One of the things I hear often from potential clients who want a utility locating survey performed on a large job site is, “It will only take a day or two because I don’t think there’s much there.” However, job site size does matter - why?
A large job site for our typical clients would be anything over a couple of acres.
But, it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s two acres or twenty-two acres, I’m always hearing the same comment..."it should only take a day or two, I don't think there is much there. "
Size matters here because the larger the area the more time is required for us to carry out the work. There’s a direct correlation. We take the time to explain the reasons why a "day or two" might not be sufficient.
The conversation usually follows with me explaining that just because they’re assuming “there’s not much there”, our company can never make that same assumption.
"In our line of work it’s inviting trouble to make assumptions - so we never do."
Our livelihood, and also that of our clients, depends on us providing the most accurate information we can to make every job a safe job. We still have to approach any size of job, large or small, with our same "10-Step Utility Locating Protocol™" to ensure a safe outcome.
We never cut corners with safety. A safe process is a time consuming one because it requires scanning the survey area with at least the three primary pieces of locating equipment our technicians carry with them.
Utility locating can be like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. It’s not always a linear progression. But by following our proprietary "10-Step Utility Locating Protocol" and using all the tools we have at our disposal we will provide the best possible chance of solving the puzzle of what’s really going on under the ground.
After explaining to the prospective client the reasons why we set specific time-frames for our jobs, and that large areas require larger amounts of time, I’ll ask if their scope of work can be scaled down.
For example, I’ll ask if it’s really necessary for the whole area to be surveyed? If they’re just installing a pipe then they’ll likely only need the trench line cleared; If they’re intending to carry out soil-borings then we can just scan each location and so on. Many times there’s no real need to scan the whole site.
I make it my job to try and find an effective and alternate solution to reduce time and cost for the client if possible. And, most often these are scenarios the client hadn’t even considered.
Educating the client in the reasons why we do things in a certain way, and seeking to come up with a solution to their problem is something I find myself doing pretty much every day and it is something I find very satisfying.
So the next time you call, I will be more that happy to help you find the best solutions for your next project!
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