BUFFETING

I was reading through some Berkshire Hathaway Letter to Shareholders the other day (don’t ask) and I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I did this for my stakeholders?! Better yet, wouldn’t it be great if everyone did it?! Now I know, we’ve got the CGA’s DIRT Report which is eminently valuable but the BH Letter to Shareholders is more …

4 THINGS THE US IS DOING RIGHT

When we talk about infrastructure, the conversation often revolves around what needs fixing. But in the spirit of Independence Day, let’s flip the script and focus on the positives – specifically, what the U.S. is doing right when it comes to protecting our vital underground utilities. From advanced technology to regulatory measures, here are four standout strategies keeping our subterranean …

CRAZY STORIES FROM UTILITY LOCATORS

Working in the field of locating utilities can be a thankless job, fraught with challenges, and sometimes, sheer absurdities. I was reading through 2 different Reddit threads (1, 2) where locators provided a glimpse into the everyday struggles and occasional joys of the profession and so figured I share a few here. These stories, full of exasperation and humor, also …

EXTERNAL INFLUENCES ON LOCATING

Accurately identifying the location of utility lines is one of the most crucial aspects of any construction or excavation project. Utility locating involves detecting and marking the position of underground utilities to prevent damage and ensure safety during construction. Several factors influence the accuracy of utility locating, and understanding these elements is essential for successful project outcomes. WEATHER Weather conditions …

THE INTERCONNECTEDNESS OF UTILITY LOCATING

Utility locating is a critical process that connects a wide array of industries and stakeholders, ensuring the safety, efficiency, and accuracy of excavation and construction activities. The interconnected nature of this process means that effective communication and data sharing are paramount. To optimize these operations, stakeholders such as contractors, excavators, and drain CCTV operators must have access to updated data …

LEARNING FROM THE TITANIC

I was at a friend’s house the other day, and they were reading a book about survivors’ stories from the Titanic tragedy. I couldn’t help but think about the lessons we can learn from the mistakes made back then. With a bit of googling, I found an insightful article by James B. Battles, PhD, originally written for the medical field. …

GROUND BREAKING MARKETING

Lately, I’ve found myself grappling with a common challenge within the damage prevention industry: while we have a clear objective, the multitude of stakeholders involved often creates a cacophony of voices, making it challenging to effectively communicate the benefits of investing in locating and damage prevention. As someone who ponders marketing frequently, I’m particularly attuned to the complexities of navigating …

HERE’S WHY LOCATORS ARE NOT FIRST RESPONDERS

This article is in response to my first article on this, entitled “Are Utility Locators First Responders?“. In the comments Seth C. Slifer, CSP noted that the Dept. of Homeland has a very specific definition of a first responder and upon further investigation they also have a definition for an emergency response providers. I probably conflated the two in my …

CHATGPT-4o & GOOGLE’S AI FOR DAMAGE PREVENTION

This past week has seen some big announcements from OpenAI and Google concerning new AI tools that they’re launching. I’ve discussed AI a number of times before and I’ll keep bringing it up because it’s the direction that technolgy is heading and thus the direction we as an industry will follow. As technology evolves, so do the tools at our …

THE FORGOTTEN PIECE

I’m taking part in The Roundtable for Contractors today with Planet Underground and so I thought I’d spend some time highlighting what this roundtable is seeking to address. When it comes to damage prevention in the underground utility world, the focus is often on the one-call notification systems, locators marking lines, and utility owners protecting their assets. However, there is …