James Sharpe, Survey Manager, CPB Contractors, purchased the Tiny Surveyor GPS line marking robot from Position Partners for the West Gate Tunnel Project that involves an upgrade of the existing West Gate Freeway and a new tunnel.
“It’s quite a major upgrade of an existing freeway in the western suburbs of Melbourne. It involves a complete reconstruction of the freeway, it’s not just a widening, we’ll basically be rebuilding the whole freeway in stages” said Mr Sharpe.
“The Tiny Surveyor will be used for all the projects moving forward. There’s always an intensive road line-marking component on all our road projects.”
Why the tiny Surveyor?
Another CPB Contractors Project team was already using the Tiny Surveyor so Mr Sharpe was able to run a trial, quickly deciding that his team also needed a Tiny Surveyor after experiencing the increased safety for team members and the speed at which it could complete tasks onsite. One benefit that surprised Mr Sharpe was the consistent accuracy the Tiny Surveyor offers.
“The Tiny Surveyor gets our surveyors out of the firing line and just the speed it is able to work at is impressive,” said Mr Sharpe.
“The thing we didn’t really know prior to trialling the Tiny Surveyor was the consistent accuracy, the repeatability of the setout line. We found that the Tiny Surveyor matched in well with our surveying equipment. We checked the Tiny Surveyor constantly during the trial and the results obtained were always within GPS accuracy. It also important to note that if there is an issue with the position of the Tiny Surveyor the unit doesn’t work at all. So far we haven’t had a instance where we setout a line onsite that’s been incorrect.”
Tiny Surveyor increases efficiency of line marking
Tasks currently being completed using this gps line marking robot previously required two surveyors. Now with the Tiny Surveyor, these two surveyors are freed up to do other tasks with the Tiny Surveyor being controlled exclusively by the traffic team Supervisor on night shift.
This also increases the efficiency of the overall workflow because the traffic team Supervisor is able to move on to the line marking portion of the work as soon as they are ready without having to locate the surveyor on site, additionally, the surveyors do not have to be present on night shift and can focus their skill sets on other tasks.
“We understand they are the traffic team and they’re not surveyors, but this is the beauty of the Tiny Surveyor. I wouldn’t do it any other way now. We can get so much more traffic setout done onsite in a much shorter space of time,” said Mr Sharpe.
“We’re always rushed on night shifts, we’ve got a very, very small window but the Tiny Surveyor can do it at least four times quicker than a surveyor. We’ve also cut out a part of the traffic line marking process because now the line marking contractor doesn’t have to pre mark the lane lines.”
“It’s pretty mundane work doing line marking, you’re always stopping bending over, you get lots of paint on your fingers and your boots, it’s not the most exciting surveying I’ve ever done,” added Mr Sharpe.
Mr Sharpe is also using the Tiny Surveyor for marking out micro-piles that need to be cored in a part of the project where the ground conditions need to be improved.
“We were going to use the robot’s point set out capability to go out and mark out thousands of micro-piles,” said Mr Sharpe.
“We thought that this was a really awesome way to individually setout all these thousands of micro-piles. We can just set the Tiny Surveyor up and send it out to mark out each micro-pile location in the grid and our guys just follow in behind to install a nail with flagging tied on it.”
The importance of training
The training available was a key benefit for Mr Sharpe and his team, with the initial training from Position Partners setting the team up to hit the ground running and train up other members of the team in the future.
“The support has been really, really good, not that we’ve had to use it often. We had the initial training and that was great and that got us up and running. That’s critical, I think a lot of people don’t realise that that you get that initial training and it can save you a lot of ‘the don’ts’ and makes sure that you’re using the equipment correctly,” said Mr Sharpe.
“We’ve now got a CPB knowledge document that we can continue to use, so we haven’t had to call on Position Partners to train other people in the business because we can run that training internally now.”
“The Tiny Surveyor has well and truly met my expectations and I think it’s exceeded my expectations to be honest, because it’s been so user-friendly and easy to use, the traffic team now are basically using it and doing a great job,” Mr Sharpe added.