When working outdoors, electricians may undertake excavation work to access utility lines buried underground or install new electric cables. As such, they require equipment that can help them dig up earth up to the desired depth. In this case, a backhoe or bobcat would come in handy. However, most electricians do not own such equipment, meaning they have to hire a bobcat service provider whenever they require such equipment. Below are some of the key factors electricians should consider when hiring backhoe services or bobcat services.
Excavation Safety Guidelines
Excavations undertaken with the aim of reaching underground installations are potentially risky because one could accidentally damage utility lines such as gas pipelines. This would greatly inconvenience consumers who rely on the affected utility lines, contaminate the environment with toxic gases or chemicals, thereby endangering the lives of both people and animals, as well as increase the risk of fire outbreaks. For these reasons, it is wise to hire a backhoe service provider like Can-Duit Electric LLC with a good grasp of excavation safety guidelines. For instance, most states require electricians intending to undertake excavation work to inform the relevant authorities at least two full working days prior to commencement of digging, drilling, or blasting operations. This timeframe enables local authorities to relay the same information to service providers with underground utility lines within the affected area for purposes of laying appropriate markers.
In cases where the owners of utility lines cannot be reached within a reasonable timeline (as required by federal, state, or local law), the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) allows excavators to begin digging operations provided they do so cautiously and use appropriate detection equipment to locate underground installations. Excavators who fail to abide by or observe the relevant safety guidelines could face severe penalties including fines of up to $161,000 as proposed under OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). In Illinois, the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act governs the removal or installation of underground utilities.
Subsurface Utility Data Standards
Besides understanding the relevant excavation safety guidelines, a bobcat service provider must have good grasp of subsurface utility data standards. A good example is ASCE 38-02, which is a national engineering standard that was developed to help project planners, owners, and constructors avoid the risks associated with existing underground utilities. To achieve this goal, the ASCE 38-02 standard proposes assigning “utility quality level” (QL) data to each utility line segment during the planning/design phase. According to an excavation guideline published by the Pipeline Association for Public Awareness, subsurface information levels include:
• Quality Level (QL) D: This is the lowest and most basic level of subsurface utility data. Data at this level is based solely on existing records.
• Quality Level C: This is the most widely available and used level of subsurface utility data. It supplements level D data and includes information on visible utility facilities like manholes. Experts in the Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) industry reckon that this type of data has an accuracy rate of 70-85%.
• Quality Level B: Subsurface information available at this level supplements level D and C data. Moreover, it addresses inaccuracies related to unrecorded underground installations, lost references, and inaccurate utility installation records.
• Quality Level A: This is the highest level of subsurface utility data accuracy. The information available at this level includes every bit of data accessible at all other levels as well as precise three-dimensional horizontal and vertical data related to underground utilities and above ground features. By hiring an underground electric lines excavator with in depth knowledge of subsurface utility data standards, you would enjoy benefits such as lower risk of damaging other utility lines and lower risk of facing lawsuits filed by aggrieved parties. Moreover, such an expert would be able to interpret correctly data provided by utility companies.
In -depth Knowledge of Underground Installation Identifiers
All underground installations are marked using different identifiers. As such, hire an industrial underground electric lines excavator with in depth understanding of the relevant identifiers. To start with, all underground installations must comply with the following color code identifiers:
• Green – drainage and sewerage lines
• Purple – slurry, irrigation, and reclaimed water lines
• Blue – portable water lines
• Orange – communication, alarm/signal, and cable lines
• Yellow – gas, oil, steam, petroleum, gas lines
• Red – electric power lines, cables, conduits, and lighting cables.
• Pink – temporary survey markings
• White – proposed excavation
Moreover, an excavator must be well versed in facility identifier, underground construction, and infrastructure materials codes. Check with local laws. In Illinois Julie must be called in order to mark where all the underground utility lines are located. Remember many underground installations and facilities are not related to electrical projects. Good examples include sewer, storm drainage, water, and Slurry System lines.
Ability to Deploy Trenchless Excavation Technology
In some cases, trenchless excavation may be required, especially when installing commercial underground electric lines under busy public roads. In such cases, open ditch excavation is not viable because it would entail blocking vehicle traffic, thereby inconveniencing commuters. Fortunately, trenchless excavation technology has made it easier to drill underground vertically, horizontally, or in a slanting direction. According to the Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education (CUIRE) based at the University of Texas, Arlington, micro-tunneling equipment based on trenchless technology have been available in the US since 1997. It is worth noting that trenchless technology is more convenient because it causes minimal above ground disruption, is cheaper in some instances, and can help you comply with local excavation regulations.
Since excavating residential underground electric lines is a potentially risky undertaking, go for Can-duit Electric LLC who has appropriate insurance coverage. Firstly, make sure any excavator service provider has physical damage and liability insurance. This type of insurance policy covers the cost of physical damage to personal property (such as a residential house) or non-personal property that may occur at a work site. Other insurance policies that you may consider depending on the nature of excavation work include builder’s risk, worker’s compensation, professional liability, license and permit, and umbrella/excess liability insurance policies.
Experienced Bobcat Operator
Experienced Backhoe Operator
Handling a backhoe and/or a bobcat is quite different from driving a car meaning you should hire a service provider who has qualified and experienced operators. In the US, backhoe operators fall under the category of “heavy equipment” operators. This means they learn how to operate wheel loaders, forklifts, backhoes, bobcats, articulated off-road machinery, excavators, bulldozers, and all-terrain scrapers during training. Bodies that certify bobcat/backhoe operators include the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER), Associated General Contractors of America, National Underground Contractors Association, and Associated Builders & Contractors.
If you intend to undertake a project that involves removal or installation of underground electric cables, it is advisable to hire a suitable excavator like Can-duit Electric LLC. To get the right backhoe service or bobcat service evaluate candidates based on reputation, understanding of excavation safety guidelines, understanding of subsurface utility data standards, good grasp of underground installation identifiers, ability to deploy trenchless excavation technology, and insurance coverage. .