Dirtworks Products, a Michigan-based manufacturer, makes JohnnyBall, a 3D measuring system for determining level and slope. JohnnyBall allows operators to check level and slope from the seat of their cab, without the use of GPS or lasers.
A key benefit of JohnnyBall is its portability. Featuring a base cup system, operators can take JohnnyBall from one job site to the next, or from machine to machine. It can be easily mated to dozers, graders, and skid steers of any brand or size.
It went through three phases of prototyping and endured lab testing for durability, according to the company.
In 2014, extensive field-testing was conducted at multiple job sites with operators from Team Elmer’s, a Northern Michigan-based excavating firm.
JohnnyBall saved time, reduced the need for manpower, and increased efficiency, according to the results. On multiple job sites, including highway ditch and slope work, Team Elmer’s operators saved up to 2 to 3 hours a day, eliminated grade rod staff, and had to set fewer stakes. “JohnnyBall worked pretty slick,” one operator said. “I was able to eliminate one rod guy.”
Based on its testing, Dirtworks projects that the tool can pay for itself within weeks. JohnnyBall is available through U.S. and international distributors including Lasco Laser, and additional product information is available at www.johnnyball.com.
Made and assembled in the U.S., the retail price for the system and two base cups is $1,950. Additional base cups are priced at three for $99.00.
The product was invented by John Miller, an excavation operator and industry veteran. Miller first conceived the product more than two decades ago in the gold mines of Alaska. As an operator, he saw the need for accurate and easy determination of level and slope. Two decades, later his idea is being launched internationally.