Wisconsin Public Service Company Counts on Ditch Witch Locators for Accuracy

A key element in preventing accidental damage to the nation’s underground utility infrastructure is the nation’s One-Call system.

Calling 811 from anywhere in the country connects the caller to the nearest One-Call center which requests member companies to locate and mark their buried infrastructures prior to construction that involves excavation (in damage prevention parlance, excavation is any activity that disturbs the soil).

The Wisconsin Public Service Corp. (WPS) serves more than 437,000 electric customers and 317,000 natural gas customers in central and northeast Wisconsin and an adjacent portion of upper Michigan. Most communities in the WPS service areas contain multiple buried utilities such as gas, electric, telephone, cable TV, and water and sewer lines.

In the summer months, WPS receives approximately 3,500 locate requests per week, said Pete Wurl, WPS manager of customer service. The company uses its own personnel to respond to all One-Call requests.

During the summer’s peak construction periods, when locating demands are high, Wurl manages 29 seasonal locators who are employed from April through November. Winter season locating is handled by other WPS employees.

The basic locating tool is the electromagnetic locator consisting of a handheld receiver and compact transmission unit, such as the Ditch Witch 830R/T locating equipment used at WPS.

The receiver locates underground lines by detecting either magnetic fields created by electrical current passing through the buried lines or by picking up the signal produced by the transmitter, which uses different frequencies and modes to help identify locations of buried utilities.

A receiver alone can detect live power cables. However, in most cases receiver and transmitter are used together. For example, to find steel gas pipe, the transmitter is connected directly to the pipe and puts a signal directly on the pipe, which is detected by the receiver. For locating plastic gas pipe, a tracer wire is buried along with the pipe, and the transmitter puts a signal on the wire, which is detected by the receiver.

The receiver processes the information and displays it on an easy-to-read display so the locations of buried facilities can be marked.

Accurate locates depend upon locating personnel utilizing their experience, quality locating equipment, and using available information, including accurate mapping of the facilities, said Wurl.

“Experience and training are essential to performing accurate locates,” he continued. “A big part of locating is understanding the theory of locating, using quality locating equipment, knowing what facilities are to be located and the routes they take, and being able to interpret data provided by the locating tools in order to make intelligent decisions.”

All WPS locators are screened through the interview process for key attributes needed for locating, then complete initial classroom training followed by on-the-job training with a qualified and experienced locator. Annual refresher training provides updates and the opportunity to receive new information.

Wurl said his continuing challenge is organizing and managing work in an efficient and safe manner while providing 100 percent accuracy.

Based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Public Service is a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group.

HYDRAULIC BREAKER
Used for construction and demolition, our breakers can be used to break up asphalt, concrete or even clay. The hydraulic hammer is perfect for any small or medium job you might have. More up-time in the field is always the goal, and with only two moving parts and a few seals, there’s no reason for down-time.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

VACUUM LIFT
Handle 10 times the heavy loads such as steel road plates and concrete slabs with a vacuum lift attachment. The constant vacuum pressure eliminates the need for conventional methods that may damage materials and cuts man-hours in half, allowing operators more time to focus on the job.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

BACKHOE
Easily move materials for rebuilds, new construction, footings, utility repairs and more with this compact and versatile attachment.
Compatible Models

SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

STUMP GRINDERS
Featuring a heavy-duty boom design, powerful stump grinding attachments quickly shred stumps down to nothing. Easy maneuvering from stump to stump and increased visibility turns more ground stumps into more profit.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550, SK3000

MULTITASK TOOL
Your multipurpose tool for the ultimate multi-tasker is here. Engineered to grab tight to heavy materials and move them with ease and precision, the multi-task tool is your go-to for heavy applications. Easy to operate with convenient, functional levers.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

CORE DRILL
With the MC-450 coring attachment, utility maintenance is simple and less disruptive. Featuring intuitive controls and an integrated water tank, the MC-450 is the perfect choice for quick cuts and a more productive coring process. A fully adjustable 0 to 280 rpm speed allows for enhanced control and greater productivity.
Compatible Models

SK1050, SK1550

SOIL CULTIVATOR
Prepare food plots, gardens, and landscaping projects with a soil cultivator. It gets land ready by stirring organic material back in the soil for a healthier, more stable lawn. Buries the biggest of rocks for a looser topsoil.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

