Page 17 - Alabama 811 Magazine
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Anthony: The biggest impact I have noticed has been the change in the facility owner’s length of time to mark their facility. The change to two full working days, excluding the day of notification, has been extremely helpful by giving adequate time to complete locates. Secondly, changing a ticket’s life span from 10 to 20 days has also been noticed. While it might save a caller to 811 from having to update their ticket
as often, it doesn’t match up as well to the fact that paint on the ground only lasts for a short time. I feel the previous 10-day period was a better fit.
Kristopher: I’m probably not the best person to respond to this question, as I have nothing to compare the current law to. Having said that, ask me that same question in a year or two.
Jason: The only change in law that I have witnessed has been the extension of the time the ticket was due. For example, when I started 7 years ago tickets were due (not counting weekends or holidays) 48 hours for the time
the ticket was called in. Now we have additional time locating because tickets
are now due 48 hours plus the day the ticket was called in. Say for instance, someone calls a ticket in at 3:30 pm on a Wednesday. It used to be that the ticket was due at 3:30 on Friday afternoon. Now it is due at 7 am on Monday which is a tremendous help for utility locators. It does not make us feel as rushed and helps to limit the stress we already see during the workday.
811 Magazines: What one thing if changed would dramatically impact on-time locating?
Anthony: I believe most single lot locate tickets are easily completed on time. The challenge lies with large locate tickets that can involve thousands of feet to locate on a single ticket. We
can be overrun by a single contractor calling in numerous tickets, at the same time, all involving thousands of feet to locate. This single caller can bog down the entire locate process. More strict guidelines as far as length of a locate
as well as how many tickets one caller can have open at a single time would improve the overall goal of on time locates. Also, requiring callers to white line areas of excavation would greatly improve locate efficiency. Lots of time
can be wasted simply by overmarking areas that aren’t going to be excavated.
Kristopher: To me, it is clearly the amount of time a locator is given to complete a ticket that involves large geographic areas or thousands of feet on both sides of the road.
Jason: As I stated earlier, a lot
of contractors will help you out tremendously as long as you keep in contact with them and build a nice rapport with them. That being said some contractors call in a ridiculous number of tickets which they will not be able to work within the given time before the ticket expires and they have to call in a new one. White-lining big jobs also helps us out because we do not spend copious amounts of unnecessary locating which in turn allows us to be able to be more efficient and help to alleviate some stress in our daily lives. Let me just say this about locating. It is definitely not for everyone. The way I see it, every locate you have is basically a puzzle waiting to be solved. You use your resources to wisely make sound decisions and solve the puzzle. It is a very satisfying feeling knowing a job is complete!
 2023, Issue 2 Alabama 811 • 15

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