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Buried Utilities and Locates
Bobcat Service Division
with-operator rentals, excavation services
Having said the foregoing - that all our divisions do require your having obtained your utility locates in advance - we will focus our attention on the Bobcat Services Division and cover this topic from that perspective, athough most all the following does apply to the other service divisions as well.


As with all other matters of planning, safety and legal requirements on a jobsite, the obtaining in advance all necessary utility locates is up to you - the contractor and/or property owner.  We are not contractors, we are service suppliers, working directly for and under you.  This is one of your responsibilities; we will never call in for them on your behalf. 
Besides, remember too, that frequently people call on us for our services very last minute - same day, the day before, 2 days before, etc, and in most cases a locate to be completed needs to be called in about a week (or more) beforehand. 

The fines and potential liability risks are too high, and we make far too little to take on those risks - so we won't dig without the located being done and the paperwork on hand for us.  If they are needed (and in many cases they are) and our operator shows up and you don't have them, he may not dig if he considers the risk too great (it is solely his call), but you will still be billed for and pay then the minimum charges as applicable for his service call.

You must ensure that the locates are valid.  What does that mean?  Click here for more information, including the some of the following:
Locates consist of 2 things – the paint marks on the ground – which are important and need to be visible, and the accompanying paperwork (reports and site drawings) that the locators provide for you.  Check your paperwork that they give you – it will have a “best-before” date on it, and that is generally 30 days.
We can say in general terms that the biggest concerns are for buried natural gas supply, and hydro-electricity service.
Next most important are probably those are from the phone company – a main phone trunk line hit would be a disaster to you cost-wise, and even worse would be fibre optics.
Others to consider are cable (however in the past, cable companies were not too careful where they buried their cable lines and up until recently, the cable companies’ position on the matter of locating was to just come out and fix for free any hit wires instead of getting them located in advance), sprinkler/lawn irrigation systems or other private services on the property which won't normally be marked.
City services:  Water and sewer.  Something that many contractors forget about is that when they call in for locates they assume that all buried utilities are located by the locator services.  In almost all municipalities the water and sewer services are owned by the city and the locators do not include locating those, almost ever. Always call the city and check first!

When do you have to have locates?  There are different rules depending on what services you are talking about.  Click here for more information.  And remember: just get in the habit of requesting them every time, for every job, right away.

If we have the locate, is all completely okay? Yes and no. While it is good to have the locate, the fact is that even then we have to dig according to some rules – such as around gas lines.  Click here for more information on this.


In Ontario where do you call?  One locator service is done by Ontario One-Call  1-800-400-2255.
And don’t forget to also call your local municipality for the water and sewer lines to be located.
This subject affects all divisions of our organization - all services that our various branches offer.  Clearly it is a direct issue when looking at our Bobcat Service or Post Hole Drilling Service divisions, as our operator is provided in both of those cases along with the machinery, and much of what happens on the jobsite in relation to utilities will affect not only the customer (you: the general contractor) and the property owner (your client), but can also often have negative consequences potentially for the machine operator (our guy) as well in some cases (here speaking specifically about fines, repair costs and other liability and similar consequences).  He will not provide you some or all of your desired excavation services if you have not done your job first - and that is having recently done your utility locates and having the necessary paperwork on hand for him.
If you are Renting equipment from us, without the operator, we are less involved, however our policy is still officially that you must do your due diligence and have obtained your utility locates in advance before the use of our machinery.  Safety first!
Post Hole Service
for fences and decks
Equipment Rentals
just the machine, without operator