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The Cost of Re-Staking (sometimes it includes embarrassment)

February 27, 2009 in Paul's Blog Tags: , ,

Paul no jacket

Years ago, as a young construction surveyor, I attended the weekly safety meetings on a 12 acre commercial job site.  I had been surveying on-site everyday for the previous six months.  I had been doing a lot of free re-staking because the guys were cool and I wanted to be accepted as “one of the boys”.

When I mentioned the re-staking to my boss, he not so calmly or nicely, pointed out that the contract called for only a one-time staking of the improvements. So, at the next week’s meeting I put my foot down and informed everyone that they were entitled to the original stakes only and that the next stake I had to replace was going to cost them $50.  No one was happy- zero smiles in the room.  When the meeting broke up and the guys were milling around outside, I jumped into my survey truck, feeling pretty confident about my (authoritative) assertion, and proceeded to back over a centerline stake.  The response was immediate.  Everyone was laughing and yelling “50 bucks, 50 bucks”.

I don’t remember what shade of red my face was, but it was bright red.  It took a few days for the embarrassment to pass and I did quite a bit of re-staking as machines (not the operators) knock out stakes.

I didn’t really need to tell a Paul Hahn story here, but it brings up a good topic. That situation was somewhat unusual as I was on the site every day.  If I had to re-stake a point there wasn’t a scheduling conflict or travel time involved.  But this is not usually the case, when you use outside surveyors.

What are the delays involved when you have to request re-staking?  Even if it is just one stake, there are scheduling issues for the surveyor. Do you have to wait 24 hours to get a crew on-site?  What does it cost to bring the surveyors back out? What does it cost to have machines idling while you wait?  How much does it slow down the entire project?

These issues are but another reason contractors are adopting machine control and along with it, the “stake-less site”


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