Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Karma- she's a beitch

So, Monday I hit a 300 pair phone line.
Broke the conduit and made a hole in it- didn't knock anyone off.

No- it wasn't marked.............because the Foreman had me digging outside the dig permit.

This is what $28,000 looks like when it's not being wased in DeeCee.

Yesterday, some utility contractor broke the main feed to Hondo, Tx and we were offline all last night and most of today. When the cable rep. told me about it, I forgot to ask if it was just a big co-ax cable, or does the cable co. now own a utility company*?

* The saying goes- 'if you hit a fiber optic line, just stop and leave the keys in the tractor, because the owner of that line will own the company (for as much as it costs to fix it)"


  1. About ten years ago, we were extending driveway culverts, which were over the fiber optic toll cables.

    We came to a spot where the cable was placed in a bore that crossed the highway.

    Having a hunch, I stopped the operator and we went to hand digging to prevent damaging the cables.

    Within 6 inches of the bottom of the ditch, we found the bundle of cables. There were six bundles, which held a bunch of fiber optic cables in each bundle.

    The only thing I can determine is that the contractor that placed the cables was in a hurry and just threw the cables in the bore pit; hoping they would never be damaged. Instead of making sure the cables were the correct depth, they just laid it on the back slope of the bore pit, which left them way too shallow.

    1. Yeah, I've sen that, too.

      A good operator or spotter can tell when somethings not right. I've told my spotter that we were in a trench because the dirt was too soft for virgin soil or it's completely different from what I've been pulling out.

      The problem is- in order to be a good spotter, you have to give a shit, the only guy we have like that is the Foreman who's retired from SAWS.

  2. A few years back, we put up a rail fence along the front of the property. We called the "dig" number and had dozens of nice little flags from the phone people and the gas people, as well as for the underground power feeds.

    I was very careful to avoid the paint lines by a foot or more when using my neighbor's Bobcat with the post drill. Got the fence up without seeing any cables.

    After I returned the Bobcat, the neighbor came by and told me his phone was out. The junction box that serves him is a third of the way across my front lot line, and the paint lines clearly showed his line safely away from where I dug.

    When the phone tech came out, he found that the line that was marked was running almost three feet off the actual line - which ran right next to a post hole. The auger just barely caught the line.

    Someone wasn't paying close attention when spraying that paint.

    1. Those paint lines aren't always on the line. All they really mean is that this is where it (prints, locator or what I remember) is close to.

      A locator who's been burned by line damage that he mismarked will make the line and put a dot 2-3 feet on either side of the line that means *The line is where it's supposed to be, but it could be here or here .

  3. Invent a way to splice Fibre and become a millionaire. Send me money when you do.

  4. Fiber optic cable is easy to fix, but the lost revenue can run as much as six figures per hour.