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txirrigation
01-16-2012, 09:21 PM
Just received an "invoice" from a customer who (i guess) we cut their (home owner installed) power line to their shed. Bill was for just above $460.

So I typed into google "owning your own business sucks," and this is what popped up.

I figured this would get a few "dang that is true" statements from the guys who own their own businesses on here.

It is January and I am already beating my head on my desk.

http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/business/32-reasons-why-having-a-business-sucks/

DanaMac
01-16-2012, 09:33 PM
Did they contact you to check on or fix the wiring problem? Do you have a clause about personal utilities? Tell 'em to stick it.

Great article, on a night that I am fighting with my girlfriend as we work on the other business that we own. She and I do NOT work well together in business.

Gilmore.Landscaping
01-16-2012, 09:33 PM
Well that's discouraging for a new business owner....haha, I will just pretend I didn't read that....

Also I hope you didn't pay that bill!!!

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
01-16-2012, 09:45 PM
Sadly.... just about all of the things on that list are true..... But hey.... I do this because I love to do it.... not because I'm under any delusion that I'll get rich doing it.

jvanvliet
01-17-2012, 07:53 AM
Was it installed by a licensed electrician? Was the power line rated for "direct" bury? Was it buried in accordance to NEC and State or local code? Where you consulted before the repair? Did you have an opportunity to perform the repair? Is this a long term customer?

If he's a one time wonder, I'd tell him to take a hike (in a diplomatic way). I'd be hard pressed to pay invoices for unsubstantiated repairs from anybody.

I still prefer to be my own boss than to have some pencil necked geek stand over me to second guess and criticize.

txirrigation
01-17-2012, 08:48 AM
I contacted them to set up a meeting to go over the invoice.

I have a clause in the contract that covers this, BUT only logical people will understand that. They told me there was a underground wire installed in the back yard, which we marked and found, but they did not tell me about the one in the front.

I am probably going to end up splitting the bill with them so that they do not get online and rip me a new one.

jvanvliet
01-17-2012, 09:21 AM
I am probably going to end up splitting the bill with them so that they do not get online and rip me a new one.

Probably best; one unhappy client can hurt you for a long time. Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.

This is more like a Mexican Victory; you have some important body parts shot off, but you're still alive.

1idejim
01-17-2012, 08:09 PM
Just received an "invoice" from a customer who (i guess) we cut their (home owner installed) power line to their shed. Bill was for just above $460.


DUDE, 521/pro-800 :drinkup:521/pro800 :drinkup:521/pro-800 :drinkup:521/pro-800:drinkup:

over and over til you get it right.

you are one of the few guys here that i thought always pre-located.

DanaMac
01-17-2012, 08:54 PM
If he didn't know it was there, how would he know it would need locating?

Sprinkus
01-17-2012, 09:03 PM
Locator's intuition.

Wet_Boots
01-17-2012, 09:07 PM
Using a shorter-bladed plow meant you couldn't hit a power line buried to code depth requirements. Still, you locate.

txirrigation
01-17-2012, 09:11 PM
DUDE, 521/pro-800 :drinkup:521/pro800 :drinkup:521/pro-800 :drinkup:521/pro-800:drinkup:

over and over til you get it right.

you are one of the few guys here that i thought always pre-located.

I called 811 (locate service) and double checked with the 521 before we dug. Of course the 811 gas locate was NO WHERE CLOSE. H/O notified me of some lines in the back, which I marked and found.

The never mentioned anything in the front until I got the "invoice." All the city stuff was located and checked, and I located their buried extension cord. They simply failed to mention anything in the front yard.

Don't you worry Jim, a go through about 24 DD batteries a month.

1idejim
01-17-2012, 11:39 PM
I called 811 (locate service) and double checked with the 521 before we dug. Of course the 811 gas locate was NO WHERE CLOSE. H/O notified me of some lines in the back, which I marked and found.

The never mentioned anything in the front until I got the "invoice." All the city stuff was located and checked, and I located their buried extension cord. They simply failed to mention anything in the front yard.

Don't you worry Jim, a go through about 24 DD batteries a month.

i was trying to fun with you, no harm intended.....

txirrigation
01-18-2012, 05:35 PM
i was trying to fun with you, no harm intended.....

haha, I thought you would find humor in the Locate service...

txirrigation
01-22-2012, 07:26 PM
Well, I ended up just paying the whole bill. I set up a time and talked with them, and they genuinely just dont get it. Nice people that seem to be pretty social so maybe I will get a few references out of it.

