Grade Control System Equipment Provide Accurate Results

Cutting Down Project Costs

GPS Heavy equipment parked on a worksite.
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J Rodriguez / Getty Images

Remember how you used to have surveyors all over the place staking and providing all grading stakes during the earthwork process? Technology has provided for a more simple, easier, and possibly safer solution by installing GPS grading devices to all types of heavy equipment. There are multiple options that you can use to install a GPS grading control system to your equipment depending on the needs and complexity of your project. Let's take a look at some of the most common alternatives.

GPS Grading Systems

In order to be successful in the earthmoving industry you really need one of these GPS grading systems installed and fully function in your equipment. These systems, also called machine control systems, can be extremely beneficial during the earthwork process reducing the needs of additional staking processes. There are different manufacturers available and this equipment can be installed in almost all types of dozers, excavators, graders, and even skid steer loaders.

These tools can be used in:

  • Highways rough grading
  • Large earthmoving projects
  • Landfills
  • Grading for large slabs
  • Residential site grading
  • Railway construction

Machine Control GPS Grading Systems

GPS grading systems are installed in your heavy equipment, making the cut and fill process 10 times more efficient than the actual staking process with traditional surveyors, even when they are GPS equipped. Some of these GPS tools can have a display installed at the operator's cabin so they can have the actual information on how much they will need to cut or fill in relation to the position on which they are in the field.

Now, it is easier as the operator will now what will be the final grade on any specific point within the project site. This equipment can be installed with GPS sensors at the blade position so the operator will know how much cut or fill is needed with real-time data. The blade will be auto-positioned as the final grade approaches reducing the needs of extra work. The on-board computer analyzes the design elevation to calculate the needs to cut or fill and presenting the operator with visual aids on how to position the blade for better accuracy.

Benefits of GPS Grading Systems

GPS can cut costs by eliminating the need to have a surveyor in muddy places or areas that are heavily wooded. Cost is also cut in fuel consumption. The operator will be notified when they are close to the final grade elevation. Also, during bidding, your earthwork estimates can be more competitive due to reduced working time and resources needed to complete the work.

GPS grading reduces the staking required on-site and almost eliminates the waiting time for operators to start working. Also, there is no need to stake several times when huge lifts are needed in areas with large cut volumes. Since the system reduces the need for staking, there are no stakes to run over, eliminating the cost of stake replacement. Final grading is very accurate when using GPS. However, this will largely depend on the manufacturer's equipment accuracy and the information entered into the system.

GPS grading is safer on your worksite. It reduces the need for workers standing near the use of heavy, earth-moving equipment.