Hey, Kirk. I am a Locator. Any time you disturb the soil whether it is with a shovel or a backhoe, you are considered to be an excavator... or excavating. Always, always, always call the one-call service. CATV lines are commonly buried just an inch or two deep. Some phone lines can be shallow as well. Although not as often. And, only call in for the area you are digging. Calling in the entire property when you are only putting in a tree in the front yard ties up utility locators for longer than needed. Some of these people hit the road in the morning with 40-50 jobs to do in one day. Locating the entire property normally takes about 15-20 minutes. Locating just the front yard takes a few minutes. If they saved 10 minutes on 10 of those tickets for example. That adds an extra 1 hr and 40 min to their day. That is a HUGE help and it lets them get to your tickets sooner. Locators that come out after you call the one-call service are contracted to locate specific utilities. They do not locate everything. Just the people who pay them. This includes water, sewer, power, telephone, catv, gas, and fiber optics owned by some of the communications companies such as Verizon and Time Warner. There are more fiber companies but you get my point. Some other utilities contracted out for locating may also include street lighting and intersection signal lines. There may be one or two others but I cannot think of them at the moment. Utility locators will not locate sprinkler lines, yard lighting, pet fences, etc. They aren't paid to locate those things. If, however, you are there when one shows up, they might locate a line or two if you ask them and they have a few minutes. I have on several occasions. As far as you being responsible for cutting the privately owned lines. That is a no brainer, of course you are responsible. That is why you hire a private locator and then add it to the bill. If the customer is implying that you are responsible for finding the lines at your own cost then someone has a screw loose.