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When you cut a cable.. who's at fault?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by General Landscaping, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 802

    When a cable is cut during minor operations(small plants, aeration, sod cutting, etc) who is at fault?
    If the cable was not buried at a proper depth, how can you be held liable for damaging something that is not where it should be?

    It may be different in other places; but here, the TV and sometimes phone are laid on the ground before sod and that's where they stay:nono:

    I've cut several TV cables with a stick edger and the next week I see where a new cable is run from the box to the house. You can stick your finger in the "trench" and feel the cable.:hammerhead: Kinda makes me want to run it over again:mad:

    I'm pushing an aeration in a new neighborhood (<2 year) and am sure the cable TV (maybe phone) are just under the surface. As much as I'd like to see the cable co. suffer for thier laziness and stupidity; I don't want to pizz off a bunch of potential long term customers and be liable for 50 new cable installs:confused:

    I know about call before you dig.... but that's not the point..... It's 4" deep MAX..... NOTHING should be buried that shallow.

    Now I'm wondering if the irrigation contractor that did the whole 'hood had enough sense to put the lines more than 4":confused:
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Codes vary from region to region. Up here, it is unregulated, so they often put it just under the sod.

    However, if you call before you dig, they will fix it for free.
  3. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    yeah but even before codes we always tell the customer to show us where any underground lines/cables/dog fences are because we are not liable. we have cut so many electric fences im getting tired of fixing them
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    you really think a new hood less than 2 years old in a predominaly sandy soil area is going to have compaction issues?:confused:

    I loved wathcing new home get installed in the Boca Grande and englewood area....lay the cable before the sod gets laid...IE lay it on top of the soil....before the sod. or if a you a day or two after teh sod, just lift and tuck....

    saw a guy aerate a st augustine yard once. it never was right again after that...
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Find out what the code is and if there not buried to code your not responsible.
    If there is no code I would make sure I knew how to fix them and would have a disclaimer in the contract that I'm not responsible for damaging them.

    Most important part of a contract is to CYA
  6. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    I cut a gate sensor cable at a storage yard I was doing. Cut it with the edger...and the funniest thing is that I had been cutting the property for a few months when I finaly nicked it.....It must have been the first time I edged the property with a fresh blade... I never paid for the repair. but when they came out to repair I told the manaager to make sure it was at least 6" deep...
  7. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    18" depth is code...for CATV...
  8. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 802

    I understand your confusion.... the sprinkler water is running off the yard in a sheet after 20 minutes. I'm not sure where the fill came from:confused:
    The downhill side of the sidewalk has fertilizer all in the edger groove.
    I'll try to add-on some sand once I get a feel for the customers.

    What was the problem with St.Augustine and aeration?:confused:
  9. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    I don't know why it did not look right, but it just looked "off" after it was aerated. Maybe it was all the broken stolons or it wasn't cleaned up good, I could not put my finger on it But it never regained its original appearance. even a year later

    I could see possibly aerating a Bahia lawn, but never saw anyone aerating st augustine in SW florida.....Maybe we just had too much sand to worry about compaction....
  10. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

    I do not believe the cal before you dig pertains the bed edges and areation. I know that cables get cut in this manner, but grading with tractors and bobcats and using hoes(excavators or backhoes) is another situation.
    in NC we have to give 48 hours notice, after the 48 hours is up we dig with or without marks if we cut the locating company is responsible for damages. if there are marks then they have a 60 inch buffer zone, 30 on each side (hand dig!)

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