811 Message Gets Big Push from United Rentals

May 1, 2011
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The world’s largest equipment rental company added “Call 811″ decals to more than 12,000 pieces of rental equipment recently to remind excavators to dig safely and avoid underground utility lines. According to Raymond Alletto, United Rentals vice president, risk management, “This is an opportunity to get the 811 message in front of thousands of contractors at their job sites. It protects our customers and their communities alike.”

The decal program is the result of a new partnership between United Rentals and Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an arrangement that was initiated when John Deere & Co. recommended that the rental industry leader team up with CGA. Deere is a strategic supplier to United Rentals for earthmoving equipment and was a national launch partner of CGA when “Call 811″ went into effect in 2007.

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Alletto emphasizes that, “811 is not only for professional contractors and major excavations-everyone, including homeowners, should be aware that striking a single line can cause injuries and power outages. It can mean repair costs and fines. Every digging project, no matter how small, warrants a call to 811. We are proud to do our part in getting this message out on a national basis.”

CGA has reported that backhoes and trenchers are involved in the majority of reported damages to utilities during excavation. A precautionary call to 811 will notify local utility companies of the intent to dig, so that professional locators can visit the site and mark the approximate locations of underground lines.

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“United Rentals is the rental industry leader in equipment and excavation safety; they have long recognized that safety is good business,” says Bob Kipp, CGA president. “Having 811 decals on United Rentals equipment will reach tens of thousands of excavators each year, before they break any ground.”  