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Old 09-30-2014, 04:34 AM   #1
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Full time work inspecting natural gas lines

The company I work for is hiring gas line inspectors. This is a full time position, not an independent contractor, but a great company with full benefits. We travel country wide. Below is a link to my blog for a post that describes what I do. It's how I make my living AND get to live full time in my airstream. I feel that there are a lot of you on the forums who may be looking for something just like this so wanted to spread the word.

Airstream Tales and Trails: Walkin' The Line
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:17 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting this. How long are you usually in one area?
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:39 AM   #3
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Usually 2 to 4 months at a time. Just long enough to get to know the locals and the community but short enough to still move onto another locale and keep the adventure going. We all stay south or southeast in the winter then head to the Northeast, Dakotas and Utah in the summer.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:33 AM   #4
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Great Blog! How about a bit of info on the company you work for? Unless i missed it...
I'm a bit interested now. I've kind of "hit a wall" so to speak, in my 20th year as a technician with Coca-Cola. Maybe a career change is in order. We already full time in our 34' Limited, the least we could do is put a little more travel in with our work!
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:07 PM   #5
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The company is called Southern Cross Corp. They're headquartered in Norcross, GA just outside of Atlanta but work in 38 states. You can find them on the Google. The careers tab will fill ya in much better and easier than I can here. Feel free to message me with any questions.
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:28 AM   #6
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Yes Tru. I assume you're on a route. It may be a nice change, and not as hurried. We intentionally slow down to do a thorough job. The best part is the variety, from residential to transmission lines - my favorite. Basically being paid to hike or ride an ATV through the woods over the gas line and power easements. I'm in rural middle Tennessee right now and lovin' it.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:22 AM   #7
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field technician

There is a lot about the company on google and not a lot is good. Doesn't look like pay is great either. Am not seeing the whole picture here?
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:33 AM   #8
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Streamdream, not sure why you are trying to rain on the OPs plans. To me the major benefit to the OP is the ability to travel and not be stuck in one place. Sounds like a good vagabond gig to me.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Streamdream, not sure why you are trying to rain on the OPs plans. To me the major benefit to the OP is the ability to travel and not be stuck in one place. Sounds like a good vagabond gig to me.
He posted about the job opportunity and I was following up on it checking it out to see if it was a viably option for me. Didn't see a lot of good and was asking for more details about the job. If you would read his original post you would see that. He already works for them. If it works for him how am I raining on his parade?
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by streamdreamn View Post
He posted about the job opportunity and I was following up on it checking it out to see if it was a viably option for me. Didn't see a lot of good and was asking for more details about the job. If you would read his original post you would see that. He already works for them. If it works for him how am I raining on his parade?

New guy, it was a joke and you go and get all serious, lighten up.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:54 PM   #11
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That might be a fit for me in a couple of years.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:09 PM   #12
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I wanted to update the thread. The company's spring and summer contracts are coming in. I was told by my project manager earlier this week that we will need 10 new technicians as soon as possible. Check out my blog post below about the job and if it's something that's up your alley let me know. I'll message you my phone number and give you the details then get you in contact with our recruiter.

http://airstreamtalesandtrails.blogs...lkin-line.html
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:58 PM   #13
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here is a link i found to Southern Cross application. It has pay and per diem info as well..

https://southerncrossjobs.clickandhi...ions&jobNo=174

Sounds like a good opportunity for the right person (s). Not sure how this works say for a couple, do both get hired and work in same location or not?..

more question that maybe PepTheDog could shed some light on.

what are work hrs.?

Are you sorta like a independent person and can work when you want, ie start at noon and go to evening or start early and stop at noonish to avoid heat is some areas.

OR is it more a normal work day 8-5, M-F or can you do more longer hrs less days.. do 10 hr days 4 days week etc.

When you get an assignment how long do you have to get there and other than pay are they, SC, helpful in securing RV parking locations. (some areas can be popular and spots hard to find.)

I see from the blogs it appers you work southern area winter, go north summer time for the most part is that correct.?

I read another article with a guy and his wife that do hearing test for companies and they travel around in a MH and the company tractor trailer for testing.. They boondock at the company's location just needing some power and maybe water. Is something like that possible if needed to wait for a spot.

Are you walking doing this mainly in residential areas?? You drive personal vehicle to location and walk around checking lines in street and up to house?

PS love your blog.. i went back to start and it a great story.. still not all the way through.. at the point where you just got truck and AS.. i forget blogs are newest first so i have seen the "spinning date" story which is cool.

thanks
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:00 PM   #14
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Glad it works with your goals!
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Old 05-23-2015, 06:56 AM   #15
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Yes, more details are needed. Actually, I've been having people that are interested just call me and we talk for 20 minutes or so about the job then I send them to the recruiter. I want people to know EXACTLY what the job entails. I do feel it's still the best way to answer questions and describe the job but you're right Carl, I need to post more details. Here's what I tell people in our phone conversations.


