Man at Work: An Interview with Damian Taylor

Excerpt from “The International Locator”, in The American Locator by Underground Focus.

The American Locator was lucky enough to speak with Damian Taylor, a Senior Utility Surveyor and Manager with over 18 years of experience in the locating field. Damian was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to illuminate us on the finer points of utility locating, his personal choice of locating gear, and the fascinating differences between locating here and in the UK and Australia.

OK Damian, could you give us some background on your career? How did you get into the locating business and how long have you been doing this?

I started out as an assistant/trainee land surveyor straight out of school at the age of 16. Ten years later, as a senior member of staff within the company I left and joined Site Vision Surveys LTD. At the time SVS were a utility mapping company without land survey or geo-referencing capabilities. My role was to set up and run the survey and geo-referencing department within the company, working alongside utility surveyors mapping the sites.

It was not until I moved to Sydney, Australia that I actually took up utility locating. Australia is where I learned how not
only to locate but to locate accurately. Working for a Vacuum Excavation company (Vac Group) I had a very different exposure to learning than most locators in the UK, as pretty much everything that I was locating was being excavated and proven using vacuum excavation. This proved to be a great way to learn and understand locating safely. If my locate was off, it could still be found and then I could reassess the locate and make the necessary changes to improve my accuracy. Whilst in Australia I also had the benefit of completing the Staking University program, educating me in the advanced theory of electromagnetic locating. The Staking program teaches about how electromagnetic transmitters and receivers work and the importance of assessing the magnetic fields during locating at all times. This ensures that the signal is well received and the field is round, and tells you what to do if the field is not round to ensure accuracy is maintained. By combining the advanced theory of accurate locating and then having my work proven, you build up a great confidence and appreciation in your ability to locate services accurately.

What company do you work for, and where are they headquartered? How long have they been in business?

Following my time in Australia I moved back to the UK with my employer Site Vision Surveys Ltd. as a Senior Utility Surveyor and Manager, and have now served 18 years within the survey industry. Site Vision Surveys LTD were founded in 2003 and are based out of Rugby in central England. SVS are a utility mapping and topographical survey consultancy specializing in accurate utility locating and mapping for highways, rail, construction and civil engineering projects throughout the UK and Europe.

Check out more in the current preview version of The American Locator.

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