The Common Ground Alliance, an organization focused on protecting underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them, announced a national partnership with United Rentals.
United Rentals will place more than 12,000 “call 811” decals on its equipment to remind customers to call the national 811 phone number before digging. When customers call 811 before digging, they reach a one-call center, which notifies utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.
CGA estimates that 170,000 underground utility lines were damaged last year during excavation, and one in three incidents were caused by an excavator’s failure to call 811 before digging. Backhoes and trenchers were the equipment used in 63 percent of the reported damages, with hand tools (21 percent) and drilling equipment (10 percent) factoring in as well.
“As a company that rents thousands of pieces of excavating equipment every day, we recognize our responsibility to provide our customers with the resources they need to dig safely,” said Raymond Alletto, vice president of United Rentals Risk Management.
The partnership developed in large part because of the efforts of Deere & Company, which recommended United Rentals partner with CGA. Deere is a strategic supplier to United Rentals for earthmoving equipment, and it was a national launch partner of CGA when 811 went into effect in 2007.
Information on CGA can be obtained from www.commongroundalliance.com.
Based in Greenwich, Conn., United Rentals is No. 1 on the RER 100, the largest equipment rental company in the world.