ygmir wrote:yeah photos can save your butt! I did that on the recent cemetery parking fence project.....one of the locators was there asking me what I was doing. I told him I know that as long as I'm 2' from his marks, I'm not liable for hitting anything......he nodded and said "thanks". And just like Elliot, done it for "proof" of what can't be seen later. Like the Hof. I knew they'd not believe I have rebar on 8" vertical and 16" horizontal centers. Came in handy at building permit retro time...........
Dude, you and everybody else....why do you think I INSIST on all my geotechs taking pictures before the job? So far, after 21 years as a professional excavator, I have hit absolutely NO underground utilities, I have come in contact with ZERO overhead powerlines, and my crews have zero lost-time accidents (BTW, this kind of record is normally unheard of for any contractor or professional excavator.) I am ferocious when it comes to safety. I have but one inviolate rule: EVERY MAN AND WOMAN GOES HOME SAFE EVERY NIGHT - to family, to kids, to those that love and need them. We have 'tool box talks', and we insist on participation.
Keeping up with all the tickets I submit used to be a nightmare. I stayed nights and weekends just to get some of that shit done. Now, I have FINALLY gotten enough experience and software to where it's as smooth as clockwork.
I insist on something called 'positive response'. I have to hear from every utility listed on the job ticket in one of three ways: one, they put marks on the ground, marking the location of utilities. The second is the single flag or mark on the ground stating 'OK" or "Clear". The third way, they give me either a phone call or set up a utility 'meet', and we sort it out. If they don't call, the one-call center provides me their phone number, and I WILL call them. That way, there is no question.
Still, there are times when you're way out on the edges of sanity. I always talk to property owners where I dig because of the existence of the underground 'dog fence'. It's something inside the property owner's house that sets up a RF 'barrier' around the property. The dog comes close to the barrier, and it gets a warning shock from its collar. Hitting one of those shuts the barrier down, the dog gets loose, and could get killed - liability.
One time we were drilling in Kansas City near Holmes Park on the site of a home that had been vacated 40 years ago. We thought nothing was there. Suddenly, the drill, which was coring rock, hit a piece of vitrified clay pipe in one of the core runs and it slowed down, It speeded up again, and then another inch of vitrified clay pipe. We emptied the core in the box...and the vitrified clay pipe cores had a full 3" of concrete separating them. The sewer utility lateral had been abandoned. No harm, no foul, as it was not in use and would never be used again.
Another time in Kansas City, we started having water pour out of an auger hole. It stunk to high heaven. We thought we'd accidentally hit a sewer pipe, but a call to their metro sewer people brought out their locators with maps. We were 300 feet away from the nearest sewer pipe. It turned out that the adjacent highway embankment had never been dewatered during construction, so all that water in excess used to bring the embankment soil up to an optimum moisture content came out of the hole. And it was stagnant, which is why it stunk.
Anything can happen, and often does. I take it in stride, since I've already made the utility notifications and investigated the area with a field visit myself to make sure of what's going on. Otherwise, I could be a nervous wreck.
Trilo, you can be extremely proud of your granddad. Miss dig is a great service in Cali, long may it continue.