Originally Posted by txirrigation
Locating is very important in repairs, and installs. On installs we trace gas lines to confirm the dig service, and to locate cable etc. I also believe the degree of usefulness is regional. In Texas I am not sure you can call yourself an irrigator without one. This is because we scatter valves all over the yard in the middle of each zone, and the grass quickly covers the valve boxes. In a lot of other parts of the country valves are installed in a manifold, which would reduce the importance since that generally means a short wire run and the valves in one spot.
In Texas and some other states it is a must, some regions can probably get by without it.
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Exactly. We rarely use ours here in CO. I have two older 521 locators for three people. Last year we used them 3 times, maybe 4. Prior to that, we may use them 1-2 times every year or two. So it wasn't worth having one for each truck. I got one very cheap, and another came with the fully stocked van I bought. If it wasn't for that, I may not have bought one. If a locator is rarely used, I think there are better tools to spend money on until you are at the point financially to afford one. I should have bought a remote long before a locator. If my company did a lot of large commercial work, it might come in handy more often.
Rarely needing one, also means we don't get continuous training on it, so we sometimes struggle with it.