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NJ One Call Problems

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by LB1234, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Okay, have to share this story...

    In jersey we have whats called NJ One Call...basically the call before you dig service that contacts the local utilities (electric, gas, water, phone, etc.). Well, I make my call, get my confirmation #, and I'm provided with the earliest start date.

    Wouldn't you know start date comes and their is no flags. Okay, I see both electric and phone are overhead. However, homeowner told me they have gas and the general area where it comes in. Wouldn't you know it happened to be right were we were using a machine to rip out some shrubs and install a new tree. Fine.

    Call NJ One Call to let them know I'm on site and there isn't a markout and I'm really only concerned about the gas line..."Well sir, we will make a call please wait another x days." I replied politely, screw you, I have my confirmation number, my machine is rented for the day, my employees are on the clock, and gas ain't getting any cheaper (Well it is but another story...). Oh, we will put the call in right away.

    About an hour goes by and we work in the areas around the gas line. Right about the time we start the pickup for the markout comes out to the site. He never leaves his truck is going over some paperwork, yada yada yada... We wave to him (you would think he would see the machine and the employees.) Well, he drives off. I just said 'F-it', we know the general vacinity and we really shouldn't be going any deeper than what the gas line should be at.

    That was wednesday...in and out no problem no gas lines found. Here is the kicker!!!! Get a call 8:30am Saturday morning, its the gas company. Yes, we are calling to let you know there is no gas line at the residence you are doing work at. I said really, are you sure? Yes sir we are. Well, that's funny but the homeowner pointed out where the gas line comes into his house and I'm sure he would know whether or not he receives a utility bill everymonth. Well, our records don't indicate anything. I said, "No problem, if you are giving the all clear when we hit the line its your ass." A pause and then..."I'll drive by and take another look today."

    Wouldn't you know flags were out that morning :realmad: :realmad:

    Incredible!!!!! :rolleyes:

    We've had nothing but problems with NJ One Call this year...
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    We have the same organization in Phoenix called AZ Blue Stake. All utilities included, no charge, call a few days before you plant to start. So I do on a sprinkler job, markings are made, I hand dig my spots I need to, and then fire up the trencher. Wouldn't you know, chuggin along, out rips a nice shiny black wire, not more than 3 inches below the surface. I must be at least 5 feet from the closest marking. So I investigate the wire, looks like cable, so I contact the homeowner to see if their cable is still working. No luck. So I call Blue Stake for the customer (who is a friend by chance) and tell them of the situation. They call the cable company who comes out, splices the line and goes to get my bill. Fortunately, I showed him the markings, he understood that I covered my azz by calling, and sent the bill off to the locator. According to the cable company, the line was supposed to be up the easement on the side of the yard, but was run "as the crow flies", shortest distance from pedestal to inlet on house. Fortunately, I didn't have to battle this one. I feel your pain with these services.
  3. DGI

    DGI LawnSite Member
    from SE Mich
    Posts: 173

    They rarely mark television lines here. I believe it's quasi-policy. I thought it was just me. Fortunately they're extremely easy to pick up with my Subsite tracker. Customers are far more dependent on that cable line than the phone these days, and they never like to hear that it's not our fault. If they find out that we broke it before we did, they're usually pretty skeptical of our ability to patch them, even though it's the exact same as the cable co.

    I regularly encounter both phone and gas at pathetic depths, just under the surface to several inches.
  4. op4_camper

    op4_camper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 99

    What kind of bs is that. Running any wire/cable that shallow. I would of ripped it up my self just to make them run it correctly.
  5. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Right now in front of my house there is a cable line laying on top of the road. The grader came by Tuesday and dug it up, for the second time in past 4 months. It cant be more than 2 inches below the road.
  6. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,078

    working in a million + development.. laying sod in front yard.. then working in back.. when we go out front again, Comcast cable guy is hookin the cable line from the box in the street, folding up our sod, putting the cable under, and folding the sod back down.. Its been cut 4 times now.... Oh and its fiber optic
  7. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    I thought if they don't have it marked by the start date... you just do your thing and they foot the bill if anything is hit. Even hand digging in compact ground will almost always damage the wire.
  8. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    I was aerating once and took out the cable tv. WTF. At the same house I punched two holes into the main for the irrigation. It sprayed up into my face and went up and under my eyelids. Scared the hell out of me when it first happened.
  9. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,078

    Ha.. the installers on one of the repair trips told me, that if they were to charge me or the homeowner, its is a $980 fix for the 100ft of cable to be replaced.. so instead of installing it right, comcast foots the bill for replacing it 4 times ??? crazy
  10. godzilla

    godzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 401

    One of my clients had his driveway ripped up and re-paved this year. Dig-safe came out and did their markings. Sure enough they marked the cable line wrong and the track loader ripped it up.

    On another note, I needed to have the utility lines dropped for one of my jobs this year. The client called up the power company and gave them the date and time (Tuesday, 8:00). After calling up one of my friends who also made some calls we were able to get a drive-by service drop at around 11:00. Then when it came time to put the line back up we told the power company to come by at 4:00. They showed at 7:00

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