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Thread: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

  1. #1
    Senior Member headcipher's Avatar
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    Default What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    I was just thinking about this because of the upcoming locate rodeo.

    What happened to the impetus, drive, and innovation for change that NULCA was talking about at the beginning of the year?

    There is going to be NULCA reps at the rodeo. If you're going tell us what the skinny is.

    I, and I'm sure everyone else, would like to know.

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    Premium Conservative OVUS1's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    I'll be attending the NULCA board meeting and will give you all a report after the meeting. We have been working closely with the CGA this year making sure "outsiders" are not continuing to make policy for the people that work in the industry. There have been many TR's (white papers) that have required NULCA to step up and require changes (either processes or wording) to continue to protect Damage Prevention from a locator's standpoint. I know you guys don't see these things and don't really know what goes on behind the scenes, but I am very encouraged by this Board and their desire to protect the locators and define the industry as much as possible.

    I'll report back after our meeting on August 5 (next Thursday).
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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    I think it is good policy to give those guys the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to make something good out of nothing!!!! good luck behind closed doors to all in Nulca!!!!
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Senior Member AULupstate's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    I personally thing the BIGGEST issue is PRODUCTION over precision. Five to Ten minutes on ANYTHING over a 2-way locate and your ASKING for trouble and problems.

    These companies NEED to be honest in their approach to gain new business. This MORE with LESS model that I read about is GARBAGE and BULLSHIT.

    ALL of these dig safe operations NATIONWIDE were NOT really created to just protect facilities. They were created with SAVING LIVES in mind as well. With education and knowledge thrown in.

    Yes this IS a business and it's about making money, but at what cost ???

    The game hasn't changed since this business started, it's still the same. What has changed is companies ideas of Pay Out versus INCOME. Again, More with Less pops up and comes into play.

    This industry HAS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE for the dumb decisions made at the TOP. NOT just holding the Locator responsible when things go bad because he/she is just trying to do their jobs with in the limits put on them by policy/procedure and production timelines.

    THIS is something NULCA should put some focus on.

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    Premium Conservative OVUS1's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    Quote Originally Posted by AULupstate View Post
    I personally thing the BIGGEST issue is PRODUCTION over precision. Five to Ten minutes on ANYTHING over a 2-way locate and your ASKING for trouble and problems.

    These companies NEED to be honest in their approach to gain new business. This MORE with LESS model that I read about is GARBAGE and BULLSHIT.

    ALL of these dig safe operations NATIONWIDE were NOT really created to just protect facilities. They were created with SAVING LIVES in mind as well. With education and knowledge thrown in.

    Yes this IS a business and it's about making money, but at what cost ???

    The game hasn't changed since this business started, it's still the same. What has changed is companies ideas of Pay Out versus INCOME. Again, More with Less pops up and comes into play.

    This industry HAS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE for the dumb decisions made at the TOP. NOT just holding the Locator responsible when things go bad because he/she is just trying to do their jobs with in the limits put on them by policy/procedure and production timelines.

    THIS is something NULCA should put some focus on.
    I don't disagree AUL. The reality is we actually have about 20 hours in the summer months from the time the ticket is created (two working days) to do the impossible on a one-way, and I can't even imaging the stress of doing multiple utilities and still keep your work as good as expected. We need a 72 hour NATIONAL timeframe to locate in, and I am pushing that as hard as I can. Excavators want less time for locates because they have to wait, but what's another day to get things RIGHT before a hole goes in the ground and make sure everybody is protected? If I were digging I'd do everything I could to make sure my crew and my customer stayed as safe as possible, and if that means planning my jobs a little further out so be it. On the locate side, we have to be realistic about production and accuracy. I do not like stacked contracts, and do not believe they can be managed in such a way as to actually reduce damages. Stacked contracts create too much demand on the technician, and don't allow adequate time to get it done right the first time out.
    Last edited by OVUS1; August 2nd, 2010 at 12:02 PM.
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    Senior Member headcipher's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    Do you mean one contract, or one utility?

    We mark at almost every locate gas, electric, h2o, and sewer. At times we may also have fiber. We, as a crew, have a damage ratio of less than 1 in 10,000.

    I believe the key to this is our excellent supervision, and their belief that we know our job. Because of this they support our decisions, give us the resources we need, and back us in the field.

    As far as response times, it's rediculous to think that anything less than 3 business days should be acceptable.

    I know that because we are in-house, and not for profit, we have different goals than the contract field. Yet, I refuse to believe that a company cannot locate more than one utility successfully without screwing over the workforce. Locators can do as good a job as they are set up to do. Good supervision and support, along with a realistic view, should be all that is needed.

    That's my 2 cents. I'd like to hear what everyone has to say.

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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    Cipher, how much time are you allowed for a 4-way ticket? I'm expected to average 8 locates per hour . And that takes into consideration all project tickets , emergencies, dig-ups , and daily Safety Calls.
    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 headcipher's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    I'm allowed as long as it takes for each locate. In some of the older areas or more congested areas one locate can take an hour or more. Like I said, our sup's were our fellow locators. They know what we do, what we face in the field, what's realistic, and they have our backs.

    We aren't out to make a buck, we're out to save money and prevent damages and loss of life. I've seen situations where one or more person could have lost their lives because of poor practices, and that's our main concern.

    It also helps that we inforce fines, and our damage investigators are our locators.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    how long do you think (in -house) locating will last????? your work env. sounds really nice!
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Right Wing Conspirator GWJ_CAS's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    how long do you think (in -house) locating will last????? your work env. sounds really nice!
    Until the bean counters realize that they can shed half the costs and all the liability by contracting it out...just ask the Verizon "in-house" locators that were laid off in favor of contract locators...

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    Senior Member AULupstate's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the NULCA drive for change?

    Yeah but CAS, you can't really use Verizon as an example. They have a REALLY BAD tendancy to go 'contract' for a while, then go 'in-house' for a while and then back again. They flip flop, it seems, when they feel like it. Or when the union gets pissy about their field tech guys doing locates ON TOP OF doing their regular jobs with nothing extra to sweeten the pay check (or unions pockets).

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