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Best practices for working around shallow utilities???

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by New2TheGreenIndustry, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 925

    So today we were running a Harley rake over yard. Called and had the utilities marked and hand dug a few holes to get an idea of depth on the phone line. Didn't see anything at six inches so we moved forward with the Harley rake. Sure enough the phone cable was snagged in an area at a depth of only about an inch.

    So my question is what is the best practice for dealing with shallow utilities? Do you just tell the home owner that there's a good chance phone or cable will be cut if we proced with a certain service. I know most folks aren't going to be happy about loss of service few possibly a few days? Do you call the utility company and tell them it will most likely be cut and run a temporary above ground line that is visible? Will they even do that?

    Just seems like I try to cover my bases, but still get burned with the 1-2" phone and cable lines.
  2. M&L

    M&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245

    Local utilities should come out and mark it all for you if you give them 24hour notice.

    If you break, you buy.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Always contact underground utilities locator service before any digging, No exceptions.
    easy-lift guy
  4. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 925

    Yes, all utilities were marked. I dug a few holes to see if the line was close to the surface, didn't see anything and moved forward. I guess to make myself more clear, phone and cable are notoriously shallow in my area. There sometimes is no way to renovate a lawn without breaking a line. Just looking for advice from those in similar situations.
  5. twomancrew

    twomancrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 940

    Try hitting a cable wire with an aerator. What the heck are the chances of that. I must be lucky.
  6. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,159

    All the time around here.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,099

    I've cut them edging sidewalks. The cable line to my house is so shallow it pops above ground in spots. Once cut one Friday afternoon before superbowl Sunday.
  8. KLawn75

    KLawn75 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Call and have the utilities marked. Around here, If they don't mark within a certain period of time of you calling, you are legally allowed to dig regardless.

    When they do mark, we are required to stay 2.5 feet from each side of the markings.

    Every time my neighbor aerates his yard, later that day, the phone and/or company shows up and lays a new line. When he had a pool put in, they cut his cable tv. When they ran natural gas to heat the pool, they hit the cable tv again.
  9. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 925

    So, let's say this is true for all areas. How are you supposed to seed, sod, etc over those markings? I think even if you were to work over those areas by hand there's still a high probability of cutting the line with a mattock or shovel.
  10. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    i did that last year. lol.


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