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Thread: Private design locating VS unresponsive munincipalities.

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    Default Private design locating VS unresponsive munincipalities.

    I am a newer private locator in the northeast and we get several requests for "design locates". I think it's a combination of the client not trusting whatever prints they are provided, gaps in information from municipalities, and contract locators not marking these lines/structures. It seems as if the common goal was to prevent damages and delays the municipalities and utility companies should be on-board with this method of pre-marking. Mind you I have only been locating for like 6 months, I have not run into a conflict with a municipality or utility company while marking their lines. I would hope they would understand the purpose of my work and saving them from their unnecessary locating when no digging is being performed. I agree that in a design phase of a project, the call centers and their contract locators should not be burdened to locate; however they may have the prints and the knowledge that I lack or am not accessible to. I may miss some things that they are aware of. maybe there is room for a design locate service by the call centers and their contact locators. I wish it could be a simple answer....

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    Default Re: Private design locating VS unresponsive munincipalities.

    It would be a nice world if sharing was a part of it then things could be marked once and put into a data base open to all. Would even be better if everytime a dig was done and a line actually being seen by eye was marked for depth and location with quality GPS. I know efforts are underway to do all this but there is a lot of major resistance to it from the big players that do not want change.

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    Default Re: Private design locating VS unresponsive munincipalities.

    Here is a youtube link to a bunch of vids with some of the top guys in the industy that are trying to make things better. Lots of good info.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb4...rDOKEXw/videos

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Private design locating VS unresponsive munincipalities.

    The problem with design locates is greed. Locate companies are rarely paid the hours needed to perform a locate but just a flat fee often as little as $10. Locate companies are setup to mark for an actual dig where safety is the concern. A design locate can often be an extensive amount of area and a single utility may take half the day or more to complete the job. The locate firms lose money on design tickets ans no one is allowed to actually dig on a design ticket so no liable damage occurs. The result is the management of locate firms do not really require their locators do a good job on a design ticket because they lose money doing that.

    The locators themselves are required to get all their tickets done and a half day or more spent on a design ticket interferes with company orders. Production levels, the average number of tickets performed per hour per yearly quarter usually, determines a locators pay rate. Spending a long time on a design ticket can result in lowered production, dig tickets getting done late (many contracts will not pay the locate firms for a late ticket plus fines can be imposed by the state) for which the locator gets a pay cut or even fired. The locator is motivated to just do enough to get the ticket recorded as completed and not do an accurate job.

    Prior to the category of design ticket these locates were done by private companies like yours. But the developers got greedy and did not want to pay your kind of firm to do the job and lobbied for the design ticket category. Speaking as a contract locator if a developer starts to build and dig tickets find utilities in the way which costs an extra half a million dollars or whatever to relocate or change building plans that is their problem.

    Their has been a need for the service your firm provides but the companies that hired you do not want to pay you or anybody else for the service.
    Last edited by ProfessionalLocator; July 13th, 2018 at 06:02 AM.

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    Senior Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Private design locating VS unresponsive munincipalities.

    Private locate companies should be given a path to be certified by local utilities to mark their plants. Then they could charge the builder appropriately. The builder will either pay or be content with the missing info. Leave the 811 guys out of it until the shovel hits the ground.
    Hell, if properly certified, 811 locaters could even turn to them for help during the impossibly busy summer dig season and save the 811 companies the trouble of the annual hire and layoff merry-go-round

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    Default Re: Private design locating VS unresponsive munincipalities.

    I do both sides of this. The company you work for should notify each utility what you are doing. Most will provide you with prints or locate it themselves. I can promise if the owners of the fiber I locate catch you marking it bad things are going to happen. We have the engineering company send a letter to the utility owners then we call just before we do the job. It is a nasty double edge sword in my area.

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