1idejim
01-22-2012, 07:33 PM
Well, I ended up just paying the whole bill. I set up a time and talked with them, and they genuinely just dont get it. Nice people that seem to be pretty social so maybe I will get a few references out of it.

ya think they were told by the electrician that did the repair that you were to blame?

DanaMac
01-22-2012, 07:36 PM
Did they notify you first about the issue? Or did they get it repaired and then bill you? You should have had first refusal on repairing it yourself. I can't stand customers without common sense, but it seems like most are like that. Unfortunately, I am not a patient person, I hold grudges, and I personally would have told them where to stick the bill if they would not come to some compromise. Bad business practice on my end I know, but that's just me. I've burned a few bridges in the past with customers that "just don't get it". I've also let some things go, removed them from the customer list, and just moved on without a word.

Mike Leary
01-22-2012, 07:47 PM
Did they notify you first about the issue? Or did they get it repaired and then bill you? You should have had first refusal on repairing it yourself. I can't stand customers without common sense, but it seems like most are like that. Unfortunately, I am not a patient person, I hold grudges, and I personally would have told them where to stick the bill if they would not come to some compromise. Bad business practice on my end I know, but that's just me. I've burned a few bridges in the past with customers that "just don't get it". I've also let some things go, removed them from the customer list, and just moved on without a word.

Buy some cone markers, it feels good to throw them in the truck and bail the f*ck out. :clapping:

Mike Leary
01-22-2012, 07:53 PM
The only line I never was able to say as I moved out, was, "By the way, tell your friends about me". :hammerhead:

txirrigation
01-22-2012, 10:26 PM
No they did not tell me about the lines, but they cant understand why that doesnt make me responsible.

The way I figure I still made 1,200 off of them. Also they will not get online and rip me a new one on a review... which will be there FOREVER.

FIMCO-MEISTER
01-22-2012, 11:19 PM
Did all you could but at the end of the day you had more to lose than them so call it advertising money.
Posted via Mobile Device

Mdirrigation
01-23-2012, 11:53 AM
I have an exclusion for anything buried in the contract , in addition i tell them verbally that if they have any thing thats burried we are not responsible for its repair . I have cut private electric, propane , water ,sewer , septic , dog fence . I try to avoid cutting these things , but it happens . But it should never affect your bottom line . Private electric lines around here are suppose to be 18 inches , since we plow no more than 12 inches we cant hit properly installed electric . When we cut something , and we can repair its time and materials to repair the problem , if we have to contract out the repair , its an added charge to the customer .

Mdirrigation
01-23-2012, 08:14 PM
Shame the electrician didnt cut the pipe while repairing the wire , you could go back and leave the customer an invoice for $ 460 to repair the break.

txirrigation
01-23-2012, 09:30 PM
I have an exclusion for anything buried in the contract , in addition i tell them verbally that if they have any thing thats burried we are not responsible for its repair . I have cut private electric, propane , water ,sewer , septic , dog fence . I try to avoid cutting these things , but it happens . But it should never affect your bottom line . Private electric lines around here are suppose to be 18 inches , since we plow no more than 12 inches we cant hit properly installed electric . When we cut something , and we can repair its time and materials to repair the problem , if we have to contract out the repair , its an added charge to the customer .

I have an exclusion also, but it isnt worth the ink it's written with when your dealing directly with a home owner. They do not understand construction in any capacity, and largely have been burned by a few companies in the past. I could make a stink about it, but at the end of the day it's just 460 and I dont have to deal with it anymore. Like I said I am still 1200 in the black on the job, so I am not going to sweat it and get greedy.

1idejim
01-24-2012, 05:22 PM
how come no-one realized they had a buried utility?

1idejim
01-24-2012, 07:54 PM
how come no-one realized they had a buried utility?

how come no-one realized they had hit a buried utility?

DanaMac
01-24-2012, 08:16 PM
I've hit Romex, buried extension cords, coax, and telephone with both trenchers and pullers and have never realized it. If it cuts through easily you may never know. It doesn't always pull out or cause a spark, at least from my experience.