Southern Cross Corp is a company based in Georgia, just outside Atlanta. We've been in business since the late 40s. We contract to gas utility companies all over the country to do DOT mandated gas line inspections. Every gas line in the county has to be walked over and surveyed for leaks every 5 years. Some utilities do it themselves and some contract it out. We are the contractor. As a traveling technician you are a full-time employee, NOT an independent contractor. We take out taxes and Social Security and offer a 401K, health insurance and paid time off. The company provides all of the equipment you need including gas survey equipment, work shirts, and cell phone (for calling in leaks to the gas company and communication to the home office. We do have to purchase our own boots however. They don't have to be steel toe but do have to be above the ankle. I've found that hiking boots work far better than work boots as we walk 6-8 miles per day. More about the walking in a minute.


Project length/hours. Each project can last from a few weeks in a small town to 6 months in a large city. Currently I'm in Provo, UT on a 6 month project. I worked a project last year in Bessimer City, NC that lasted 3 weeks. Sometimes you're the only person from the company on that project. Sometimes there may be 10 or more. In that case there will be a lead tech to manage everyone. I'm currently the lead tech in Provo. We have 19 techs here in the greater Salt Lake Valley right now. I have 4 with me in Provo. We work the hours of the gas company since they have to respond to the leaks we find. Monday through Friday 7 am to 3:30 pm is usually the norm with a half hour for lunch. We don't work part-time hours since the projects are time sensitive and have to be done by certain dates so no, no part-time work. However, a lot of our guys take the winter off since we slow down in the winter. I work all year by choice. The travelers get sent south in the winter and north in spring. When you're sent from one project to the next it's okay to take some time to visit the Grand Canyon, etc. We do earn time off like any normal job so we use that or just take a few unpaid days to see the sights.


RV parks are always close to where we're working and I've never had a problem finding a place to stay. I always book a monthly rate which is usually 300-500 per month. I stayed on a farm in Watertown, Tennessee for 200 per month. The company pays you 200 per week per diem, 800 per month. If you find rent below that you still keep the full 800. It's our responsibility to find RV parks - I prefer it that way.


We do hire couples and I actually have a couple working for me here in Provo. They are both employees and each get separate paychecks plus each get the 200 per week RV per diem, 400 per week collectively. Couples always work the same project and always work together. It's preferred they each have separate transportation so that during the work day they can each work separate neighborhoods but not absolutely required. The couple that work for me have 1 car so I give them maps that are next to each other.


Compensation. The company web site needs to be updated. Here's the current info. You're not going to get rich doing this job but it beats any other work camping job I've seen. We get paid every week on Friday. Salary is $10.50 per hour. This is taxed just like it would be on a "normal" job. Per diem of $200.00 per week. This is an expense reimbursement and not taxed. Mileage reimbursement for the use of your vehicle during the work day is .57 cents per mile from the time you leave your RV to the time you get home. This is not taxed. Relocation allowance, when you're sent from one project to another, is 82.5 cents per mile when towing or driving your RV. This is also not taxed. This is where the job really shines. Most work camping jobs don't pay you to travel. We do. There is also a $500.00 sign on bonus.


Requirements. No specific educational requirements. On the job training - usually about 2 weeks - is provided. You have to pass a drug screen and as a gas industry worker you have to submit to random drug screens, DOT requirement. We do a criminal background looking for felonies and such. We do a driving record check looking for DUI's and revocations. I don't think a few speeding tickets are going to be a deal breaker. You have to be a fill-time RVer. We don't do hotel assignments. We go where the work is. However if you want to go to somewhere specific, and we have a project there, then the project manager will send you there. At the end of the day though if he needs someone in South Carolina for example he will ask that you go there. It works best for someone who just wants to travel for travel's sake. I have not been disappointed yet with any place I've been.


It's not a strenuous job but we do walk a lot. Usually in neighborhoods but also in downtown areas and rural areas. Anywhere there is a gas line. Typically we walk 6-10 miles per day. At you own pace, taking breaks when you need to. Safety is paramount. If there's a dog in a yard we don't go in that yard. If there's a dangerous neighborhood we work in teams. I've never felt threatened though. We wear reflective vests and utility company garb so blend in quite well. For our female techs we make sure to work in pairs in questionable neighborhoods. 95 % of the time though you'll just be in typical neighborhoods or farmland. Important... if you have had a knee replacement or hip replacement I would recommend you not do this. It will take it's toll on you. If you're out of shape it's the best thing you could do for yourself.


