Machine Guidance Articles

Machine guided construction is a continuously evolving art and new methods of utilising machine control to increase productivity are being developed all the time. Similarly, there are always challenges with the introduction of new technology to any industry and machine control users are discovering ways to effectively overcome these challenges.

The following articles provide in-depth information and learning's on various aspects of machine guided construction methods. Articles can be reviewed online and/or downloaded for future reference.

  • "Contractor Meets Challenges"

    GPS technology helps Warman Excavating succesfully upgrade a 10 kilometer road for a cozy country-style Canadian subdivision.

  • "Empowering the Operator"

    Leica Geosystems and UK contractor Conlon demonstrate how digital technology is empowering machine operators.

  • "Maldives Airport Expansion"

    China-based BUCG turns to machine guided construction to help deliver a $US440 million Maldives Airport expansion project.

  • "Concrete Paving Technology"

    Concrete contractors turn to technology for production-enhancing efficiencies and millimeter accuracy.

  • "Beilby Transforming Construction"

    The construction industry is often known for the slow adoption of technology, however, southeast Queensland group, Bielby Holdings (Bielby), has been challenging this stereotype for the last 15 years – using technology as the number one tool to transform the jobsite.

  • "iMC Excavator At Work"

    New Zealand contractor gains major safety and productivity benefits with first Komatsu 'intelligent Machine Control' excavator.

  • "Compaction Technology For New Beijing Airport"

    When Beijing’s Daxing Airport opens in 2019 it will reside on solid ground--its flat, compact and reliable base prepared with the help of machine-guided dynamic compaction technology.

  • "An Introduction To Machine Control"

    As machine control becomes mainstream, more and more contractors are looking to take advantage. This article provides an introduction to the different systems, uses and contractor benefits of machine control technology. 

  • "5 Reasons For Grade Control"

    Exploring reasons to improve grading accuracy and optimise construction productivity with machine-control systems.

  • "How Does 3D Machine Control Work?"

    Exploring the process of turning complex 3-dimensional engineering designs into real-time machine control information.   

  • "2018 Technology Predictions"

    Five key predictions for the development and adoption of technologies within the Civil Engineering and Construction market.

  • "IOT Construction Fundamentals"

    Exploring the Internet of Things (IoT) for construction technology and how greater interconnectivity will help define success.

  • "Small Contractor, Big Dividends"

    Small site contractor Tom Gardocki, also known online as the ‘Dirt Ninja’, uses machine guided construction technologies for simplified layout, getting to grade faster, reducing errors and greater profitability.

  • "Digging deep with GPS"

    Victorian-based Sure Constructions uses machine guidance technologies to excavate 6.5m deep bore shafts to "improve productivity, safety and efficiency".

  • "Finnish Railway 3D Compaction"

    When tasked with constructing a 60km railway line, Finnish contractor Destia embraced the challenge of creating a smooth surface with the help of 3D machine compaction technology – achieving accuracy with maximum efficiency.

  • "Site Prep for Four-Dealership Auto Mall"

    Machine guidance technology helps Rabb Construction efficiently achieve grade accuracy to meet tight deadlines on a challenging car-yard site preparation project.

  • "Introduction to Machine Control"

    Derrick Koome, Survey Engineering Consultant at Cheswick (Nairobi, Kenya) provides a brief overview into machine control; the future of construction. Topics include an introduction machine control hardware, system functions, contractor benefits and applicable machines. 

  • "Taking Control of the Future"

    Training and access to resources are key to construction success. As John F Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” 

  • "Civil Engineering Advancements and Opportunities"

    Alan Sharp from Trimble’s Civil Engineering & Construction division discusses the coming year’s advancements and opportunities, from more sophisticated methodologies, to rapid-to-deploy Wifi connectivity.

  • "Technology Adopter Reaps Immediate Benefits"

    Alaskan contractor ‘Dirtworks’ uses GPS machine control systems to overcome challenges on big-box Fred Myer site-prep project, allowing them to "keep the fast pace we needed". 

  • "GPS Compaction Monitoring"

    Construction compaction is the process of mechanically removing air voids from placed material to achieve pavement strength and performance. GPS machine guidance systems can be used for viewing, recording, analysing and reporting project compaction status.

  • "2D vs 3D Machine Control"

    2D or 3D: what does it mean and which one is right for me? This article outlines the differences between 2-Dimensional (2D) and 3-Dimensional (3D) machine control systems and common applications for each system.

  • "Solar Project: Drilling with Machine Guidance"

    USA contractor TerraSmart combines their innovative solar panel racking foundation techniques with machine guidance drill systems to accurately install 110,000 ground screws, achieving a 50% program acceleration over traditional stakeout methods!

  • "Civcorp Delivers 3D 'Level Best'"

    Civcorp, a Brisbane-based contractor and positioning technology power user, expand their capabilities by equipping their tracked skid-steer Level Best attachment with a 3D machine guidance solution.