Wet_Boots
01-24-2012, 08:30 PM
nothing's more fun to cut than natural gas pipes :)

Mike Leary
01-24-2012, 08:37 PM
nothing's more fun to cut than natural gas pipes :)

Tell that to the stockbroker when we cut-free his fibre optic line (not located).:dizzy:

Sprinkus
01-24-2012, 08:38 PM
nothing's more fun to cut than natural gas pipes :)

'specially when they're buried 3" deep and you hit them while hand digging.
:cry::cry:

DanaMac
01-24-2012, 08:43 PM
I know a guy that hit the electric service line with a 10" pin that holds the edging into the ground. :dizzy:

1idejim
01-24-2012, 08:48 PM
copied this from
http://www.hoax-slayer.com/dial-before-you-dig-explosion.shtml


Subject: Dial before you dig

Here is a real story to support dial before you dig ...

Yes ... it did happen in the U.S.A.

You may or may not know about the law requiring you call for utility locating before you do any excavation. The pictures below are a result of a guy using a post hole digger with out calling for "locates" and he hit an underground, high-pressure cross country gas pipe.

They never did find the guy. Took out 2 homes.

Wet_Boots
01-24-2012, 08:59 PM
I remember hearing the account of someone trenching at a golf course that had a high-pressure gas line located and marked. He's behind the carbide-toothed chain, on cleanout duty, when he sees some sparks. It's the gas line, hundreds of feet from the marked path.

1idejim
01-24-2012, 09:07 PM
I remember hearing the account of someone trenching at a golf course that had a high-pressure gas line located and marked. He's behind the carbide-toothed chain, on cleanout duty, when he sees some sparks. It's the gas line, hundreds of feet from the marked path.

i suspect you didn't read the link boots

Wet_Boots
01-24-2012, 09:15 PM
What didn't you copy and paste? I'm recalling a different event. No pipe rupture. No fire. No deaths. Much agita.

Autoflow
01-24-2012, 09:17 PM
Well I just got an email from an install I did last month asking if I hit anything while trenching because his garden lights are no longer working in the raised garden behind the lawn I irrigated. All electricals are supposed to be 500mm deep (20" or so) and I only went 300mm deep.

He owns an electrical company so I said I would find the fault with my locator so his guys can fix it. I will be curious to find out what it was and whether I did hit it with the trencher without realising it.

1idejim
01-24-2012, 09:20 PM
Well I just got an email from an install I did last month asking if I hit anything while trenching because his garden lights are no longer working in the raised garden behind the lawn I irrigated. All electricals are supposed to be 500mm deep (20" or so) and I only went 300mm deep.

He owns an electrical company so I said I would find the fault with my locator so his guys can fix it. I will be curious to find out what it was and whether I did hit it with the trencher without realising it.

how do you like your locator?

Autoflow
01-24-2012, 09:27 PM
how do you like your locator?

Love it! I have found lost valves in 5 minutes that I would never have found without it. I still haven't had a huge amount of use for it but it has been very good to have when I needed it.

One of the last locates I did I followed the path from an underground carpark where the controller is, across a driveway to behind a brick wall where there were large shrubs planted. I lost the signal in any other direction so thought it must be under there. I pulled out the crowbar and started prodding and heard a clunk within a minute. There it was buried a foot under dirt with the shrub right on top. I showed the building manager and he couldn't believe I found it and so quickly.

I gained a lot of confidence after that. Money well spent and I love the satisfaction of finding something that has been lost for years where guys have wasted hours trying to find them without any tools.

Thanks for your help and advice in the past too Jim!

Kiril
01-25-2012, 07:38 AM
copied this from
http://www.hoax-slayer.com/dial-before-you-dig-explosion.shtml


Subject: Dial before you dig

Here is a real story to support dial before you dig ...

Yes ... it did happen in the U.S.A.

You may or may not know about the law requiring you call for utility locating before you do any excavation. The pictures below are a result of a guy using a post hole digger with out calling for "locates" and he hit an underground, high-pressure cross country gas pipe.

They never did find the guy. Took out 2 homes.

Wonders how "excavation" is defined.

1idejim
01-25-2012, 07:56 AM
Wonders how "excavation" is defined.

section 5.0

http://www.digalert.org/pdfs/bestpractices.pdf

Kiril
01-25-2012, 08:11 AM
section 5.0

http://www.digalert.org/pdfs/bestpractices.pdf

It is in the glossary of this doc.

Excavate or Excavation: Any operation using non-mechanical or mechanical equipment or explosives used in the movement of earth, rock or other material below existing grade. This includes, but is not limited to, augering, blasting, boring, digging, ditching, dredging, drilling, driving-in, grading, plowing-in, pulling-in, ripping, scraping, trenching, and tunneling.

Try telling Joe homeowner he needs to call for a locate before he puts a shovel into the ground .... or Joe lawnboy before he aerates or tills, or any of the other numerous shallow depth earth work. What I was looking for was a minimum working depth before you need to call, which is something I have never been able to nail down.

