Equipment Type

Satisfied With Drones? Survey Says "Yes"

Not much in life is 100 percent certain. Except for drones, maybe.
August 05, 2016

Raczon’s writing career spans nearly 25 years, including magazine publishing and public relations work with some of the industry’s major equipment manufacturers. He has won numerous awards in his career, including nods from the Construction Writers Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and BtoB magazine. He is responsible for the magazine's Buying Files.

Not much in life is 100 percent certain. Except for drones, maybe.

The recently published Drones in Construction Survey (2015 data from WPL Publishing/ConstructionProNet.com) revealed that 100 percent of respondents who have used a drone consider it to be a success.

Drone users are impressed, the survey says, with their low cost, quick turnaround, and particularly the quality of the photos and videos they capture.

The anecdotal portion of the results is full of high-flying praise. “One use of our quadcopter allowed us to survey a dock that had been extensively damaged by a tornado,” one manager says. “Aerial imagery gave us a better scope of the damage than had been first assessed, as well as being able to see outlines of dock debris in the water from a high altitude that was not possible on the surface.” Another points out that the drone caught issues that would normally not be noticed.

When asked about potential uses for drones, some 92 percent of respondents said they’d like to use the technology to track job progress, and 80 percent indicated they’d use it for inspecting areas that are difficult or impossible to access. A surprising—and refreshing—74 percent said they’d use the aerial photography capability for marketing.

Other items on the drone “wish list” were: land surveying, thermal imaging, laser scanning, or other data collection; aerial photography for logistics and production planning; safety monitoring and support; and transporting materials.

Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said they’d handle drone usage in-house, with 31 percent saying they’d hire out. It will be interesting to see how that breakdown changes as years go by and managers become more attuned to drone use.

It will also be interesting to see if any other construction usages develop. But for right now, it all adds up to a positive review of the technology and its potential.

Drop me a line at fraczon@sgcmail.com on how you feel about drone use. What would you use one for? If you’re on board, what are you using it for? And if not, what might be holding you back?

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