Site Positioning 101

Site Positioning 101

November 15, 2011

In my last blog, I covered the basics of machine control. This time, I’ll discuss the other core technology that has tremendous productivity benefits for heavy and highway... site positioning.

Site Positioning Systems provide similarly impressive efficiency improvements to non-machine functions on the construction site: staking, grade checking, progress measurement, etc.  Site positioning basically works the same way as machine control: various positioning sensors, components and software are used to determine precise locations and elevations that are compared to the design plan. Site positioning uses especially designed components; portable GNSS receivers or high accuracy total stations, rugged hand-held computers, and specialized software for field and office.

These systems give contractors the ability to do almost all verification of locations and grades, without having to wait for and pay contracted surveyors or other outside resources. The systems can be used for just about all functions within heavy and highway construction; project managers, site supervisors, grade checkers, site engineers, surveyors and geotechnical staff. As a general rule, the more workers you empower with positioning and measuring tools, and the more data you can leverage across job sites, the more money and time you will save.

The growing use of Site Positioning Systems is made possible by a wide range of easy-to-use devices that are scalable in function, accuracy and cost—from full-function tablet computers to powerful handheld controllers, to pocket-sized controllers similar to your smart phone, all of them leveraging the same design information that is used by the machine control systems and the people back in the office. Contractors should look for construction-grade devices: sunlight-readable, site-rugged, extremely weather-proof and usable, and wirelessly connected.

Site Positioning Systems help contractors take control of their technology-enabled jobsites, reduce their dependence on outside surveyors, meet tighter specifications and avoid rework. Both machine control and site positioning can be used very productively as stand-alone functions, but together can create truly efficient site-wide job management.

Talk to your local technology dealer about some of the innovative products now available for site positioning, and how they can help your company be more productive and profitable.

You can read many stories about why and how customers made the decision to implement technology, and what their experience has been, at