  • "Mainstreaming Machine Productivity"
    - As machine guided earthworks construction becomes more widespread, equipment manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Komatsu and John Deere are responding with integrated systems that are helping to drive innovation even further.
  • "2016 Construction Technology Look Ahead"

    Ryan Kunisch from Trimble's Civil Engineering and Construction Division examines how advancements in technologies will continue to play a pivitol role in the construction industry in 2016 and beyond.

  • "Subdivision Technology"

    Embracing GPS machine control helps a small residential subdivision contractor to realise big results - achieving more accurate grade, faster, and with less effort!

  • "Bypassing the Weighbridge"

    Adopting machine guidance weighing and reporting technology for real-time visibility of site operations has allowed Holcim's Bohle Quarry to bypass their weighbridge and significantly increase their productivity to deliver on the TRR4 project.

  • "Training for Success"
    - As with any technology, understanding how machine control works and knowing how to use it to its full potential will enable you to reap the benefits and maximise productivity for your business.
  • "Quick, Quality Roadwork"
    - Alaskan contractor uses machine guidance technology on a subdivision roadwork upgrade project and benefits from time and material waste savings.
  • "Machine Control: The 2020 Vision"
    - Where to from here? Joel Seddon, Position Partners' National Product Manager - Machine Control, looks at where machine control for the civil construction sector is going over the next five years.
  • "Historical Road Upgrade"
    - Contractor Weaver-Bailey is upgrading the historical U.S. Route 67 with help from cutting-edge machine guided concrete paving technology, saving "considerable time and surveyor expense."
  • "An Airport to Sustain Lives"
    - Charged with building a new airport on the small island of St. Helena, construction group Basil Read are successfully employing the use of 3D machine control to maximise the project's concrete-laying efficiency.
  • "Innovate, Excavate, Repeat: The QGC Pipeline Project"
    - As part of QGC's ground-breaking QCLNG project, contractor Murphy Pipe and Civil continues their innovative pipeline construction techniques including the use of unique machine guidance solutions for the company's fleet of Spiderploughs.
  • "Machine Guidance for Landfills"
    - Using machine control technologies on a 6.8 acre landfill cell development results in greater construction accuracy and productivity ultimately allowing the owner to use the cell much sooner than anticipated.
  • "Machine Guided Mine Drilling"
    - With the move from underground to open pit mining, South Africa's Landau Colliery sought to increase safety, accuracy and productivity with the help of machine guidance drilling systems.
  • "Supersonic Slipform Paving"
    - Sydney-based Statewide Kerbing takes slipform paving to new speeds using machine guidance and its own fleet of volumetric trucks to reduce time and material costs on every project.
  • "Machine Guided Runway Reconstruction"
    - Contractor utilises 3D machine guided milling and paving technologies to reconstruct Honolulu International Airport's 'Reef Runway', successfully meeting tight project deadlines and achieving optimal smoothness.
  • "Landsborough Highway Flood Repairs"
    - Machine control helps Seymour Whyte Construction and Bouygues Travaux Publicis to repair 117km of the flood damaged Landsborough Highway in remote Queensland ahead of schedule.
  • "Minimising Mine Costs With Machine Guidance"
    - Utilising machine guidance on a Uranium Mine project to minimise costs and increase yields including a reduction in surveying time by approximately 95 percent.
  • "Machine Guided Gathering Construction"
    - Using a recent project as a case study, this article analyses the benefits of investing in machine guidance technologies as a replacement for traditionally-surveyed gas gathering pipeline construction, demonstrating a potential project savings of over $4.75 million annually.
  • "Spatial Imaging for Machine Control Models"
    - Contractor successfully utilises spatial imaging systems to accelerate the complete construction phase - from 3D road scanning & modelling to 3D machine-guided milling.
  • "Machine Guided Airport Reconstruction"
    - 3D machine control technology equipped on both dirt moving and paving machinery helps the full reconstruction of Colorado's Meeker Airport see blue sky.
  • "Machine Guided Clear-and-Grade Construction"
    - Examining the benefits, challenges and requirements of using machine guided GPS technologies for Right-of-Way clearing and grading construction in the pipeline industry.
  • "GPS Is Key To Our Industry's Future"

    An outline of the current and future economic impact of GPS for Australian construction, along with a few key benefits, changes and challenges of the Government's strategy for our industry.

  • "Think Big! Start Small!"
    - Johan Smet (Trimble's Director of Technology Consulting and Services) discusses how owner / operators can get started with machine control technology when they only have one or two machines.
  • "Stringless Curbs and Gutters"
    - Building upon their core construction and paving services, contractor Summers-Taylor decided to adopt 3D machine control for their concrete curber - with impressive results!
  • "3D Precision Paving"

    From Formula One tracks and airport runways to highway construction and re-surfacing, 3D machine control paving technology is helping contractors all over the world outperform even the most demanding specifications!

