North American Network Operators Group

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RE: Facts, Statistics and Urban Legends from the backhoe convention

  • From: Roeland Meyer
  • Date: Wed Dec 06 04:39:45 2000

> From: Sean Donelan [mailto:[email protected]]
> Sent: Sunday, December 03, 2000 6:59 AM

I noticed these two points, from you message, and moved them together.

If this is the current business case, for excavators;

> A review of 582 damage incidents caused by excavator error resulted
> in an average cost to the excavator of $1,488 per incident.  
> It is often
> less expensive for the excavator to dig through the utilities than
> around them.

Then what do you think would happen if the real costs were 
passed on for them to pay?

> Sprint estimates the cost to repair a single cable cut between
> $50,000 to $65,000.  Loss of Use costs may be over $200,000.

This sounds real accurate. Why aren't the excavators seeing 
these costs? I'd bet a saw-buck that their behavior would be 
modified if this was what they were hit with.

> In one court case, the excavator's president testified that it was
> his company's standard practice to ignore OSHA regulations, 
> ANSI standards,
> and guidelines set out in Bell South brochures and to always 
> excavate with
> mechanized equipment directly over the orange paint marks showing the
> location of underground telecommunications facilities.  He further
> testified that his company averaged one and one-half cable 
> cuts a month,
> and considered damging underground facilities as simple a 
> cost of doing
> business.

I'm only a businessman, but this sounds like he's a creature 
that has adapted adequately to his environment.

> My questions: If he always dug directly over the orange paint 
> marks, why
> was the locate so poor he only hit a cable once ever month and a half?

This one made ne laugh for a solid five minutes. ROTFLMAO!