Tractor Tips

Calling 811

Before You Get to Work, You Might Want to Make a Call

Perhaps most people know to call 811 a few days before digging in their front or back yard. So, when operating a tractor, when do you need to make the call? Because there are many things underground that you may not be aware of, 811 was setup to locate hazards and mark them on any land where you may be using your tractor to power a post hole digger, backhoe or other excavating or tillage attachment. Things such as water lines, electrical wiring, telephone lines, cable TV lines, and natural gas service pipelines may all be hidden underground. Unfortunately, people might not think about this when preparing to work the land with their tractor. Remember when working the ground, tractors can hit these underground obstructions. 

To help you avoid making an excavating or tractor operating mistake, here's a list of different tractor operations that may require you to call 811 beforehand:

  • Auguring / post hole digging including tree & shrub planting
  • Ditch cleaning / waterway construction
  • Removing trees or stumps
  • Deep tilling / sub-soiling
  • Contouring
  • Terracing
  • Building fence
  • Drain tiling
  • Grading
  • Ripping
  • Soil sampling
  • Clearing or grubbing
  • Trenching

When you call 811, one or more technicians from the involved utility companies will come out and mark the buried lines with flags or paint. Utility companies recommend not using powered equipment within 24" of the marked location.

So the next time you want to do any of the preceding activities, it's best to plan ahead by calling 811.  Your safety depends on it.