Overcoming Challenges in Utility Locating

Overcoming Daily Challenges in Utility Locating for a Safer Tomorrow


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 The utility locating sector is a dynamic landscape, filled with day-to-day challenges that require not only skill but strategic foresight. At Northern Lights Utility Locating, we’re continually adapting and remain dedicated to overcoming challenges in the field, ensuring the safety and integrity of essential underground infrastructure.

Video Transcript: There are many challenges day to day in utility locating. Maps, prints can be a huge issue. As more and more infrastructure goes into the ground, it is important for our utility partners to keep up and give us the most accurate, up to date map. Some other issues that we face are congested work sites. As more and more utilities go from being aerial to underground, right aways and easements are getting full and it becomes more important to have experienced techs who know what they're doing, who take the time and properly locate each utility. It's important for everybody within the damage prevention industry to be in contact all the way from your locator with their boots on the ground, to management, to the utility owners themselves, and the contractors physically doing the work. Without that communication, there can be a breakdown. Things can get missed and issues can arise, such as hit utilities, or even beyond that, loss of life.

Accurate Mapping: A Cornerstone of Utility Locating

One of the primary challenges in utility locating is outdated or inaccurate maps and prints. As our infrastructure expands, it's crucial for our utility partners to provide us with the most current maps. Accurate mapping is the foundation for effective locating and helps prevent potential issues before they arise.

Congested Sites and the Role of Experienced Technicians

Another growing issue is the congestion of worksites due to the transition from aerial to underground utilities. This shift means rights-of-way and easements are increasingly crowded. It’s here that the expertise of experienced technicians becomes invaluable. These professionals know the intricacies of locating each utility with precision, ensuring that no detail is overlooked.

Collaboration is Key

Collaboration across all levels is vital. It's imperative that communication channels remain open—from the technicians in the field to management, from utility owners to the contractors on the ground. This synergy is critical to prevent mishaps, utility hits, and in worst-case scenarios, loss of life.


At Northern Lights, we’re not just locators; we’re a vital link in the chain of public safety and service continuity. By staying up-to-date, fostering experienced talent, and advocating for robust communication, we navigate these challenges daily, aiming for a future where infrastructure is not only efficient but fundamentally safe.

Let's Connect

Ready to safeguard your essential services and protect your community? Take action now. Call Northern Lights Utility Locating at 317.837.0520 or visit our contact page to ensure the integrity of your utilities today.