I Guess If You Are Going To Fuck Up, Go Big

I would hate to be the guy that did this.

I think I would REALLY hate to be the guy that had to tell the utility installers what they have to look forward to.

bad day

16 thoughts on “I Guess If You Are Going To Fuck Up, Go Big

  1. The story:

    I work for a nat gas pipeline company. About a month ago 2 dudes decided to dig in a field beside one guys house with an excavator, never heard why. The hit a 16 inch mainline with ~1000 psi in it, luckily they did not rupture it. Company had to shut the line down, blow off that section, and cut out and replace the damaged part. 2 days of emergency work by a large crew + lost revenue. They never made the call to the One Call (call before you dig) system before they started. Bill will easily be 50K+

    Liked by 1 person

    • 30 years ago I was on a small job when we hit a 1 inch high pressure line. There were two gas lines in the ditch, a live one and a dead one. The dead line was marked and we found that one, but a foot over and a foot down was the live one. I was in the ditch marking the dead line when the excavator hit the live one. You should have seen how fast I moved out of the trench !!. Gas guy told us the good news was that since it was high pressure, you would need a flame thrower to ignite it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually did that, on private property, on about 250 feet of 1 inch black plastic water line.

    Took almost a day and a half to cut away from the auger. That black plastic is good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mine was only 100′ of 1″ supply line for the sprinkler sysgtem. Fortunately, it hadn’t been turned on yet!

      Oh, and I also caught the 12-conductor control cable for the valves. Didn’t cost me more’n $50 to fix and a half a day’s extra work.

      No, I didn’t know it was there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a buddy who is a road construction foreman
    He mentioned once that a contractor hit a phone cable, two men took eight straight hours to solo e and reconnect the hundreds little copper wires (it was a four inch main)
    It costs the contractor 25K nearly twenty years ago, had it been fiber optic the splice costs 250K (although fiber optic may have gotten cheaper since then)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like he hit a 250-pair main cable. Fiber is cheaper to splice/repair nowadays, but due to connection speeds it’s the lost revenue, NOT the physical line loss…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. One call is good, but some cities don’t participate, those needed to be contacted never return your call, and you are forced to do a vacuum excavation (without payment) to keep from dangerous conditions. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • The outfit I used to work for had vacuum trucks. There was some outfit over in Portland digging out a foundation hole for a new building literally right next to an elevated section of highway on Columbia Blvd and Interstate Ave. Apparently there wasn’t room for excavators on this plot so they had one of those sewer clean out vacuum trucks with a boom come out .
      That truck was there every day for months, going down forty feet at a time with extension pipes. It must have cost them at least a quarter of a million dollars to dig that out. It’s pretty amazing how you can almost make surgical holes with one of those.


  5. That’s nothing.

    The lore of the Oil Patch tells us of a crew drilling piles for a plant up in the Fort McMurray tar sands. The boys were augering the holes for piles when a crew of the guys with suits, shiny pristine white hard hats, and clip boards showed up on site to make sure the peasantry and dirt people weren’t screwing up. The story goes that unbeknownst to the rest – one managed to fall into a half-completed hole. When the tall foreheads moved on – the boys went right back to work – and the guy on the auger went back to what he was doing before he was interrupted. What a way to go.

    Phil – my deepest apologies. I should have taken care of this long ago. May I put you up on my blog roll? Best of the year in 2020 to you and your fanboys!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. After Mt. St. Helens blew I went to work on the dredges trying to get the rivers opened back up. First the Columbia for shipping and then the Toutle, where it was all coming from. One blustery day I was on a smaller dredge on the Toutle, smack dab in downtown Kelso going at it. There was so much volcanic ash coming down the river that even with a 24 inch pipe and sweeping back and forth, the dredge was basically sitting on the bottom.
    It would sweep back and forth for a while, we would pull the anchors ahead and it would drag its self along. All at once there was a real bad shudder that went through the whole dredge and the next thing you know that entire 120 foot long two story dredge tilted up on one side like a car that went up a curb with both wheels on one side. Everyone was scrambling to grab onto something to keep from sliding off into the drink.
    Immediately after that there was a huge geyser of water right out in front of the dredge shooting twenty feet in the air.
    We had hit a 4 inch natural gas line and sheared it off, under water.
    You want to talk about shittin’ and gittin?
    It was a mad scramble to shut a bunch of shit off to keep from making a spark and then slacking off the anchor winches to try and get the current to slide the dredge backward,
    You could have thrown a rock and hit City Hall from where we were at on one side of the river a and a crowded tavern on the other.
    That is the job that I originally fucked my back up on, trying to pick up one end of a section of 4 inch gas pipe with one inch thick walls just far enough so some dumbass could slide it over a seam in the deck of a small barge.
    I picked it up, felt something tear in my lower back, held onto it waiting for dumbass to pry it past the lip and finally had to drop it. I turned around to scream at the dumb fucker and he is just standing there watching me.


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