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JPF Landscaping
10-24-2008, 02:04 AM
Last year was my first year aerating and I was having customers deal with the utility marking services. Another contractor told me I could not pass the liability on to the customer. I realize now that this was overkill but I just didn't want to hit things. Was this b.s. or is there a law that states this? I would ask the LCO that told me this but he is very busy and doesn't like to share his info. Where are good places to find legal info like this. I know an attorney would be the obvious answer but I have not hired one yet.

Thank you.

topsites
10-24-2008, 06:01 PM
The only thing you should be worrying about is irrigation sprinkler heads anyhow,
the tines on an aerator don't dig deep enough to mess up utility lines BUT
rototillers do!

So don't worry about Miss Utility anymore unless you're tilling,
do worry about sprinkler heads thou.

As for the question concerning liability, you do what works best for you
so long the customer is aware of it.

JPF Landscaping
10-24-2008, 09:14 PM
I am wondering what resources to use for legal matters. I find it hard to believe that everyone has a lawyer and calls him/her with every question they have as that would get very costly.

MIKE72K
10-24-2008, 10:43 PM
Make sure if they have an invisible fence to call the company or have the home owner call. They only burry the line about 6" deep.

Mike

CLARK LAWN
10-24-2008, 11:30 PM
cable tv is also buried very shallow ive hit lines while aerating and edging. cable company always fixed for free but then they would just bury it 1"-2" deep again

JPF Landscaping
10-25-2008, 12:10 AM
I have hit tv cable in the past and the customer took care of it for me but when I called the cable company to ask what it would cost to repair one the secretary told me it depends on the repair man on the property. Kinda stupid when the only way to hit one is if it is not burried deep enough. MIKE72K do you aerate to 6 inches? How? I have one zoysia yard with an invisible dog fence, the husband wants it done but the wife doesn't so I offered to power rake it instead. Does anybody have any ideas about the liablilty thing? It seems to me that a waiver would put the liability on the customer.

Turboguy
10-25-2008, 07:16 AM
A thought that comes to my mind is what if you quoted two prices to your customer?

Let me explain it this way. If you had a contract that said, there is a small risk of my services damaging sprinkler heads, tv cable lines or invisible fences. My quote is $ 300.00 with me assuming any responsibilty for repairs in the event I damage any to the above or $ 175.00 with the customers assuming any responsibilty for repair to those items. Then you have a check block the customer checks and he initials which option he chooses. I would bet 100% of the customers would select the cheaper price and you would have effectivly passed the liability to the customer. If some went for the higher price it would probably average out that you made enough extra to cover any damage you ever did. That should be 100% legal.

MIKE72K
10-25-2008, 12:37 PM
The company i used to work for had an areator with 6" tines and he had me areate when it was soft. I didn't agree with him sometimes. Invisible fence isn't quite 6" down, usually 2-3". If you do have a heavy machine and it is soft you can get too deep. Not good.

Mike

JimmyStew
10-25-2008, 08:20 PM
cable tv is also buried very shallow ive hit lines while aerating and edging. cable company always fixed for free but then they would just bury it 1"-2" deep again

I was once told by someone (don't recall who) that the cable/phone companies bury the cables so shallow because it's cheaper to repair cut lines when they happen than it would be to bury the cables any deeper.

I did a job last summer where the homeowner pointed out where the phone cable was buried, just in front of the big pile of gravel I had delivered. Told me about how the phone company came out the previous spring to replace it because their plow guy ripped it up. So guess what I did? Yup, set the bucket just a smidgen to deep and plucked it from its home again. Phone company said "no problem, we'll be out to fix it". I wonder if their reconsidering that cost/benefit analysis??

grass-scapes
10-31-2008, 05:39 PM
I put in my quote that "We are not responsible for any damage to items not clearly marked (i.e. hidden sprinkler heads, cable lines, etc)"

LoweJ82
09-03-2010, 01:39 PM
The only thing you should be worrying about is irrigation sprinkler heads anyhow,
the tines on an aerator don't dig deep enough to mess up utility lines BUT
rototillers do!

So don't worry about Miss Utility anymore unless you're tilling,
do worry about sprinkler heads thou.

As for the question concerning liability, you do what works best for you
so long the customer is aware of it.

Thats just wrong, always call your locates in, I did directional boring for years dug around many upon many utilities, Ive found ca tv & phone drops just under the sod, Hit one theres your profit for that yard and maybe a few more,

when it comes to liabilty with utilities the one doing the digging is responsible for calling in the locates, Just Dial 811 and listen
Also have found main primary elec lines under the sod, I have also seen a man blown out of a hole by an elec line and be hurt pretty bad.

Moving any dirt around without calling in utilities is just dumb, Most homeowners know this.

Sorry to come off like a jerk but I really feel thats like playing rushin roulete to a point,

DJJS
09-03-2010, 02:35 PM
Thats just dumb, always call your locates in, I did directional boring for years dug around many upon many utilities, Ive found ca tv & phone drops just under the sod, Hit one theres your profit for that yard and maybe a few more,

Moving any dirt around without calling in utilities is just dumb, Most homeowners know this.

Sorry to come off like a ass but I really feel thats like playing rushin roulete to a point,

Calling your locates to aerate is a waste of time, don't compare it to directional boring, thats a completely different thing. The only thing you need to watch out for when aerating is sprinkler heads. I give all my aeration customers a bunch of flags to mark irrigation heads, if they miss one or don't bother doing it, just be extra careful. Worst case scenario, we break a head and I'm out a few dollars.

