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August 08, 2022American Tent Life



Pete McVey, here! Your resident Tent Guru with a commitment to creating the best tents on the market while educating the public about this passion. Let's talk about underground utilities today! How do you find them? Where are they? Who should locate them? Who should make the call? Should you make the call at all?

If you notice paint marks on the pavement, they might be an indication that an underground locating company has been there and has marked the power and the gas, and the telephone to ensure no one hits it. 

Imagine coming to a site without all of this located and marked, and having a customer ask you to put up a tent on the back of a building for additional storage or whatever plan to use it for. What are the chances that you hit something? The chances are high! But when the pavement is clearly marked, the chances of hitting something decrease significantly.

So, who did this and why? In Wisconsin, it's called Diggers Hotline and it's a locating service that's paid for by the utilities to locate their utilities that are buried underground so that won’t be damaged when a tent is put up. Other states have various names for this, but all 50 states in our country have some sort of locating service. This is also free, as it’s paid for by the utilities. 

The law in all 50 states is as follows: It is he who disturbs or pierces the soil that is responsible for making the call to get this locating done.

So, this means that if you're asking your customers to make sure that the utilities are marked, you're violating the law. It’s essential that you get a program in place to start this locating in-house, as you are responsible. 

The next question is, once it’s marked, how far away do we have to stay? Well, it depends on the utility; some utilities require 3ft or 2ft, and some just 18in. One trick that will keep you from hitting anything is to use the 42-in stick on your truck to measure, and never get any closer than its length.  

If you're not doing utility locating, please start doing it! Not only is it the law, but the people on your team are your most important asset — you want to keep them safe. Contact Diggers Hotline in Wisconsin — this process is called utility locating. 

If you have any questions, give us a call at American Tent and we can direct you to the correct people!

Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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