Speaking tips to help you when dealing with your customers.
November 14, 2012 By Franklin Kains
Perhaps not all of your clients or prospective clients are fully convinced they need to use a licensed professional tile drainage contractor. After all, margins are tight, and maybe this is one area they’re looking to cut corners. You know it’s a bad idea, and deep inside, perhaps so do they. Here are some talking points to help explain why using a professional is a sound investment in their future profitability.
What expertise is required to properly install tile drainage on agricultural land?
- Knowledge of soils and their ability to respond to subsurface drainage
- Knowledge of the need for filter (sock) around tile so that it doesn’t fill up with sediment
- Knowledge of the design of a subsurface drainage system so it will effectively intercept soil water and accommodate this water as well as water from any surface inlets
- Knowledge of how to locate underground utilities to protect people and property, and to avoid liability for “strikes”
- Knowledge of environmental regulations to avoid liability for modification to species habitat or watercourses
- Sufficient knowledge of law in order to know where subsurface drainage systems can legally be outletted; Ability to assist the property owner in acquiring legal outlet if one does not currently exist on the property
- Ability to recognize and address situations that could cause problems for a tile drainage system (e.g., tree roots, iron ochre, stony subsoil)
- Ability to produce clear maps that show where the subsurface drainage system was installed
- Ability to install subsurface drainage on grade and to very fine tolerances
What are the advantages of using a licensed professional tile drainage contractor?
- Specialized training to perform the work properly
- Specialized equipment that is designed for and capable of performing the work to exacting tolerances, sometimes in very difficult conditions
- Less wear and tear on your farm equipment – installing tile drainage with a minimum two feet (600 millimeters) of cover is tough work in some soils
- Liability protection
- Quality workmanship
- An asset when you decide to sell your property as a “tile-drained” property. The new owner may have recourse against the contractor rather than you if an issue with the quality of the installation surfaces in the future. You have a map of the installation provided by the contractor.
- Less time required from the property owner.
- Poorly installed tile drainage is worse than no drainage at all – problems created by a poorly installed system usually cannot be fixed; usually a new system must be installed.
Property owners can legally install tile drainage on their own property using their own equipment. The questions to ask are whether or not that is the best use of their time, equipment, and expertise, and will that result in the extra yield and timely land access they were hoping for?
Franklin Kains is convention co-ordinator on the LICO executive.
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