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811 Tips for Excavators

The damage prevention industry has many moving parts. Each stakeholder plays an important role in making the 811 process work effectively. If everyone involved works to make their area of responsibility more efficient, the entire 811 system will be able to function like a well-oiled machine.

The 811 System can only  work efficiently when we work together

Ways You Can Help

Provide Quality Information

Be sure to provide accurate and detailed information when starting a ticket

Be Specific About Location & Dimensions

Give Good Contact Name & Phone #

Be sure to provide accurate and detailed information when starting a ticket

  • Providing good contact information sounds obvious, but many tickets are received with a bad phone number or a phone that goes straight to a voicemail box that is full.

  • To avoid delays, provide the contact information for someone who is on-site or familiar with the dig-site and schedule.
  • Providing good contact information sounds obvious, but many tickets are received without a name or phone number.

  • To avoid delays, provide the contact information for someone who is on-site or familiar with the dig-site and schedule.

Give Accurate Description of Work Being Performed

  • Make sure to provide an accurate description of the work being performed.

  • Providing more detail enables locators to address internal concerns in advance, arrive better prepared, and get straight to business.

  • In the case of an apartment complex, or specific lot numbers, individual building or lot numbers should go on different tickets. Since these building numbers or lot numbers cannot be related to a specific address, they require different notifications.

  • When excavation involves more than one street, When working at an intersection, the intersection can go on one notification. If the excavation is at an intersection and continues down one street, then that information can go on one notification. If the excavation is at an intersection and continues down two streets, the second street requires another notification.

  • Provide accurate driving directions with distances and cardinal headings (North, South, East, West) when working in rural areas.
  • Make sure to provide an accurate description of the work being performed.

  • Providing more detail enables locators to address internal concerns in advance, arrive better prepared, and get straight to business.

  • In the case of an apartment complex, or specific lot numbers, individual building or lot numbers should go on different tickets. Since these building numbers or lot numbers cannot be related to a specific address, they require different notifications.

  • When excavation involves more than one street, When working at an intersection, the intersection can go on one notification. If the excavation is at an intersection and continues down one street, then that information can go on one notification. If the excavation is at an intersection and continues down two streets, the second street requires another notification.

  • Provide accurate driving directions with distances and cardinal headings (North, South, East, West) when working in rural areas.

Manage Ticket Quantity

  • In addition to improving the quality of information you provide, we also ask that you manage the quantity of your requests.

  • For larger projects, the area noted on the request should be no more than what can be worked during the 20 working day period.

  • §37-15-4 (h) (Section 37-15-4) Except for those persons submitting design or survey locate requests, no person, including operators, shall request markings of a site unless excavation is scheduled to commence. In addition, no person shall make repeated requests for remarking, unless the repeated request is required for excavating to continue or due to circumstances not reasonably within the control of the person.

Give Sufficient Notice & Eliminate Unnecessary Requests

  • It’s important that you request utility locates with sufficient notice to be marked, but not more than you can reasonably begin within the life of the ticket.

  • Too many tickets at once can put a strain on the system and keep locators from getting to more time-sensitive sites. So, avoid requesting “backup” sites to be marked, or creating “just in case” tickets.

  • Active tickets should match the actual schedule of the work being performed and follow the requirements in your state dig law.

  • Indicate the Date and Time you plan to start the work. It is very important not to begin work prior to the legal start date and time. The legal start date and time is two working days, not counting the day of notification, after the notification was made based on proposed date of excavation. “Working Day” is a 24-hour period commencing the beginning of the start of the next working day from the time of receipt of the notification, excluding Saturday, Sunday and the nine holidays outlined in the Alabama Code Title §37 Chapter 15 Section 1-11 Underground Damage Prevention Legislation.

  • Notification of excavation can be up to 10 working days prior to the start of excavation and up to 30 working days prior to demolition.

  • Locate information is dispatched to the member underground facility operators. The member underground facility owners, or their representatives, will mark their buried facility by the legal due date and time.

Remove Completed Requests

  • Avoid locate renewals and remarks on jobs that have been completed.

  • Often locate requests are updated or refreshed long after work has been finished.

  • This causes locators to spend time marking inactive job sites when they could be marking active ones.

  • §37-15-4 (h) No person shall make repeated requests for remarking, unless
    the repeated request is required for excavating to continue or due to circumstances not reasonably within the control of the person.