Sorry about the long post. That's why I was just talking to people over the phone but this should about do it. We are hiring so if this is up your alley, or you know someone who doesn't read the forums but may be interested let them know. The best way to apply is to call me at 404-759-5759 and we can talk. I'll give you the names of the recruiter and project manager, send you a link to the application then put in a good word. I'm NOT a human resources person, just a tech getting the word out. Like I said, I want everyone to have all the information they need to make the right decision for them. Do your research. Google Southern Cross Corp and check out the company. Check out my blog and the post I made about the job. It's up higher in the thread but here too.

Airstream Tales and Trails: Walkin' The Line



I hope this answers some questions but feel free to call. That's my company phone and it may go to voice mail but I'll all back as soon as I can. My e-mail is here on the forum and also on the blog.



Kevin
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Old 05-23-2015, 07:22 PM   #16
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now you talking.. thanks a million for the informative post.. While i am not in the fulltime RV position yet, I know the others that are intrested and available are wanting more info and this post is gold. It gives enough info to let me know If i was able we would be giving this a swing. Plus you wont have to repeat all this 10 more times..

Have a good and and thanks again.

ps how long have you been working with these guys now!! you still do any dog green screen stuff??


Quote:
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[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Tahoma]Yes, more details are needed. Actually, I've been having people that are interested just call me and we talk for 20 minutes or so about the job then I send them to the recruiter. I want people to know EXACTLY what the job entails. I do feel it's still the best way to answer questions and describe the job but you're right Carl, I need to post more details. Here's what I tell people in our phone conversations.
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:08 PM   #17
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pss to above.. since the company is based in GA are you taxed at the georgia rate for state tax, and what if you are legal resident of say florida that has no state tax.

What state do you domicile in ,I guess florida?
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:43 PM   #18
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Carl that's a great question. Many companies, like the one I work for, are now taxing based on the state where work is performed. Mine does it by looking at expense reports and where items like car rental or hotel dates are recorded. So it seems to depend on the company you work for. Maybe Kevin can answer...
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:30 AM   #19
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Yes, I can answer that :-) I started with Southern Cross in June 2013, so almost 2 years. Since we started traveling in earnest I stopped doing the green screen pet photography. It got to the point where it took up too much of my weekend time. Plus I was spending a lot of time figuring out different state permit issues and sales tax issues. It was fun though.

Speaking of taxes. Southern Cross outsources their payroll to a company called Oasis. I am still a resident of Florida so don't pay state income taxes. No, they do not determine it from expense reports and Gary, I'd check on that. I'm certainly not a tax guy but do know that's how my company does it and haven't had any issues with audits or anything. A lot of our people have done the South Dakota residency thing as well. I'm sure there are plenty of threads available on that topic on this and other RV forums.
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Old 05-24-2015, 02:01 PM   #20
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again thanks for your replies.. It helps us guys figure out this opportunity.

So Im talking with the wife, giving her an overview of your blog as i had gone back to the First Post in 2008 to try and get a feel for the whole story thus far. have not made it all the way through, hitting the highlights trying to figure out the date you finally went full time, but i am sure its in there somewhere.

Your story is a lot like ours, I am going on 57 and wife is 52, one daughter a Jr at NC State, other daughter Jr in HS, and not going to have a large bucket of money to retire on. Bought the truck last summer a 2003 ford f-250 Super Duty 7.3L diesel 168K, fiberglass camper shell and it mostly sits. Looking to buy a airstream next year is timeframe.

She ask me if your wife/girlfriend? etc, Margo,was doing this job as well. I told her it appears she was working at a KOA.. ( i find blogs hard to read as the newest if at top and you have to read from bottom to top and you have to go backwards was well and it gets interesting for me.)

She ask why i though she was not doing the same job hence my inquiry..

Another question, and we have been following the amazon deal as well, was the whole reason for going on the road was to see and do stuff, not work a full time job year around.

I guess i am asking if in the example of the gig in Provo, you are there for 6 months. After that job finishes you get another assignment to another place.
Do you know if say after the 6 months job, you decided to take a month off to explore more of that or another area and after the month wanted to go to say the AZ area, if you requested that right soon after starting the "provo" deal, does the company have the ability and know that far in advance of upcoming needs to work with you on these type of request?

Another question that came up was like when the "guys" that take the winter off, how is the company in working with them in that regard. Say we wanted to take 3ish months off during the year and expressed that fact are they going to say "see you around but not around here" or they going to work with you?

The training you mentions is that done at teh home office and do you have to be mobile at that time? plus the 500 dollar bonus is that to the new hire or to the person finding the new hire..

again thanks a million for the info and your time to provide it.. another reason AS'ers ROCK..

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours there in Provo..
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