You can improve your productivity, jobsite safety, and accuracy with machine control technology, but things can and do go wrong on jobsites as a result of human error, equipment wear and tear, or technology malfunctions. If site control is disturbed, your results will not be accurate. Verification and site control maintenance ensures that everything will progress as it should.
Follow these best practices, and if something isn’t working, you’ll discover sooner rather than later.
Check control points first every day
Before work begins, you want to ensure the site control is still in place. You can do this by checking the position of each control point vs. the plan. The accurate position of the control points ensures your plan matches the real world.
Inspect the machine control technology daily
Dusty and dirty jobsites can get into the moving parts of technology so wipe everything down and inspect it daily for any signs of damage or wear. Inspect the cables on the equipment to be they are not pinched or broken. Check connections to be sure they are secure.
Inspect the construction machinery regularly
Dozers, graders, and excavators need to be in good working condition for machine control to work properly. While technology will move the blade or bucket according to the plan, the results will not be accurate if the blade or bucket is worn. Operators should verify the position of the cutting blade or excavator bucket to be sure it matches what is in the cab.
Check the finished grade soon after you begin
You don’t want to do a whole day’s work and then discover your grade is off. While machine control minimizes the risk of errors, it doesn’t prevent errors from being introduced into the system. An operator can enter the wrong offset; there might be a wear issue with the blade or bucket; a base station or a control point could be moved or incorrectly positioned; the wrong plan can be downloaded into the machine. Any of these situations can create inaccuracies in your work.
Troubleshooting should begin by checking for operator errors. Using a cloud-based collaboration platform for managing and transferring data such as Leica ConX is an easy way to extend your resources by enabling dealer technicians or support to log into your equipment and help resolve issues.
Additionally, grade checkers should get behind the machine soon after the work begins to check the grade in several spots with a survey rover to verify that the machine is cutting the right grade.
Stay in control
Machine control is a proven tool that contractors can trust, but verification of the work is essential. By following these best practices, you can be confident in your ability to maintain site control over the life of the project.