3 Disadvantages of Locating Utility Lines With Backhoes

Backhoes and shovels used to be the best ways to find buried utilities. But being the best didn’t make them good options. The next time you have a project where you need to locate the utilities, find an alternative to backhoes and hand digging because:

3 Disadvantages of Locating Utility Lines With Backhoes

1. There’s no guarantee of accuracy.

Backhoes are a great tool for when a lot of dirt needs to be moved and there aren’t any surprises waiting in the dirt. But if there are pipes, cables, or wires buried underground, backhoes will snap them just as often as they uncover them. Either the utilities will get punctured or snapped at the digging site or the backhoe will stretch a cable too far and it will snap somewhere else.

While hand tools are much less risky because you’re moving less dirt at once, there is still a high chance of damaging the utilities during the process of uncovering them. The risk increases if the ground is rocky or frozen.

2. Precision work takes too long.

Backhoes can’t be used if you need precise results, even if the operator has years of experience. Hand digging tools like shovels offer more control. But this switch comes at a high cost in terms of man hours and your overall schedule. Hand digging is inefficient, especially if it has to be done carefully.

3. Electrical cables are too hazardous.

Electrical cables are one of the most dangerous work site hazards. While pipes and other cables are just as liable to break, exposing live wires is dangerous for everyone nearby. This can lead to direct liability suits. Even the indirect consequences are too hazardous, such as an injury claim from workers who were suddenly left without light or power. Whether you’re using a hand tool or a mechanical vehicle, digging will eventually result in electrical dangers.

Hydrovacs and other vacuuming excavation tools are a much safer alternative, and they keep you on schedule. Go to 4 Warriors Hydro Excavating to learn more.