IMO, utilities should be a minimum 1 foot deep, and any work done at depths less than 1 foot shouldn't need a locate. Now if the dumb asses at the utility company (ex. phone, cable) seem to think it is appropriate to put their line at 6" deep, then it is their dime that fixes it.

1idejim
01-25-2012, 08:46 AM
It is in the glossary of this doc.

Excavate or Excavation: Any operation using non-mechanical or mechanical equipment or explosives used in the movement of earth, rock or other material below existing grade. This includes, but is not limited to, augering, blasting, boring, digging, ditching, dredging, drilling, driving-in, grading, plowing-in, pulling-in, ripping, scraping, trenching, and tunneling.

Try telling Joe homeowner he needs to call for a locate before he puts a shovel into the ground .... or Joe lawnboy before he aerates or tills, or any of the other numerous shallow depth earth work. What I was looking for was a minimum working depth before you need to call, which is something I have never been able to nail down.

IMO, utilities should be a minimum 1 foot deep, and any work done at depths less than 1 foot shouldn't need a locate. Now if the dumb asses at the utility company (ex. phone, cable) seem to think it is appropriate to put their line at 6" deep, then it is their dime that fixes it.

IMO, 18" should be minimum burial for any utility.
other than irrigation laterals, water should be 12"

Kiril
01-25-2012, 08:53 AM
IMO, 18" should be minimum burial for any utility.
other than irrigation laterals, water should be 12"

I agree with dat! The no call unless digging at 1 foot or deeper was because of the 12" water line depth in this area, and likely in most areas where ground freezing is not an issue.

txirrigation
01-25-2012, 12:32 PM
Judging by the picture and the damage the line did, that line should have been MUCH deeper.

Gas around here is supposed to be 48", but it can be found about 12" most of the time.

1idejim
01-25-2012, 01:02 PM
Judging by the picture and the damage the line did, that line should have been MUCH deeper.

Gas around here is supposed to be 48", but it can be found about 12" most of the time.

i couldn't send this to you by pm and don't have your email yet.

you might be able to modify this to fit your needs. i have used this as a guide and so far nobody has nailed me for a damage. :waving:

Autoflow
01-25-2012, 05:27 PM
IMO, utilities should be a minimum 1 foot deep, and any work done at depths less than 1 foot shouldn't need a locate. Now if the dumb asses at the utility company (ex. phone, cable) seem to think it is appropriate to put their line at 6" deep, then it is their dime that fixes it.

Exactly. I can't believe some of these companies install things so shallow, and then complain when we hit things. I hit a 1-1/4" copper pipe feed into a new property a while back. I knew where it ran and asked the plumber what depth it was. He told me it was 18" so I trenched through at 6" in that area and tore it to pieces. He was pissed that he had to come out and repair it, but if he did it properly in the first place he wouldn't have to.

It's hard to believe that I want my irrigation laterals twice as deep as the main feed into the property. I just don't understand why they do it.

I also legally have to call Dial before you dig before any trenching work or I am not covered by insurance if I do hit something. Instead of doing a quick re run of lines on badly installed systems, I have to wait two days for the services to get back to me before I can do the job.

Autoflow
02-18-2012, 12:34 AM
Well I just got an email from an install I did last month asking if I hit anything while trenching because his garden lights are no longer working in the raised garden behind the lawn I irrigated. All electricals are supposed to be 500mm deep (20" or so) and I only went 300mm deep.

He owns an electrical company so I said I would find the fault with my locator so his guys can fix it. I will be curious to find out what it was and whether I did hit it with the trencher without realising it.

I finally got out to this place today and attached my locator transmitter to the power cable and traced the cable. When I came to one of my trenches I lost the signal so we started digging and found the problem which was the trencher had gone clean through the conduit and cable which was only about 10 inches deep. It was in an area where I tried to trench some extra drainage lines for him and due to our rainy Summer, the drainage work has still not been done.

I need to dig more trenches for the drainage but it is just too wet for my trencher to do any good. The yard is heavy clay at the bottom of a hill and is just saturated even after a few days of sunshine, and then it rains again...

The client was blown away with how fast we found the fault using the locator.

Sprinkus
02-18-2012, 12:57 AM
It's hard to believe that I want my irrigation laterals twice as deep as the main feed into the property. I just don't understand why they do it.


Laziness, greed, and incompetence come to mind. :angry: