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GPS Use In Excavators

GPS Use In Excavators: What’s it all about?

We’ve seen amazing technological advancements in a number of areas across the construction industry over the last decade. These advancements usually help us save time and money on the worksite and offer us better certainty. That’s true at least for the introduction of GPS technology being used in excavators.

GPS technology is being used in excavators to save time and money on-site

GPS technology gives your operator better control and better certainty over where they’re placing blades and edges as they dig. This increased confidence and better accuracy streamlines the digging process, making it quicker to dig to the exact measurements.

GPS technology in our excavators allows us to get within a millimetre’s accuracy, so we can grade accurately while taking fewer passes at the earth or soil.

There are so many different benefits to using this technology but they all tie into time savings and cost savings. Whether it means hiring an operator for less time, using less fuel, or just getting the job completed faster.

How does it work?

There are a couple of different ways to configure GPS technology in your excavator. Most excavators these days are using GPS-based grade control systems. These provide the operator with a detailed look at the positioning and orientation of the excavator’s bucket. 

Then, the site plan can be integrated into the GPS’ mapping, so the operator can see where their bucket is in relation to the site plan’s, all at a glance. These usually come with in-cab displays that simplify the task at hand to streamline how the operator digs. 

As well as the GPS mapping and the positioning of the bucket, these GPS excavators come with built-in sensors as well.

Bucket sensors, boom sensors and touchscreen controls make completing precise digs really simple in these excavators.

Are these industry standard now?

Excavators fit out with GPS technology have been around for about a decade now. They’re a fairly popular option in the construction industry and are highly regarded for the quality of work they produce.

While these GPS excavators are standard in big construction projects like commercial infrastructure and industrial projects, GPS technology is rarely used in smaller backyard jobs and residential projects.

What are the benefits of GPS use in excavators?

There are a range of benefits associated with GPS excavators. These mostly translate to time and cost savings, but if you value precision and accuracy on-site, you’ll appreciate this technology.

Stop over digging

Your excavator’s bucket stops exactly at the bottom of the trench. It eliminates disturbing or spoiling the soil beneath and having to re-compact it. It simplifies the excavation process, as you just need to dig once and move along to the next spot.

Grade 30% quicker and with much better accuracy

You can achieve millimetre accuracy with fewer passes in your excavator. It eliminates the risk of undercutting or overcutting and ensures grade accuracy. The 3D design capabilities in the GPS system and real-time monitoring means you can assess accuracy as you grade, by monitoring the material placement.

Cut clean contours quicker

Where we’d traditionally bring in an excavator to do the initial digging work and then have a clean up machine brought in to create the contours, we can now just use excavators. The GPS technology gives these the right accuracy and control to cut out drains, ponds, and any necessary contour for your project.

Create better safety for your team

GPS excavators really streamline the excavation process. You can see your trench, your bucket positioning, and the site’s map all at a glance. So, you no longer need to keep a rod man in the trench or even a surveyor above ground to ensure you’re digging accurately — the machinery does this itself. There’s obvious cost savings in freeing these two people up, but it’s also a massive safety feature. You’re able to eliminate that risk associated with these bodies on-site and in the trench.

Cut precise slopes

If you’re cutting slopes for pipe systems relying on gravity, you need a really accurate downhill sloping cut. GPS excavators have the capability to cut these slopes to the exact degree required without the need for a surveyor on-site to guide the process.

How does GPS technology in your excavators add value to your business?

Save Time

GPS technology built into your excavating equipment means serious time savings. It starts with the surveying and design process. You can plan sites 50 per cent faster, grade 30 per cent faster, and streamline your entire digging process.

Save Money

The different ways you can save time will lead to massive cost savings. This equipment also saves money by eliminating additional personnel on-site, like your rodman and surveyors. By increasing accuracy and eliminating mistakes and do-overs, you’ll also save money on your hire and labour costs.

Increase Accuracy

You can dig within a millimetre’s accuracy, see your site plans at a glance, and even watch the exact positioning of your bucket in real-time. It allows you to complete your most accurate digs to date.

Increase Safety

By eliminating unnecessary team members on-site and from compromising positions, like trenches — you can increase safety on-site. This increased accuracy also eliminates issues arising like do-overs and additional digs or patch jobs, which can also compromise your team’s safety. — Looking to hire an excavator for an upcoming project? Have a look at our commercial and residential ranges.