‘Bargain’ decisions costing contractors thousands

Every business aims to keep costs down, but for some, a decision that initially may save money can end up costing thousands – or worse. The adoption of technology in the construction and earthwork industry is accelerating fast and, let’s face it, it isn’t a cheap exercise, especially for small to mid-sized operators.

But some are finding out the hard way that buying this technology from non-authorised sources can lead to disaster. From second-hand equipment that gives up the ghost to pirated software that crashes and takes vital data with it, operators are taking huge risks with their business’ future - just ask Trimble’s Matt Rhyne, Regional Sales Manager – Australasia for Trimble Civil Engineering & Construction.

“It’s a big worry for us because we want Trimble users to experience the very best,” he said.

“And by getting gear from non-authorised sources, you run the real risk of costing your business tens of thousands of dollars, by damaging your reputation in the industry, losing clients and work.”

“Sad to say, we have many examples of things going very wrong for businesses when they don’t go with our authorised Trimble dealer SITECH.” On that list are businesses who had unwittingly bought stolen equipment, Matt said. If gear is reported stolen, Trimble has an online database for dealers to report the item as stolen on behalf of the customer.

“If that equipment is presented at any Trimble service centre the serial number is checked and if it is stolen, it’s the responsibility of the dealer to report it to the police,” Matt explained. “So the new owner is left with nothing - most of the time whoever they bought it from is long gone, giving them no recourse.”

There are also examples of operators buying hardware and software from online market places and the like, then when it arrives it is either not functioning or not working to its full potential. Because they have bought from a disreputable source they have no warranty so have to bear the full cost of repairs. Gear bought from overseas can be a whole other issue, including voided warranties and voltage issues.

“Hardware is specific to the market and location it is sold to in many cases,” Matt said.

“Buying from overseas means there’s no guarantee it will work where you are – unfortunately there are operators who’ve lost out because of localised compatibility issues.”

And, perhaps surprisingly to some, buying elsewhere doesn’t always mean cheaper.

“So while purchasing something that then needs repairing is going to cost you more, we’ve also examples of operators buying equipment thinking they have got it cheaper and it was in fact more expensive than through the authorised Trimble distributor, a SITECH dealer” Matt said.

The bottom line is that if you invest in technology from an unauthorised source you are taking a gamble - and it’s a gamble you don’t need to take. SITECH has a variety of options for operators including authorised and guaranteed second-hand equipment, including ex-rental gear as well as hardware clients have traded in. In both cases SITECH guarantees their operation and will correct any problems.

“We also offer a ‘hire to buy’ option which means you can be using the technology right now, reaping its benefits while not having to outlay the cost in one go,” Matt said.

“That’s proving popular with smaller and mid-sized operators as they can budget the savings they’ll make through machine control, for example, towards the monthly hire-to-buy cost.”

SITECH and Trimble want customers to get the very best out of their technology, and dealing with their local SITECH means just that.

Working with SITECH also brings its own rewards, including training, installation and support that can be relied on.  “At Trimble we require the dealers’ technical support team to undergo continual training,” Matt said. “Trimble provides huge investment in dealer training, running local ‘boot camps’ that give the dealer’s staff access to Trimble product experts, new technology and time on machines, ensuring the customer gets the best experience from their investment.”

To find out more about SITECH’s range of services and solutions, call 1800 748 324 or visit www.sitechcs.com

SITECH puts Trimble experience in operators’ hands

Technology that is changing the face of construction went on show and customers got their feet dirty at a special open day near Adelaide.

SITECH Construction Systems, the official distributor for Trimble products, teamed with earthmoving ‘giants’ Kobelco, Komatsu and Hitachi to demonstrate the next generation of machine control at the Trimble Experience open day, which was held at Waterloo Corner on September 12.

The open day included demonstrations and the opportunity get hands-on with the latest Trimble technology.

On the machines, operators were able to experience Earthworks, a software and hardware combination that is revolutionising earthmoving with cutting-edge technology providing semi-automation of excavator controls.

Still on machines, live demonstrations were held showcasing how an operator can create their own infield designs and use payload to improve efficiency.

