Cut a cable today........

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by N.TX, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. N.TX

    N.TX LawnSite Senior Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 473

    I cut some kinda of cable looks like a telephone maybe today while digging ... I should have called to have stuff marked but i didnt because it wasnt much. It was after 5 so im going to call them in the morning ...hopefully they dont fine me. Have any of you guys done this before when you havent had them flag the stuff??? How much should I expect to have to shell out?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Here are the steps:

    1. ALWAYS call Miss Utility before digging, even if the area is small, even if
    there is absolutely guaranteed no wires in the area.

    2. When you cut a cable, ALWAYS inform the customer right away!
    This allows you and the customer to figure out which utility it is.
    IF the customer isn't home, either leave a note or a message.
    If you forgot to do it, get to it tomorrow, do not call a customer past 9pm or before 9am.

    3. Last but not least, see if you can have them call the utility.

    They don't normally fine, to my understanding.
    But you're lucky it wasn't a power main.

    On another note I learned this same as you, then I also had to listen to that above lecture.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  3. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    we always call utility locates, but when i am at a property i have located like 30 times b4, i know there is nothing on certain areas of a lawn already, but that is the only exception
  4. CrystalCreek

    CrystalCreek LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    UM....Are you sitting down? This could be bad. First you have admitted to not calling the mark outs. Not a good thing. But looking forward, I can tell you it may be very to be expensive. I work for the utility where I live and have seen this too many times before. Hopefully it is just a simple house service and not a big deal. But if its a truck line (Big Cable) than it can cost many thousands to repair.

    First, save yourself the aggravation of trying insurance. They will deny you any coverage since you did not call for the mark out.

    Second, I would recommend that you call the utility at the earliest opportunity. Some utilities will charge you for the customers done time. The longer it takes the utility to find the problem, the more you may pay.

    Third, I would talk to a rep from the company thats cable was damaged. Try to find out if there is going to be repercussions. Sometimes they just let is slide as its not worth going after the person, and sometimes they will drop the hammer on you.

    I dont want to scare you, just prepare you. I have seen many times where an individual has cut a small cable and the utility just fixes it at no cost. I have also seen people go bankrupt after hitting main power lines and leaving an entire community in the dark for 7 hours on july 4th weekend.

    What ever the out come, please PLEASE call for mark outs. They are free in most areas, and if not then just pass the cost to the customer. Its not worth losing sleep or your business. Good luck and let me know how you make out.
  5. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    If you cut it with a shovel and it wasn't deep enough then you will be okay because it was probably a drop was it like 10 colorful wires? If so most it would be is about 200 bucks if they charge you. Now they are charging no matter what for service calls. Be really best buds with the guy that comes out and you should be okay. I have put them together myself not to say its right nor legal but you can buy all the splicing for phone or cable drops at home depot or lowes. Phone and Cable does carry voltage and you can get shocked but it won't kill you.
  6. MeMowLawns

    MeMowLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I worked with a guy one time that cut a big phoneline like half the town was on it.
    They wrote him a fine for 30k he made a paper airplane out of it and told them to
    fly it up there a//. He said he'd file bankrupcy before he'd pay that. They ended up
    settling for 3k on the spot. From what I've heard from him and others that the big fines
    are a bluff move for suckers and insurance. Rarely does an individual have to pay but
    small percentages of them.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    Did it once but now i call 811, that's the # for any state i believe. Here its called Pa one call. Just called today to have them mark 7 sites for me.

    I cut a Verizon telephone line with a brown bed lucky and they didn't bill me. Also found out that Verizon only goes 2-3 inches deep anymore so be careful.
  8. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    **** it all depends on the company. We hit 5 runs of fiber with the auger setting poles in Bonita cost over 300k to repair it was waved due to it wasn't marked we had locates. I've hit plenty of 100 pairs + and never got in trouble but they were located some were off some dead on. Hit a 2 inch gas line cost the company 40 thousand to fix we got sued for all of it. It just depends on how much a company has to lose.

    It doesn't matter what the company does it has to be to National electric code for it to hold up in court. Take pictures!!!!! Hope its out of easement.

    You can get a bill from the company and fine from law enforcement by the way.
  9. N.TX

    N.TX LawnSite Senior Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 473

    Well it was a very small line ....probably like a quarter inch line at most. Yes I knew I should have called but I was digging up fence posts that were already there and the line was like an inch from it. I guess I will see tomorrow what happens.
  10. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    It's only a drop then they won't charge you unless they are just a holes. You could fix it yourself in 5 mins

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