Changes to Differential GPS licensing

Make sure you know about the licensing requirements following the 400 MHz band changes.

Frequencies that used to be allocated to Differential GPS (DGPS) are now being used by government services like law enforcement and emergency services.

If you operate your DGPS equipment on these frequencies, you could disrupt or prevent these critical public safety services from doing their job. Causing interference to other services means you could be fined or taken to court.

It is also an offence to operate an unlicensed radiocommunications device under the Radiocommunications Act 1992. If found guilty an individual could face jail terms of up to 2 years and body corporates could receive a penalty of up to $270,000 (1,500 penalty units). Other penalties may apply, for example the interference offence provisions in Part 4.2 of the Act.

What to know about licensing your DGPS

  • Operation of all DGPS equipment must be authorised by a relevant radiocommunications licence.
  • All of the licence conditions must be met, including the permitted operating frequency, bandwidth, allowable transmitting power, location and antenna details.
  • The licence issued will allow DGPS operation at one fixed site (site-specific operation) or within a larger geographic area (area-wide operation).
  • If you are using a third parties radio communications licence you must have written authorisation and meet all conditions stated in the document.
  • A site specific licence is required for any fixed base stations in use greater than 4 weeks.

SITECH Construction Systems is able to issue third party authorisation for area wide frequencies under set conditions and limited time frames. This allows customers to begin work while organising their own licence based on site requirements.

Want to find out more, or not sure if you’re operating your DGPS legally?

  • Call the AMCA on 1300 850 115.
  • Speak with your authorised SITECH dealer – 1800 748 324.
  • Learn more on our website.
  • Get the facts at

This is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Independent advice should be sought if required.

Do a better job faster using technology

“Even the skilled [operators] know they can do a better job faster using technology,” says Alan Sharp, business area director of strategic software solutions at Trimble.

“[GPS technology] captures information on the machine while it’s working so you can provide feedback to the operator and the back office so they know what’s happening on site. You can see budget rollups and schedule breaks more quickly so you can make critical decisions faster.”

See how others taking advantage of technology-rich equipment in this article from Construction Executive.

How satellite technology works

Ever wondered how construction GPS satellite position works? Or how your mobile phone knows where you are for that matter?

This short KnowHow video from our partners in the US takes a step back, and explores the basic technology and capabilities of the satellite positioning we simply call, GPS

100 foot = ~ 30m
10 foot = ~3m
1/10 foot = 3cm

High school build completed 50% faster

Big-Dipper-211x300Big Dipper Construction Inc, is an excavation company based in Alaska. As the company has grown they have moved from site development work for residential properties to larger-scale commercial projects.

In early 2015, Big Dipper Construction won a bid to build a local high school. The scope of work involved everything prior to paving and concrete work. This included clearing 26 acres of land, moving 300,000 cubic yards of dirt, site prep before setting the footings, and grading. The company also won the bid to run all of the underground utilities outside the building, as well as excavation for the interior utilities and electrical. Looking to increase productivity for this type of job, the company turned to Accupoint, their Trimble Authorized Dealer.

“The high school project gave us a great opportunity to really jump all in with GPS and machine control, and while our guys were a little hesitant at first, after a few days they really got into using GPS,” said Corey Gensemer superintendent for Big Dipper Construction. “We set up our job sites by putting the model to the finish grade, then the operators know their sections just by selecting the correct job on the control box; that way there’s no confusion each day about the work ahead. And when things change, we just go in and make an update to the design file and the guys could see it directly.”

For the project, the Big Dipper Construction moved close to 10,000 cubic yards of dirt per day. The team excavated the 26-acre school site in just two months, which the team estimates was 50% faster than using traditional methods.

“With Trimble GPS, laser, and 3D capabilities we are showing that we can successfully manage large projects and still cut our time to completion by at least 25 to 50%, which makes us much more cost effective and competitive,” said Corey.


GPS on wheel loaders

wheelloader-250wDozers and motor graders are the machines most people enhance with GPS/GNSS machine control – it makes sense, they do the ‘hard yards’ but what about small jobsites or confined spaces? Until Trimble brought out its GCS900 version 12.81 nobody had thought to try GPS/GNSS control on wheel loaders but it makes sense when dozers and motor graders are too large to manoeuvre in your space.

Jeff Drake, the business area manager for Trimble Machine Control Systems, talks to Equipment World about GPS on a wheel loader, and the benefits that can come from it.