December 31, 2021

Best Underground Utility Locator Equipment Supplier

Locating underground utilities is one of the most important aspects of any construction project. According to Baseline Equipment, having access to good-quality utility locator equipment means that your projects can get completed quickly and safely.


Underground locators are a major investment for any size of the project. The choice of equipment made affects the project cost and ensures the safety of the construction crew. In this article, we introduce you to the best underground locator equipment buying tips, as well as where to find the best equipment for your project.

What does an Underground Utility Locator Do?

An underground locator is a device that helps identify the location of utilities buried beneath the earth's surface. The devices use electromagnetic, acoustic, or radio frequency signals to detect and track objects.


These devices help the construction crew to avoid digging into the wrong areas, which could cause damage to buried utilities such as water, gas, or electricity lines. They also help them avoid causing damage through accidents such as mis-cutting utility services that are very near buried utilities. Locator devices can be used before digging starts on a construction site and during excavating for foundations and trenches.


The best underground locators use sound waves transmitted through the earth and bounce off buried objects. The waves are received by a device attached to a probe or drill bit, which then converts them into an audible signal for visual identification of the location of underground utilities. For more information how to find the best underground utility locator equipment click here.

Underground utility locator equipment
Underground utility locator equipment

Types of Utility Locator Equipment

  • Electronic Marker Systems- EMS: Electronic marker systems are the most sophisticated and accurate utility locators available. They use a computer to process data from multiple sensors attached to a drill bit, detecting markers buried in the ground. An electronic marker system is used for large infrastructure projects such as pipelines or railway construction, where precise measurements are required to install services properly.

  • Ground Penetrating Radar Systems- GPR
  • Ground-penetrating radar systems use high-frequency radio waves to detect objects and structures beneath the ground's surface. The waves are reflected from any object they encounter, including metal, plastic, or water pipes. GPR is a common method for detecting buried utilities, as it can detect objects up to a depth of seven meters. It is also used for detecting buried structures such as graves or bunkers and can be useful in archaeological excavations
  • Electromagnetic Locators- EMF Detector
  • An electromagnetic locator transmits radio frequency signals into the ground, which are then reflected by any metallic object they encounter. The signals are then received and processed by a computer attached to the device, which produces an image on the screen that indicates the location of underground utilities or objects.
    Electromagnetic locators can be used for small projects where precise measurements aren't required, such as locating water meters in domestic properties. Some models also have attachments such as probes and ground rods that can detect and mark the location of buried structures.
  • Metal Detectors
  • Metal detectors are not specifically designed for detecting underground utilities, but they can serve as underground cable locators or underground wire locators, or be used to locate metallic utility objects such as pipes or cables. Metal detectors work by transmitting an electromagnetic field into the ground, which is then reflected off any metal object that it encounters.

    Other utility locator equipment types include RF transmitters, underground cable locators, underground wire locators, and micro-gravimetric detectors.

    Selecting the Best Underground Utility Locator Equipment

    When selecting the best underground utility locator equipment for your needs, it is important to consider several factors based on the type of project that you are working on. These include:

    • Excavation Depth: The deeper you are excavating, the more accurate and sophisticated the locator device needs to be.
    • Purpose of Locating: The type of object or utility you are trying to locate will determine the equipment needed.
    • Size of Project: Larger projects require a more sophisticated underground utility locator system.
    • Environmental Conditions: The environmental conditions on-site will also affect the type of equipment needed, as certain systems may not work well in wet or low-oxygen environments.
    • Cost: Finally, consider how much you are willing to pay for a particular piece of underground utility locator equipment. Some systems can be very expensive and require ongoing maintenance, such as replacement batteries.

    Features to Look For in an Underground Utility Locator

    When selecting underground utility locator devices, there are several features that you should look for. These include:


    1. Accuracy- The more accurate the system is at detecting utilities and objects, the better it will distinguish between them when multiple lines have been installed nearby.
    2. Depth Capability: For large infrastructure projects such as railway construction, it is important to find a locator device that has the depth capability to detect objects at great depths.
    3. Ease of Use: The equipment should be easy to use and understand, with clear instructions for how to operate it.
    4. Portability: The equipment should be lightweight and easily portable to be transported from site to site as needed.
    5. Ruggedness: The equipment should withstand tough environmental conditions, such as rain and wind.
    6. Technology: Newer technology can offer advantages such as improved accuracy and depth detection.
    7. Receiver to Transmitter Range: The distance between the receiver and transmitter should be adequate for the size of the project.
    8. Backup Battery: The equipment should have a backup battery in case of power outages or other emergencies.
    9. Warranty: A good warranty will protect your investment and ensure that any problems with the equipment are fixed free of charge.

