View Poll Results: Should Locators be certified/licensed using an industry wide standard?

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  • Yes. Without a doubt

    47 70.15%
  • Yes. Eventually

    7 10.45%
  • Maybe... not sure

    5 7.46%
  • No. We've gotten along without it so far.

    2 2.99%
  • No. Leave us alone.

    6 8.96%
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Thread: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

  1. #1
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    What do you think about requiring Utility Locators to be Certified/Licensed using industry wide standards before they can do any locating on their own?
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    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    no ! these things should be left alone !
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    Government minimum standards for this job may not be the disaster people foresee , after all the CDL requirement has not destroyed the trucking industry.

    The requirements need not be just on locating skills but the general job skills needed.

    Ability to speak and read English. We actually had one prospect make to the classroom training who barley spoke English. He had just learned to fake it so he sounded like he was properly responding. The instructor became suspicious and asked him some nonsense questions, like would a blue elk need amps or volts?, and he would answer "okay" , "Yes sir" and so on.

    Ability to read and comprehend English. Many can read but not understand what the words as they are used mean and this is not only for those who English is not their native tongue. Questions such as 'Mark starting 120' south of the south east corner of above intersection for 200 feet. Many people cannot figure out where the area to mark is.

    Along with comprehension of the written word is the ability to read a map as marking direction are often use map locations in their directions. Many people cannot read a map.

    Basic math skills may also be needed but not as mush as reading ability.

    All the above items are basic skills that our locate instructors are not prepared to teach. Give a prospect tests on the abode items and have them fill it out with their job application. They don't pass that part don't waste time sending them to training.

    Basic electricity though little more than ohms law and how a few things work, just enough to give comprehension to why the equipment we use works. For those unfamiliar you would be surprised how much this knowledge can be useful in the field.

    Then of course ability to pass a test on job skills specific to our industry.

    Safety should also be part of training and requirement as public safety is why the call before you dig laws were enacted. What to do when gas or electric lines are cut or you walk upon a gas leak.

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    Senior Member Turk182's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    The states would never go for a national license, and they have the tenth amendment on their side, it would have to be a national minimum standard affecting individual state standards and a state issued license, they are not going to allow the loss of revenue to be made from licensing fees. It would be similar to the national standard for CDL licensing under the USDOT, but a state issued license.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turk182 View Post
    The states would never go for a national license, and they have the tenth amendment on their side, it would have to be a national minimum standard affecting individual state standards and a state issued license, they are not going to allow the loss of revenue to be made from licensing fees. It would be similar to the national standard for CDL licensing under the USDOT, but a state issued license.
    Federal requirement for a license, which may also be called a certification, exists for aircraft pilots, aircraft repairmen, aircraft controllers and even flight attendants, stewardesses.

    Right now marking gas is considered working on interstate transportation and the required drug test must be a DOT drug test the same as a CDL holder gets.

    Phone, electric, CATV can all also be considered interstate commerce and be put under Federal requirements for a license / certification. A minimum Federal requirement for certification would not interfere with any state that wanted to require a license for this kind of work. Just that such a state can have higher requirements it they wish or lower requirements and the Federal certification would exist as a separate item needed to perform this work.

  6. #6
    Mke
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    I guess I have a different take on this. I think that there should be a national orginization that helps maintain industry standards in state charters. Each state should have a "board" and a rep out of that "board" should be on the national "board" to help standardized the industry. The actual certification should be a state certificate. If it was certified by the federal government the industry would lose a little bit of the control they would have otherwise. We don't need certification for certification itself, we need it to better the industry. If we have a governing board based in D.C. made up of people other then locators, we are literately in no different position then we are now. An industry controled by the whims of the 15% of the industry that does not get paint on their shoes.

    I'm all for certification, however, I want actual certification. I don't want a certificate that shows that I attended a waste of time labled "Training".


    I'm curious on why Yahoo is adamantly against it? Is it just because the government could get involved and "F" things up? Or do you believe that the majority of locators are good enough to not need to prove competencey?

    Just curious.

    Mke

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    no government involvement whatsoever is what I want .

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    I guess I have a different take on this. I think that there should be a national orginization that helps maintain industry standards in state charters. Each state should have a "board" and a rep out of that "board" should be on the national "board" to help standardized the industry. The actual certification should be a state certificate. If it was certified by the federal government the industry would lose a little bit of the control they would have otherwise. We don't need certification for certification itself, we need it to better the industry. If we have a governing board based in D.C. made up of people other then locators, we are literately in no different position then we are now. An industry controled by the whims of the 15% of the industry that does not get paint on their shoes.

    I'm all for certification, however, I want actual certification. I don't want a certificate that shows that I attended a waste of time labled "Training".


    I'm curious on why Yahoo is adamantly against it? Is it just because the government could get involved and "F" things up? Or do you believe that the majority of locators are good enough to not need to prove competencey?

    Just curious.

    Mke
    Mark likes this.
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    I would prefer a federal certification. when one company needs to pull others out of state or shuffle people around a recertification thru every state would be a pain

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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    I'm with Yahoo. Not only will they F it up, they'll spend our money to do it. Government is already way to BIG!!
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    The old anarchist's argument, the mindless 'gubermant bad, dey not leet me piss on sidewalk and make wears clothes".

    As for Big Government", the US covers about 40% of the land mass of the North American continent and has over 300,000,000 people. The only workable government of an area and population of this size will be big. You cannot run a semi rig with the engine out of a '62 Volkswagen beetle.

    So guberment bads cannot by rational people be in itself considered in a rational discussion.
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    Well maybe I'm missing the point. Do you think the locating/locators in your area are subpar? Do you think they would be better if they were licensed or state certified? I believe that it is the utility owners responsibility to have competent damage prevention specialists.

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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    if you want a national cert/lic. then the dig laws in every state should be the same.

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    no government involvement whatsoever is what I want .
    Not trying to start a firefight here friend, but that's exactly why we have the problems we do. We left it up to the utilities initially to mark the lines, and maintain minimum standards. Many have decided to have contract outfits take care of that for them. I'm for something along the lines of the CDL at minimum. The idea that MKE layed out was very nice too, but with that much left to the states, I believe the they could screw it up even worse than it is. Otherwise, it's going to keep going in the wrong direction. I used to joke that it would take blowing up a school with 500 nuns and orphans in it, to get something changed. Sadly, I don't think that would work anymore.

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheddar View Post
    Well maybe I'm missing the point. Do you think the locating/locators in your area are subpar? Do you think they would be better if they were licensed or state certified? I believe that it is the utility owners responsibility to have competent damage prevention specialists.
    I KNOW the locators in my area are subpar. So do the contractors who call me up asking me to come and locate the plant that the "locators" missed, or messed up. Every year it gets worse.

    Death, taxes, and bad contract locates.

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think there should be National certification/licensing of Utility Locators?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post

    I'm all for certification, however, I want actual certification. I don't want a certificate that shows that I attended a waste of time labled "Training".




    Just curious.


    Mke
    I strongly agree friend. You have to have training, certification, and continuing training to cut hair in my home state. Yet, any goofball can attempt to mark a gas service feeding a school, Federal facility, etc. It's time to tighten up our common sense priorities as a society. We can argue about politics all we want, but this is not how the world's leader should operate. It's shameful at best.

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