BLADES
Whether you’re looking to increase dump height or digging depth, attaching a backfill blade is an easy way to save manpower on your jobsite while working with precision and timeliness. Available in various widths.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

AUGER DRIVER
Ideal for landscaping and tree care, an auger attachment will expedite hole creation and allow operators to quickly plant trees or install fence posts than if they were hand-digging or relying on a hand-held auger. Available in 6" to 30" diameters.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

TILLER
Tough and effective tillers prepare your garden by breaking up tough soil and removing unwanted weeds. Available in 4' width.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

GRAPPLES
Tree grapples come with 48" or 57" openings to efficiently remove logs and debris from the jobsite. It has an excavator style boom design with a powder coat finish and a cylinder lock for increased safety. Brush grapples available with a gap opening of 29" and widths of 42" or 54".
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

CARRY ALL LEVELER
One of our most simple yet versatile attachments, the Carry-All Leveler is perfect for carrying bulky material, leveling soil and adding a flat, smooth finish to your project. Available in 49" width.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

BUCKETS
Turn one machine into a multi-functional workhorse with versatile Ditch Witch® SK attachments. From landscaping and hardscapes to tree care and construction-grade tasks, your stand-on skid steer can take on more than you think. We've got you covered with a variety buckets from 4-in-1 to heavy and light material buckets. Widths range from 34" to 66".
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550, SK3000

PALLET FORKS
Take on your heaviest loads with precision and dependability with Ditch Witch pallet forks. They easily attach to any of our skid steers and can easily accessorize with hay spikes, brick guards, and much more to add even more ROI. Available in widths ranging from 36-48.75" and lengths from 36-48".
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550, SK3000

MICROTRENCHER
Fiber installation and other street-located work is rapidly growing. A microtrenching attachment is key for operators looking to get into fiber installation at the street level. They cut both concrete and asphalt in controlled increments so contractors don't need to stop traffic. Maximum width options are 0.5-1.5” or 2” with maximum depths of 12” or 16”.
Compatible Models

SK1050, SK1550, SK3000

ROTO WITCH®
The Ditch Witch Roto Witch® attachment is used for short bores underneath sidewalks, driveways and other obstacles. It offers great digging performance while minimizing jobsite restoration. Compatible with numerous Ditch Witch stand-on skid steers, the Roto Witch attachment can bore and backream up to 12" (300 mm) in diameter.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

PLOW
Install fiber and other utilities quickly with a vibratory plow attachment for your skid steer. It creates less ground disruption and cleanup than traditional trenching to get the job done faster. Available in maximum depths of 14" and 24".
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550, SK3000

POWER RAKE
Clean, level and prep jobsites or smooth and loosen soil for sodding with a rake attachment. Most rake attachments require 10 to 14 gpm, but the higher horsepower creates even more drum torque to tear through the most demanding soil types. Width measures 4'.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

MICROTRENCHERS
Fiber installation and other street-located work is rapidly growing. A microtrenching attachment is key for operators looking to get into fiber installation at the street level. They cut both concrete and asphalt in controlled increments so contractors don't need to stop traffic. Maximum width options are 0.5-1.5” or 2” with maximum depths of 12” or 16”.
Compatible Models

SK1050, SK1550, SK3000

ROTO WITCH®
The Ditch Witch Roto Witch® attachment is used for short bores underneath sidewalks, driveways and other obstacles. It offers great digging performance while minimizing jobsite restoration. Compatible with numerous Ditch Witch stand-on skid steers, the Roto Witch attachment can bore and backream up to 12" (300 mm) in diameter.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550

PLOWS
Install fiber and other utilities quickly with a vibratory plow attachment for your skid steer. It creates less ground disruption and cleanup than traditional trenching to get the job done faster. Available in maximum depths of 14" and 24".
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550, SK3000

TRENCHER

Stay efficient on large jobsites with a trencher attachment for your skid steer. It’s a smart alternative to large, specialized equipment for utility installation and landscaping jobs. Available in standard 6”, 8” and 12” maximum widths with maximum depths of 36", 38", 48” and 55.5”.

Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550, SK3000