Will P.C.
09-03-2010, 03:20 PM
Some homeowners do not know how to operate their irrigation system. I have always thought that the LCO should mark the heads himself before aerating.

I would make them sign a waiver saying you aren't responsible for utility lines or hidden sprinkler heads. This will CYA legally.

LoweJ82
09-03-2010, 03:26 PM
Calling your locates to aerate is a waste of time, don't compare it to directional boring, thats a completely different thing. The only thing you need to watch out for when aerating is sprinkler heads. I give all my aeration customers a bunch of flags to mark irrigation heads, if they miss one or don't bother doing it, just be extra careful. Worst case scenario, we break a head and I'm out a few dollars.

E request takes less then 2 min to complete,

After reading the post in this thread alone (atleast 3 catv drop hits) you reply and say calling in locates is a waste of time,

Yea Db is alot different than areating however when it comes to digging or disturbing the soil around lines its all the same, Cable drops are supposed to atleast a 12" they never are though, They may have replaced them for free however you got lucky if so, typically run from $35 on up pending what it was you hit as far as cable & phone drops goes, like I said I have saw power primarys less than 6" deep reported it and they came out and put in a new line and couldnt belive there guys had slipped that one in, Hit one of them with your feet planted on the "Ground" who is liable will be the lesser of your concerns.

Do or dont call in locates its up to you, But you hit a line digging and by law your responsible for it, It clearly says on the recording when you call them in that by law the person doing the digging is responsible for calling them in and making sure they are not bothered,

You may not get charged, May just be a catv or phone drop, However not taking the time to get a locate is un professional and looks like crap when you hit a line and knock out there service for hours, hit a catv main line sometimes the drops are deeper than them I bet you wont get by for free on that one.

Just my 2 cents, I have been digging directly around and on top of utilities for years, Ive seen some crazy stuff lazy ppl do to get the job done quicker

RussellB
09-03-2010, 03:30 PM
If you hit a utility line you are responsible unless it is mismarked or not installed at the proper depth. You can not pass the responsibility off to anyone. In the end..........you will pay for it. If you are in the excavating business you should have full knowledge of your local Miss Utility regs or whatever they call the call center in your area. Most call centers are very helpful.

LoweJ82
09-03-2010, 03:35 PM
:clapping:

atleast someone understands, Some areas depth doesnt matter and its more than 18" on each side of the line.

If you hit a utility line you are responsible unless it is mismarked or not installed at the proper depth. You can not pass the responsibility off to anyone. In the end..........you will pay for it. If you are in the excavating business you should have full knowledge of your local Miss Utility regs or whatever they call the call center in your area. Most call centers are very helpful.

Fvstringpicker
09-03-2010, 07:49 PM
I am wondering what resources to use for legal matters. I find it hard to believe that everyone has a lawyer and calls him/her with every question they have as that would get very costly.

There's an old saying, "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client". You're not going to find a resource for layman that will allow you to do sufficient research. You may try the following:

https://www.lexisone.com/

Daily Lawn/Landscape
09-03-2010, 08:00 PM
I am wondering what resources to use for legal matters. I find it hard to believe that everyone has a lawyer and calls him/her with every question they have as that would get very costly.

Not to costly. Just invite them for drinks and spend some time taking them hunting and you can get any answers you need. Oh and treat their yard for free. If they like golf, get them on the course and talk, talk, talk.:)

James

aeration
09-03-2010, 08:01 PM
RussellB

you stated you are responsible unless the line was not burried to proper depth. Do you know where to find information relative to the proper depth of the utility lines? Codes, etc...?

RussellB
09-03-2010, 08:31 PM
RussellB

you stated you are responsible unless the line was not burried to proper depth. Do you know where to find information relative to the proper depth of the utility lines? Codes, etc...? Utility requirements vary by state. For additional info you should contact your local One Call office. Let them know you are a contractor and that you would like to speak to a manager. He/she will be helpful. http://www.constructionweblinks.com/Resources/Industry_Reports__Newsletters/Jun_12_2006/unde.html

georgiagrass
09-04-2010, 01:05 AM
We all perform services pursuant to contracts with our customers. Sometimes those contracts are oral, sometimes they are written. You are always free to contract with your customer for conditions incident to the provision of your services. This includes allocation of liability for most risks. We include the following paragraph in our lawn services agreement that all our regular customers sign:

"Limitation of Liability: Please identify to your Georgia Grass, Inc. representative any irrigation pipes and heads, electric dog fences, cables, and other items in your lawn that could be damaged by our mowers and other power equipment. You are responsible for ensuring that your lawn is free of rocks and other objects that can be damaged or thrown by our mowers and power equipment. Any damage caused by your failure to remove such objects is your responsibility, and you agree to hold Georgia Grass, Inc., its officers, employees and agents harmless and to indemnify Georgia Grass, Inc., its officers, employees and agents for any such damage. We are not responsible for damage to buried utilities, wires, cables, electric dog fences and irrigation heads or lines. Sometimes line trimmers will damage paint, trim, stucco and other surfaces near grass areas. We are not responsible for that damage. Your assistance in removing portable obstacles such as toys from your lawn before we arrive is appreciated."

You are welcome to use this language, although I do not warrant that it will be effective to shield you from liability in your state. I encourage each of you to spend a few dollars and consult an attorney to advise you on this issue.