The Importance of 811

When you're planning an excavation project on a residential or commercial property, digging safety is the number one priority. One critical early step that you should take long before breaking ground is picking up the phone and calling 811.

That number represents one of the most important calls you can make if you work in excavation. Whether you're digging larger trenches or creating holes to plant trees, you're required to call 811 before starting a project.

The importance of 811 is that this line is designed to provide you with necessary information about underground structures on or near your property. These may include utility lines, sewage pipes, network lines and more. You'll need to add this number to your checklist right away for the sake of your finances and worker safety. While it may seem like a forgettable step in the process, it's essential to preventing costly and even dangerous errors on the job.

When you call before starting your project, you accomplish multiple goals at once.

1. Ensure Job Site Safety

Safety is critical when you work with equipment on an excavation job site. To protect yourself and those around you, it's best to call 811 at least two or three days before starting an excavation job. Doing so is required even for smaller digging projects, and for good reason — residential and commercial properties often have pipes and wires running beneath them, and they could cause serious damage or injury if disturbed.

You can prevent injuries and service outages by learning where the high-risk areas are and how to stay clear of them. This knowledge offers a simple yet effective way to protect both the workers on your property and the surrounding areas.

2. Avoid Legal Issues

Calling 811 is more than a precaution. It's also the law. If you fail to call before you dig, the consequences could include major fines — potentially up to $10,000. In addition to any legal fines and fees you might face, you'll also be responsible for the damages you cause. These costs add up fast.

When you make the call, professionals will visit the site and mark the unsafe areas. This process can save you time and energy by ensuring your excavation spot is suitable for the project.

3. Simplify Equipment Selection

If you're planning a project, we recommend calling 811 as soon as possible. If there are any facilities beneath your project site, they could determine the equipment you need to use for your digging applications. Certain types of equipment could pose a risk when you're working near pipes or utility lines.

For example, if your project takes place within 2 feet of an underground facility, it's best to stay away from bulky machines like trenchers and excavators. Having facility lines marked helps you employ resources that increase project site safety and efficiency.

Dial The Cat® Rental Store Today

If you're looking for affordable rental equipment that can support your next excavation project, The Cat® Rental Store is here to help. We have a full inventory of high-quality digging and loading equipment from Caterpillar and other well-known brands. You can browse through our product listings to learn more, request a quote or call 1-800-RENT-CAT with questions today. Rent whatever you need from the people who do whatever it takes.

Find a Cat Rental Store Near You