New machine control range for bulk earthworks

11 March 2014

Topcon’s new range of 3D GPS systems specifically designed for excavators, scrapers, compactors, loaders and dozers 

A new range of ‘indicate-only’ 3D GPS systems from Topcon offer greater flexibility for contractors to add machine control to all plant on the job. Topcon’s i-33 system for dozers, scrapers, compactors and loaders and X-63i system for excavators have been designed specifically for bulk earthworks. They combine state-of-the-art 3D positioning technology with a price point that is around $20,000 less than 3D GPS systems designed for high precision work such as grading. 

“Although 3D machine control for bulk earthwork machines has been available for some time, it was originally designed for higher tolerance work,” explained Harry Katsanevas, Business Manager of Machine Control for Topcon’s Australian distributor, Position Partners. “Now, instead of adapting high precision systems to a scraper or compactor, a dedicated system is available that’s been tailor-made for these machines.” 

As a result, contractors have greater choice and can opt for the right level of accuracy in their machine control systems depending on the type of machine and the application. All machines across the site are working to the same 3D job design, all can be connected to the site office with Tokara and SiteLink3D remote management software. 

Benefits for bulk earthwork tasks

The assumption has always been that there is no need to add machine control to plant that is carrying out bulk earthworks applications, because accuracy is less critical than with finish grade work. However, the time and productivity gains can be significant. Adding machine control to an excavator, grader, dozer, compactor or loader, has a number of important advantages. These include: 

  • More control - operators have an accurate, real-time knowledge of cut/fill levels
  • Greater accuracy - eliminate overcut and get to grade faster
  • Consistent results - bulk earthworks machines and final-trim machines working together off the same design
  • Increased productivity - optimised machine use resulting in reduced material costs, machine costs and survey costs
  • Enhanced safety – reduce the interaction between people and plant
  • Quality finish – a combination of all of the above resulting in a job well done – first time, every time

Because 3D machine control gives you accurate, live information on cut/fill levels for bulk earthworks, contractors can avoid overcut errors and have the peace of mind that they are getting to grade faster and more accurately.

“You may not need millimetre accuracy for bulk earthwork tasks,” Mr Katsanevas added, “but when big mistakes happen at this stage, it still costs big money and this risk can be eliminated with 3D machine control.” 

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