Critical path methods

Sprinkus

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
San Antonio, TX
I have posted my methods (which are ever evolving) many times, I was wondering about you.

Where, what, when, why and how?

Electrical and hydraulic.

Where: The site that no one told me a contractor was working at.
What: Electrical, hydraulic, sewer, gas, drainage, etc.
When: The last possible second before the excavation equipment starts digging.
Why: To prevent damage to existing infrastructure that could take utilities offline for days or weeks.
How: By screaming insanely, swinging my locating equipment around wildly, and threatening to shock people with my ground fault locator. Once everyone is scared away I have I small window to do the locates before the police arrive.
 

Delmarva Keith

LawnSite Senior Member
I like Sprinkus’ answer but two other methods spring to mind.

Method one, observe what’s going on, listen to customer issues and formulate most likely first thing to check. A wise one once told me that when you hear hoofbeats, don’t go looking for zebras. This method sometimes works, sometimes not. Also can result in a call back because there was more than one thing wrong somewhere else and that other thing got overlooked.

Method two: start at the very beginning and work through the entire chain of dependencies for whatever it is, methodically, testing (and often experimenting as needed), changing only one thing at a time if something is to be changed, and observing very closely. Nothing is left out and nothing is missed, even if doing one thing seems to conclusively identify and/or fix the problem. Start at the beginning and end at the end. If you haven’t checked everything, you’re not done.
 

Wet_Boots

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
metro NYC
Whatever the situation, try to find an encouraging word. Customers will appreciate it. Beyond the customer relations aspect of it, there is some sly humor to be had in complimenting work that would proudly display in the hacks and pikers thread.
 
Whatever the situation, try to find an encouraging word. Customers will appreciate it. Beyond the customer relations aspect of it, there is some sly humor to be had in complimenting work that would proudly display in the hacks and pikers thread.
I try to always think in similar situations, "Everything (almost) is easy once you know what you're doing and harder than heck when you don't."
 
OP
1idejim

1idejim

LawnSite Fanatic
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This is more of what I had in mind.

Everyone should begin with
1) water and power are on

And go from there.

Electrically I prefer to measure continuity/resistance (power off) first and then proceed to (power on) voltage related testing.

Hydraulically you have wells/meters/backflow to contend with along with isolation valves which can lead you in different directions.

Which paths do you follow as a rule?
 

frumdig

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
The Midsouth
First thing, politely take in all the info customer/landscaper/whoever tells you. Then attempt to completely block out all the useless info you’ve been given so it does contaminate your thought process.

or go the aggressive route like sprinkus and run them off before you have to hear them talk for 30 min.

I wish I could get back all the time I’ve stood next to a customer who is trying to find a particular sprinkler head (while the system is not on) “they just get covered up with dirt grass and mulch, the head should be right here” as they finger thru the grass trying to find it. “How will you ever find my sprinkler head”
 

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