Automatic Grade Control Systems Replace Old Earthmoving Problems with New Ones

August 2005
ENR: Engineering News-Record;8/1/2005, Vol. 255 Issue 5, p20
Trade Publication
The article reports that the expense of hiring surveyors to stake out the cut and fill of earthwork or re-stake a site damaged by a clumsy operator used to be a big money drainer for contractors. But as more earthmoving machines roll out of factories with global positioning systems (GPS) built in, what's left in the place of those wooden stakes is the laborious process of making site plans into machine-compatible 3D files. Lately, more original equipment manufacturers are hitting up contractors to make the switch to automatic grade control, which carries an up-front cost as high as $100,000 per machine. In just the past four months, three major manufacturers have launched their own styles of laser and GPS grade control options and machine designers have drawn clear battle lines on how they plan to sell their vehicles with automatic grade controls.


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