“On my tombstone, it will say, ‘someone needs to write this down.’”
Manager of Locate Solutions
Badger Infrastructure Solutions
In his 16 years in the industry, AJ Clark has seen it all—from working on excavation projects, to locating for utilities, to his current responsibility for managing locate solutions across the United States for Badger Infrastructure Solutions. In an industry where mistakes can cost millions, he knows what it takes to get excavators and facility owners on the same page.
While a Normal Ticket can meet the needs of simple excavation projects, larger or more complex projects are often better served by filing a Meet Notification (commonly known in the construction industry as a “Meet Ticket”). Consider filing a Meet Ticket if a project will be completed over time, if sections need to be marked at different times, or if the work will require marking more than 2000 linear feet or crossing county lines.
Any time you open a new ticket, you can choose to open either a Normal Ticket or a Meet Ticket. A Meet Ticket takes a little more time up-front, but it’ll save time in the long run. A Meet Ticket:
- Takes less time than what might be needed to open and manage dozens of Normal Tickets.
- Helps avoid needless work when plans change, which is common on large projects.
- Helps reduce the strain on facility locators, like in rural areas where there may be fewer resources available.
- Before a large-scale construction project, AJ — with the advice of GSOC — worked with a general contractor to set up a Meet Ticket for about 120 miles of linear construction. This worked well for the contractor, as they did not have to regularly update the tickets. The utility owners also benefited because they did not have to locate everything at once. In this real-life example, all parties were able to communicate and work together to achieve a better result by using a Meet Ticket.
As AJ says, “If you’re going to need to update tickets several times, you should probably consider a Meet Ticket.”
A couple additional things to know:
- Meet Tickets require documentation. A link to the current suggested form can be found below.
- Meet Tickets are each valid for up to six months.
A Meet Ticket promotes continuous and ongoing communication among everyone who is necessary for a safe project. AJ says, “The entire process is about communicating.” Clear communication is essential, whether it takes the form of in-person meetings or phone calls. But, as AJ points out, “communication” can also include white-lining and flags at a jobsite or sharing maps, drawings and positional data files.
It’s also important to build trust between all the individuals and organizations involved in a large project. Projects are always easier and more successful when everyone feels like they’re on the same team, and a Meet Ticket helps everyone in the damage-prevention community collaborate for safety and efficiency.
Badger Infrastructure Solutions’ AJ Clark, sums it up best: “If we all work together, we can make this easier for everyone.”
The Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MnOPS) considers a Meet Notification an important took in damage prevention and issued Alert Notice 01-2022 earlier this year to clarify excavator and owner responsibilities with regard to meet notifications. Click here to view this alert.
Click here to view the current form suggested by MnOPS for documenting the directions for the meet notification as discussed in this post.