Aeration flagging

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by GLS, Sep 28, 2011.


Do you mark the valve boxes when contacted to mark the system for aeration?

  1. Yes, we locate the valve boxes

    1 vote(s)
  2. No, we do not locate the valves

    1 vote(s)
  1. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    Just had a question for the irrigation professionals:

    When you are contacted to mark an irrigation system in preparation for lawn aeration, what all do you mark?

    I expect heads and valve boxes to be marked. Any idiot can mark the heads. We are not able to locate valve boxes unless they are visible.

    So, do you locate the valve boxes?

    Here's the whole story,

    This year, we are having our irrigated customers have their systems marked by their irrigation company so the VALVE BOXES can be located. In the past we have always marked the heads ourselves prior to aerating, but we always miss a valve box here or there. Instead of replacing busted covers, we decided to go this route instead.

    One company came and marked the heads but did not locate the valve boxes. We called and the response was: "we aerate too, and if we hit them we just throw new covers on".

    We are not an irrigation company and do not carry covers with us, and I can't afford to replace covers on a regular basis. And for us, it is not if but when. We will hit them if they are not marked or clearly visible.

    So I was just curious how many of you mark valve boxes as well.

  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,764

    Time and material. Time and material. I'll flag the rain detector if you pay T&M
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    I have a question. We charge $70 just to show up on site for anything. Do you really think a customer is going to pay me $70 to come out and flag the system?
    Charge them an extra $15-$30 to flag it yourself. Don't do it for free.
    On the rare occasion that I have flagged, no I do not flag the boxes. rarely are they in the grass here.
  4. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    The customer is going to pay either way, whether it be me or the irrigation company. Paying to have it marked is not an option. And my time is going to cost more than $15 at the properties i'm talking about.

    We don't want to do the flagging because if I hit something it is my fault, I will have to pay for the repair. If another party marks it and I hit something unmarked, they take the blame.

    This year, we ran over an unmarked box and it busted the main line. This may not be a typical probem, but i'm glad I wasn't responsible for the repair fee.
  5. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,690

    I get calls to flag alot in the fall. I charge my regular service call rate I will usually throw the flags in no charge if it's a small place but if it's a bundle I am charging. I will flag boxes if I think they will get hit I also flag other stuff that my cause a problem if I see even if they don't ask me to like well lights etc.
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  6. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,174

    It's a normal service call and saves a lot of fooling around after the fact. If you've got a remote you should be in and out in under an hour and deserve the $95.00 we charge.

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