John Deere has partnered with the Common Ground Alliance, an industry organization that aims to save lives and prevent damage to underground facilities, to launch 811, a nationwide, “Call Before You Dig” number.
Created to eliminate the confusion of various “Call Before You Dig” numbers currently in use, the FCC-designated 811 number provides one simple number to call to have utility crews mark a requested site for underground lines before digging. The number, available for use nationwide beginning May 1, routes calls to the local One Call Center for each area. The One Call Center will then ask the location of the digging job and call the necessary utility companies, who will send a professional locator to mark utility lines for free within a few days.
According to John Deere, the public’s lack of knowledge about the importance of marking utility lines before digging can lead to death or injury, as well as costly damages to underground infrastructure and utility service disruptions to thousands of people. Bob Brock, senior vice president, sales and marketing in John Deere’s Construction and Forestry Division, says the new national number aims to reduce the more than 680,000 utility interruptions each year.
“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,” Brock says. “Calling 811 has the potential to save service outages, time, money and, most importantly, save lives.”
John Deere will use its existing industry communications channels, trade shows, magazine advertisements and online and printed materials to encourage use of the 811 number. For more information, visit the Call811 Web site at http://www.call811.com/.