John Deere, Moline, Ill., last week announced its partnership in an important new safety initiative that will standardize and simplify the “Call Before You Dig” effort for professionals and homeowners alike with a new, nationwide 811 number. John Deere was named the national manufacturer partner for the launch, working in conjunction with the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an industry group committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground facilities.
The new Federal Communications Commission-designated 811 number was created to eliminate confusion of multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers currently used across the country. A lack of knowledge by the public about the importance of having utility lines marked before digging can result in injury or death, costly damages to underground infrastructure, and utility service disruptions to thousands of people at a time. Now, homeowners and contractors can call one easy-to-remember number to have crews mark a requested site for underground lines prior to any excavation.
"We highly value this opportunity to support this important 811 effort because it is consistent with John Deere's emphasis on safety, on the job and at home," said Bob Brock, senior vice president, sales and marketing in John Deere's Construction & Forestry Division. "Ultimately, we anticipate that the new national number will become top-of-mind to contractors and consumers and help reduce or eliminate the more than 680,000 utility interruptions each year."
The new number will be launched to the public on May 1, 2007, in Washington, D.C. In addition to a financial commitment, John Deere will promote the new number through its existing industry communications channels, trade shows, magazine ads, online and printed materials. John Deere's logo is also included on the new Call811.com website, which features information for both homeowners and contractors about the importance of calling before digging.
John Deere is an international provider of advanced products and services for agriculture and forestry, construction, lawn and turf care, landscaping and irrigation. John Deere also provides financial services worldwide and manufactures and markets engines used in heavy equipment.