Off the machines, everyone got hands on with Trimble SiteWorks, the next progression in 3D visualisation for site set-out and measurement.

Throughout out the day, workshops demonstrated how drone technology coupled with Trimble Stratus can easily provide volumetric measurements for earthworks progress and claims.

Experts were also on hand to demonstrate Trimble WorksManager, a new data management tool taking care of design revisions, remote support and IBSS networks.

The day was capped off with Trimble SiteVision – the new augmented reality tool coming soon that can be run on a mobile phone so you can visualise works before you even start.

Thanks to our OEM partners, we were able to fit a Hitachi ZX360LC-5B excavator with the works -  Trimble Earthworks Autos, Payload Scales and a Blaxtair Pedestrian Detection Camera.

Also at the day was a Komatsu PC360 Excavator from T&J Construction, a Kobelco SK260LC-10 Excavator and a John Deere GP622 Motor Grader, all equipped with Trimble Earthworks Auto.

Big Chief Hire provided the site for the event and also supplied a grader, water cart, loader, electronic signs and three operators. It was the perfect site with plenty of room to spread out and no objection to digging plenty of holes!

UPG and BuildingPoint were also on hand to show the latest in scanning technology and building layout tools including Trimble’s SX10 Robotic Total Station and RPT600 Layout Station.

Over 120 customers attended the day, including operators, business owners, foremen, surveyors and local government representatives, as well as 15 staff on site.

The reaction from those who took part was very positive, with many commenting on how good it was to spend real quality time in a machine with the latest technology.

Among the most popular features on show were the automatics on the diggers, which really showed how this breakthrough translates into supreme accuracy and big savings in time and money.

While this was the first such day staged – specifically for operators – it won’t be the last thanks to the interest and response it generated.

“Our industry continues to excite - there’s always a new solution that’s helping our clients in the way they tender, win and deliver their projects,” SITECH’s Brent Daniel said.

“To put the entire Trimble construction system on show for a day was a great achievement and a reflection of SITECH’s capability.

“Our success is measured by our customers’ success.”

 

 

West Gate Tunnel Project to deliver alternative to West Gate Bridge

One of Victoria’s major infrastructure projects has added a new level of accuracy to its operations thanks to Trimble and SITECH.

SITECH Construction Systems recently installed four Hitachi ZX490LCH-5 excavators with the Trimble LOADRITE X2350 Payload System, to be utilised on the West Gate Tunnel Project currently under way in Melbourne.

SITECH was approached to provide a solution to enable the project team to accurately manage the amount of material loaded on to trucks leaving the site to ensure that they were not overweight and were safe to use the public road network.

Using covered conveyors, the rock and soil from the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) will be moved to the spoil management facility, where the four excavators will load the material onto trucks to be transported offsite to suitable fill sites.

All the load data will be sent via Trimble InsightHQ back to the project team for daily reports that will detail every bucket loaded and how many tonnes of material have been loaded.

The TBMs will excavate over 1.5 million cubic metres of rock and soil. Depending on the ground conditions, the machines will typically bore an average distance of 9m per day.

The West Gate Tunnel Project will deliver a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge, providing the city with a much-needed second river crossing, quicker and safer journeys, and remove thousands of trucks from residential streets.

The project is a partnership between the Victorian Government and Transurban and will be built by construction contractors CPB Contractors and John Holland (CPBJH JV).

Construction is under way, with the new road to be opened in 2022.

If you want to know how SITECH Construction Systems can help with your next project, give us a call 1800 SITECH (1800 748 324)

United Civil Becomes Faster, Smarter and More Accurate with Trimble

United Civil Construction Ltd (United Civil) was established over 40 years ago in New Zealand with the forming of United Carriers Group. When the group separated its construction operation in mid-2006, United Civil was formed. The civil construction company has over 120 trained and experienced staff who deliver outstanding work on projects from Auckland up to Cape Reinga. With a focus on benefiting its people and the communities in which it serves, United Civil puts health and safety at the core of its operations. It is also committed to building all of its projects in a sustainable manner that does not harm the environment.

SEE Civil takes flight with Trimble, SITECH and Propeller

When SEE Civil wanted to advance its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) survey drone program, they turned to Trimble, Propeller and SITECH Construction Systems.

