When Construction Equipment attended Trimble's three-day positioning-technology conference (Dimensions 2006) in early November at the Mirage Events Center in Las Vegas, we were impressed by the large number of contractors and surveyors who had taken time from their rushed, end-of-year work schedules to be there. More than 2,000 of them attended — from 47 countries.
The Trimble conference's large audience seems indicative of the keen and growing interest that the construction and surveying communities have in the power and potential of positioning technology. Talk to a few of these people about their interest, and you soon learn that it's chiefly about bringing increased productivity and efficiency to their operations.
For example, in the seminar session "Evaluating Grade-Control Technology for Your Business," a site supervisor from Southern States Site Work and Underground Contracting told us that GPS machine control had saved the company in excess of $240,000 in staking costs on two recent jobs, and that these systems have significantly boosted productivity for the company's 21 earthmoving machines. Land developers today, he said, are looking for contractors who can work quickly and efficiently in order to keep these large, capital-intensive projects on schedule.
This seminar was but one of 125 sessions, which ranged from subjects such as Networking and Telecommunication Basics for GNSS Reference Networks, to Fine Grading with GPS and Laser Augmentation.