March 15, 2012
By Terry Murphy CLP

Terry MurphyA wise man once said, “If you sit and do nothing, then don’t expect results.”

If you want results, then you have to be proactive and do something. What can a landscaper do now to help manage the underground and damage prevention during the spring rush? Here are some things to think about.

Forecast your locate needs now
Every locate company plans its job activities just like you plan your landscape projects. By forecasting your jobs now with approximate locate requirement dates, it can go a long way toward making sure you get them in on time. If you have a large tree planting project that requires several locates, you are inviting delays if you don’t forecast these jobs well in advance.

Understand locate turn-around time
The turn-around time from calling Ontario One Call to when you can expect locates marked on the ground is five days. This used to be three days, but this was not realistic and really wasn’t being achieved. Turn-around time depends on staffing and locates demand. You can help your locate company help your company by forecasting your needs well in advance.

Plan your jobs now
Just as you are planning ahead with your landscape and tree planting projects, give your job requirements to the locate company in February or early March, not a week before you start your season.

Join your local ORCGA Geographic Council
Each Landscape Ontario Chapter should designate a member to serve on the local or closest ORCGA Council. This will give you access to all the key players in your local area, which will definitely help the Chapter. It will keep you up-to-date on any problems on locates in your area, which may assist you with a quick solution.

Bring up the subject of locates at your next LO Chapter meeting
You will be helping your fellow landscapers by making sure they are aware of some of these facts prior to the start of the season.

You can help yourself and your fellow Chapter members by doing a little proactive planning and forecasting your locate requirements in advance of the start of the season.
Terry Murphy can be reached at