SEE Civil has more than 30 years of experience completing a wide variety of projects encompassing all aspects of civil construction and urban development.

The company also offers plant management and runs a quarrying operation to create an integrated approach to project delivery. SEE Civil teams have a wide range of experience across civil construction projects including building roads, bridges and rail, earthworks, and water, sewer and utility civil infrastructure work.

Across the scope of its projects, SEE Civil uses professional surveyors to complete a range of activities, such as surveying construction sites for the placement of buildings, roads, and utility lines, producing topographic and hydrographic maps, calculating volumetric measurements and more.

Previously, SEE Civil relied primarily on conventional surveying techniques and some UAV survey drones.

The company turned to Trimble partner and worksite expert Propeller and SITECH Construction Systems for help advancing its UAV program.

The SEE Civil team wanted the ability to use UAV drones in conjunction with traditional survey processes to quickly gather high-resolution geospatial images and to collect critical survey-grade data about their construction sites. The company also wanted to implement a more cohesive survey methodology to track project progress and to maximise productivity across its jobs.

Propeller recommended leveraging Trimble Stratus software, Trimble Business Centre and Propeller’s data analytics and visualisation platform, AeroPoints, with SEE Civil’s drone program.

The team’s survey drones include positioning technologies, image-processing algorithms and imaging sensors. Combining Trimble’s advanced software with the drone’s high-resolution 3D mapping solutions is allowing the team to capture geo-referenced aerial images with razor-sharp resolution across its projects very quickly.

“Now we have access to accurate, up-to-date topographic surveys whenever we need them, without the constraints of traditional survey,” said Cameron Brittain, SEE Group General Manager of technology and digital engineering. “We can easily check our design and answer questions quickly, reducing bottlenecks.”

Brittain likes that Trimble Stratus and AeroPoints take the complexity out of performing measurements and calculations and that it supports virtual collaboration, so construction teams have the answers they need almost immediately.

“We were looking for the ability to capture, analyse, and share accurate data about our worksites and assets,” Brittain said. “Now we have more efficient mapping and measuring tools so we can plan smarter, report faster and drive improvements across survey workflows and entire projects.”

 

SEE Civil and SITECH bring together UAV technology

Trimble Earthworks study with SEE Civil

Today, SEE Civil’s team of 10 surveyors is using Trimble Status and drones to efficiently map, measure and share survey information about worksites. Logging in through the company’s Trimble account, engineers and project managers can see surfaces visualised in 3D instantly. Teams create volume measurements to compare elevations captured with the drone, comparing those values to the design for accurate project tracking and reporting. Using Trimble Stratus, teams also develop high-quality deliverables for cut and fill mapping, stockpile management and quantification, cross-section analysis, and evaluating slope heights to compare with site measurements.

“Trimble Stratus gives us the ability to provide more accurate positioning information to our teams, more frequently, and much quicker , especially when combined with conventional survey methods,” said Brittain “With this information available at our fingertips, our teams can make faster and more informed decisions to stay ahead of the curve.”

Trimble Stratus is also helping SEE Civil to enhance and accelerate its reporting capabilities and to communicate project progress. End-of-month reporting is now also much simpler using the Trimble Status platform, reducing stress and providing more information for project teams, faster.

“Trimble Stratus software includes a visual timeline that keeps everyone on the same page and empowers the team to track site changes, avoid crossed wires, and resolve disputes when they arise,” said Brittain. 

The Propeller team and SITECH Construction Systems are continuing to train SEE Civil teams to use Trimble Stratus software and to optimise its new UAV survey workflow fully. The company is currently training its extended team of surveyors, superintendents, project managers and its executive management team on the software. SEE Civil’s goal is to have decision makers be empowered to readily access survey data whenever and however they need it, to make smarter, data-driven decisions.

“Trimble and Propeller have been great to deal with so far,” said Brittain. “I relied on their experience and knowledge to help understand the Trimble Stratus capabilities and how we can best leverage the tools. We’re minimising time, cost, and safety risks associated with traditional survey and we’ve totally transformed how do things to drive efficiencies across projects.”

This article first appeared on insideconstruction.com.au