    Best Underground Locator Equipment Supplier

    Our choice underground utility locator solutions supplier is Quinn Equipment. Established in 1967, they have unmatched experience in the industry and take pride in providing their customers with the best equipment available.

    Quinn Equipment offers a wide variety of underground utility locator products to help with your excavating project, as well as ongoing support and training on the use of the equipment.

    Some of the top-rated equipment available from Quinn Equipment include:

    Leica Detect Plumbers Package DD220


    A feature-laden underground utility locator device, the Leica DD 220 is an innovative product that offers a number of advantages over older models. It features:

    • Rugged but ergonomic design, which makes it easily portable.
    • Internal memory enables the user to save data and transfer the same to the office for analysis and decision-making.
    • High accuracy enables the user to determine the precise location of underground utilities.
    • Safety and reliability due to its ability to work in wet, low-oxygen, and high-temperature conditions.

    Leica DD 230 SMART Utility Locators Solution

    A comprehensive package loaded with innovative features, the Leica DD 230 is a great investment, offering a full portfolio of detection solutions to meet your needs. Some of its top features include:

    • Top-notch digital signal processing results in a very high level of accuracy and precision.
    • Internal memory and USB -connectivity for data storage and transfer.
    • Ergonomic design for easy handling and portability.
    • A compact design that makes it easy to maneuver and use even in tight spaces while still offering the full functionality of larger models.
    • GPRS data transfer system for real-time status updates on job site conditions and workforce productivity levels, among other things.

    Leica Detect Plumbers Package DD120


    Accurately detecting buried utilities in any construction site is important as it helps avoid damage or even injury to the site workers. The Leica DD 120 is a great investment, as it comes loaded with great features for accurate cable detection. These features include:

    • Automatic pinpointing of all detected cables makes the job easier and more efficient.
    • Rugged design that is ergonomically shaped for comfort during use.
    • USB connectivity- USB compatibility enables users to easily transfer data through external devices like hard drives or flash drives.
    • Depth detection up to 3 meters, making it perfect for medium to large-sized projects.
    • It has a rugged design that makes it great for working in bad weather conditions, with an IP54 rating.

    Leica Trace Rod for Utility Locating


    A trace rod designed to detect non-conductive buried utilities, this 50m is used with a signal transmitter to deliver highly accurate results.

    Why Quinn Equipment?

    • Great Discounts: Quinn Equipment offers great discounts on all their equipment, ensuring that your investment is covered and protected at all times.
    • Special Offers: Every now and then, the company runs special promotions to offer additional benefits for new customers.
    • Warranty: Quinn Equipment offers a full two-year warranty on all new equipment, as well as a one-year warranty on all refurbished models.
    • 24/hour Support: In case of any technical difficulties or questions, the company provides 24/hour support to help you get back up and running in no time.
    • Free Training: Quinn Equipment also offers free training to help you learn how to use the equipment and get started.
    • Great Service: You can always count on fast service from knowledgeable technicians who are committed to offering you exceptional support throughout the life of your investment.
    • Industry-leading Equipment: You can rest assured that all Quinn equipment is made to meet the highest industry standards, offering you great value for every penny spent on them.
    Best underground utility locator equipment supplier 1

    If you want the best utility locator equipment, Quinn Equipment is your go-to source.
    We have been providing quality equipment to utility companies for decades and can help you find exactly what your company needs from our extensive inventory of various products.

    Contact Us for the best total station price!

    Since 1967

    Quinn Equipment, Inc. was founded in 1967 by Charles and Marjorie Quinn to represent manufacturers in the distribution of construction related products.
    Our Story
    Quinn Equipment
    400 35th St.
    Marion, IA 52302
    319-551-3714

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