Locate companies suck

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Dirty Water, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    We had a phone line located, and we hand dug a couple times across it to verify its depth.

    It was at 24".

    Because it was a consistant depth across the entire property we decided it would be fine to plow across it and not hand dig every crossing point.

    As luck would have it, there was a splice in the line inside a buried valve box (aroud 3" deep).

    I didn't even feel it with the plow. Plowed right through the valve box (10" round) and snapped the splice in half.

    When we dug, we found a perfectly cut in half valve box with a 1" PVC pipe in the middle of it.

    It was funny.

    Anyways, There was a marker donut inside the box, the Locate guy should have marked that so we would have known there was a splice there right?

    Seems to me that he should have, Its going to be frusterating to have to eat the repair cost otherwise.
     
  2. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    I have trouble getting them to even show up sometimes... I would say 1 out of every 5 times I call they just don't show up.... frustrating... but how much can you complain about a free service?
     
  3. If you had a service like U.S.A. out there and they didn't mark that particular utility, I would think that they would have to born the cost of repair since the failure was on there part.

    When I call U.S.A. in my area, they always do show up, maybe not at the appointed time, but they do mark out gas and buried electric. We don't have to worry so much about phone, but cable....lets just say I am knowledgeable in the repair of cable. Even keep a spool of high quality cable handy.(left over from my satellite install)
     
  4. tylermckee

    tylermckee LawnSite Member
    from wa
    Posts: 248

    Around here you are usually lucky if the phone company even shows up, and when they do you can bet your ass they usually dont mark a few lines. The utility companies suprised me today, i'm installing 8" ductile iron water main and have to go under 2 gas lines, and under one side sewer service. The locates were damn near right on.

    When the guy was locating the gas he said that they were working somewhere and had locates on the ground, and had to do an emergency gas line repair so they called in emergency locates, but i guess they still have 48 hours to get out and locate. They started anyways and ended up hitting a 600 pair, that of course the phone company missed the first time. they are trying to charge the gas company something like $50,000 for the repair now.
     
  5. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    Since you knew the path and chose to go over it, you just bought that little repair. Depth of utilities is not a criteria when the locate guys come out. Either the private ones of the utility company guys. Slices are not figured in either.They just find the path and mark a 3' wide lane. They only have to get within 1' either way and it's considered a successful mark.

    Sorry to hear it tho'. How much is this one gonna set you back?
     
  6. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    you dont know the half of it in PA...a locate company for our local electric company (PECO) came out and marked lines...we were digging 5 feet from the markings and hit the wire, because apparently when they ran the wires into the house they must of had extra wire and instead of cutting it they looped it at the corner of the house...long story short, when the backhoe bucket hit the wire it knocked out power to the entire street and endagered the backhoe operators life. The locating company rep that came out got an earfull because this isnt the first time they have mismarked wires for us.
     
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Speaking of cable... Yesterday we went out on two work orders: one to raise a valve box because it was gathering water and might be a breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry West Nile and one with a broken lid. Both turned out to be CTV boxes. We advised the sites to put in new work orders to the Maint. Dept. :laugh:
     
  8. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    We also repair our own cable mishaps. I can't call for locates on every single repair we do. Cable is the only thing we hit doing these. Back when I was working for someone else, the landscape crew on the job was installing the metal edging border. One guy was hitting the pins in to keep the edging secure, and the pin hit the ELECTRIC line feeding into the house. The grade had been scraped down so far over the years thet it was less than 12" below ground.
     
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,007

    I remember one guy recalling trenching on a golf course, where the marking company had flagged a high-pressure natural gas line, but had missed where it made a zig-zag of a few hundred feet. So naturally he gets to watch the carbide teeth of the trencher chewing away at the gas line.
     
  10. DeepRoots

    DeepRoots LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    when I worked for an install company we had this one guy that was the 'mad trencher' he would just go to digging and must have mentally fallen asleep.

    anyway, I'm working near him while he's trenching. I look up and see the boss man running at us and waving his arms (couple hundred feet away). His eyes get real big and he turns around and runs away. I get the trenching guy stopped. Apparently we were right at where the city gas was. Boss said he ran away because "someone would have to tell the tale"

    anyway, around here there are few regulations, so all kindsa utility mishaps are possible. My personal favorite was cutting into a peice of 1inch PVC thinking it was the water mainline, only to find 10/2 wire in it. Good thing the power was off. The mainline was an inch below that pipe..... in another peice of 1inch pvc.
     

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