  • "Taking Technology to the Gutter ..."
    - When charged with the construction of a huge residential subdivision within a tight 7-week timeframe, Canada's TACC Construction decided to integrate machine control technology on their slipform concrete kerb and gutter machine - with huge success!
  • "Embracing Machine Guided Construction"
    - After extensive research and investigation, construction contractor Hoban Equipment makes the decision to adopt a 'machine guided construction' business approach and commits to an initial investment in 13 GPS machine control systems.
  • "What's Next For Machine Control?"
    - In the fast-paced world of technological development, Position Partners' Machine Control Product Manager Joel Seddon takes a step back to reflect on what we might expect to see next.
  • "Impressive Project - Impressive Technology"
    - Charged with the design and build of a massive $US billion highway, the project decided to employ the use of the latest machine guidance technologies including a centralised data management system for wireless access to the 80+ GPS devices site-wide.
  • "Crummy Weather ... No Problem!"
    - With persistent rain delays, Envision Contractors had to make the most of every opportunity. Using grading plant equipped with machine guidance technologies improved the efficiency and accuracy of every pass, maximising dry-weather productivity.
  • "New Zealand Earthquake Repairs"
    - The February 2011 Christchurch earthquake caused significant road damage. Key to the reconstruction of these heavily trafficked main arterials was the use of machine control milling technology that ensured an accurate and smooth baseline surface for paving.
  • "Trimble Westminster Building Project"
    - When Trimble outgrew its Westminster facility, the company's decision to build a new campus provided the perfect opportunity to showcase all of its construction technologies, including machine control field products and software solutions.
  • "Learning Never Stops"
    - Machine guidance technologies are continuously being developed and refined to help improve construction productivity and efficiency. This article presents the case for training earthmovers in the age of technology.
  • "Complex Trench Excavation"

    When charged with the challenge of relocating a complex, multi-layer steam tunnel Schneider Excavating Inc employed the use of GPS machine guidance to ensure that the trenches and grades were excavated precisely to plan, all within the project's tight confines.

  • "Machine Control Spreads Its Wings"

    Across the Australian earthmoving industry, machine control is widely adopted among a core of equipment, most notably dozers, graders and excavators. This article looks at the growing use of this technology on unconventional machines and applications.

  • "Upgrading a 1999 Concrete Paver to Current Technology"

    Ingenuity at its best. Rather than sending it to the scrap-pile, Streb Construction decided to upgrade their 1999 slipform concrete paver with the latest technology - including a 3D machine guidance system for accurate paving without stringlines.

  • "Contractor Masters the Complexities of Building Landfill Cells"

    This article demonstrates how utilising machine control technology helped Sargent Corporation overcome some significant engineering challenges and shave 80 working days off their new landfill site project timeline.

  • "Dozer Domination"

    As 3D machine control becomes ever more sophisticated, contractors are often able to extend the use of dozers and complete the entire job from bulk earthworks to finish grade with a single machine.

  • "Ford Civil Contracting Utilises CORS Network"

    Ford Civil is one of the first civil contracting companies in NSW to use CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Stations) network technology to give high accuracy GPS positioning across all earthmoving activities without the need for site-specific GPS base stations.

  • "CoalConnect - Machine Guided Construction"

    With 42 machine guidance systems, CoalConnect was the largest machine control earthmoving project in the Southern Hemisphere. This paper details the extensive preparations that ensured a successful machine guided construction site.

  • "Engineering Survey Data - Data Modelling & Management"

    This article highlights the importance of survey data modelling and survey data management for construction projects. Accurate survey data is crucial for the efficiency of any construction project, particularly those that uses machine guided construction methods.

  • "SAFElink Alliance: The Connected Site"

    The SAFElink Alliance project was, at the time, the largest two-way machine data site in the world. A wireless communication setup between the office and the 22 machine control plant created a connected site that allowed the project to gain a multitude of benefits.

  • "Cost Comparison: Traditional Survey vs Machine Control"

    Using four highway construction projects, this article compares the costs of traditional survey methods and machine control methods to demonstrate a conservative 80+% survey budget saving for projects that choose to utilise machine guided construction.

  • "Machine Guided Productivity"

    Referencing three separate reports that directly compare traditional and machine guided construction methods this article highlights the 100+% productivity gains achieved by utilising machine control technologies.

  • "SAFElink Alliance and the Trimble Supervisor System"

    The SAFElink Alliance project heavily utilised machine control technologies and had a number of unique challenges including field reference on a pegless site. These challenges were overcome with the help of GPS Supervisor Systems.

  • "Machine Guided Construction - Advantages"

    Presenting a bird's eye view of machine guided construction from a surveyor's perspective, this article highlights the advantages of replacing traditional survey methods with machine guided construction.

  • "Machine Guided Construction - Challenges"

    The introduction of new technology to any industry always brings new challenges and this is certainly true of machine guided construction. This article takes a practical look at some of these challenges and how they can be overcome.