

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    Default Re: low bidding

    subsite 95t for me locating with a 75r though for best luck!!!!
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Senior Member headcipher's Avatar
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    Default Re: low bidding

    Quote Originally Posted by noOT4me View Post
    What make of locating equipment are you guys using to "drop the box"? I have been locating for over a decade and can count on 1 hand the number of times I have had luck with this. I have used RD 400, 433, 4000, subsite 75, 950, dynatel 2250, and the metrotec i5000 These are just the ones that I have attempted to drop.
    Metrotech 810 Induces great. There's been a lot of talk about pipehorns, but I haven't had the chance to try one yet.

    You should be able to induce with the i5000. RD4000 also can induce just fine. I've been recently using the Vivax, induces better than rd4000.

  14. #14
    Mke
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    Default Re: low bidding

    Yeah... what he said.

    here comes the astrix *Inducing is not for the faint of heart, or those with little experience*

    Induction is a short cut, and with proper knowlege on how to use it...and more importantly when to use it, its fantastic. The horror stories you hear are from people relying solely on induction without the knowlege of its limits.

    And if you think Induction speeds up a locate.....errr I beg to differ. Depending on the locate, and the utilities being located, Induction will take as long as hooking up to individual lines.

    Now if you have a single main with nothing else in the ground yeah it will be quick... but in that case so would direct connecting.

    I believe the true helpfullness of induction comes when used for a congested area... Contrary to popular belief..

    mke

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    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: low bidding

    Induction is the #1 best way to manipulate and control the amount of signal you are putting into A: Your Target Utility B: Paralleling and Perpedicular Utilities and C: The Ground Itself.

    Mke Posted: "I believe the true helpfullness of induction comes when used for a congested area... Contrary to popular belief..". I agree 100% Mke.
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Mental Illness."
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