For every project where you need to excavate any portion of the existing terrain, it’s always a good idea to call your local “before-you-dig” number (811 in most locations). But this means waiting for a tech to come out and spray out the location for you - time we don't always have. It's extremely convenient to be able to grab a Leica DD230 Smart Utility Locator out of the truck and quickly set up and mark out exactly where the utility is.
I had the opportunity to use the DD 230 locator on several projects this past fall, and found that it allowed me to easily mark out utilities quickly, accurately, and conveniently. There are many qualities with the DD230 that I found to be extremely helpful. For one, it has an IP66 rating (meaning it is dustproof and waterproof), providing peace of mind to use it whenever and wherever regardless of weather conditions. And if in doubt, its built-in “Good-to-Go” health self-check system can pinpoint and troubleshoot any system issues it may be having.
The unit provides depth estimation up to 10 meters (33 feet) below ground level. That’s nice, because you can see not only where pipes and cables are located, but also how deep they are. This allows you to know that if you are not planning to dig as far down as the utility is, that you are in the clear. It also allows you to know just how far down you need to go if you plan on unearthing the utility for any reason. One of the things that surprised me was that the unit didn’t come with any long-winded instruction manuals. This is because all of the instructions are on the large screen, giving it a real “plug-n-play” feel to it when you insert the battery and start using the equipment, which I loved.
Lastly, but definitely not least, I have to mention the unit’s Smart Technology. This equipment has the ability to connect via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet and with the GPS technology, you’re able to essentially map out the location of the utilities on plans. I personally didn’t have the need for this level of functionality, but am nevertheless absolutely impressed by this equipment’s capabilities.
At around $2,300 (for the locator only; the kit shown above with the DA230 signal transmitter and carrying case runs about $3,500), the DD230 is not inexpensive. But when you compare that cost to the peace of mind that it offers when you are in a jam and need to locate a utility on a moment's notice, that for me makes it well worth every penny. If you are doing site work on a regular basis where you need to know what and where things are, I highly recommend acquiring a Leica DD230 Smart Utility Locator.