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Quiz that rep, says Other

Are all systems equally compatible with all original equipment manufacturers?You will find that the largest grade control manufacturers’ [systems] will all perform adequately on the major-brand machines, although differences will persist. Prospective buyers should always quiz their sales rep on how many of the buyer’s type of machines they have automated. Asking for local references is also a good idea.What level of accuracy in a vertical plane do you believe can reasonably be relied upon with a GPS system?Manufacturers of grade control systems have to be conservative and usually estimate the vertical tolerance to be within 30mm. Many users consistently report better results than that, but there are environmental factors which affect GPS signals, and constellation errors that are not entirely predictable. These force us to take a conservative stand when speaking about vertical accuracy. The horizontal accuracy is always better than the vertical. Of course, no grade control system can correct for a sloppy machine, so if the machine is not well maintained then the grade control system is not going to perform optimally.Is there any rule of thumb way to calculate the likely productivity gains that I will achieve?The productivity gains depend on the type of application, the type of machine used and many other factors. And not just things associated with the machine itself. You can increase your productivity if you:never have to wait for the surveyor to set the grade stakes,
never have to wait for a grade checker,
do not have to get out of the cab to read the grade stakes,
do not have to do rework, and/or
spend less time training a new operator because the system is simple to use.Many manufacturers report increases in productivity of 30% to 60%, but there are many users who report even greater productivity gains.
Is there a simple path between 2D and 3D systems and, if so, what components need to be upgraded or changed out?Manufacturers differ on this one. At Topcon we pride ourselves on backward compatibility, so for us the answer is: Yes, there is a simple path. To go from a conventional 2D automated system to a state-of-the-art Topcon Millimetre GPS system, all that is needed is to add the Millimetre GPS components and a 3D control box, which acts an operator interface. The existing sensors, hydraulic components and cabling remain. One of our customers – Ron Woodbridge of Everon Grading Services in Melbourne – recently fitted a Millimetre GPS to his 20-year-old Cat 12G grader. Our distributor upgraded his system in a day, using his old components from Topcon legacy systems that were up to 16 years old. We constantly talk with customers about future-proofing their purchases. Ron’s was a brilliant example of this. With a few added components, an investment made 16 years ago is still performing today, with the most advanced system available on the market.How much training do I need to ensure I will be able to get the full value out of it?Our distributors tell me that one day of training is enough to get the operator comfortable with the system and get him to a point where he sees solid productivity gains. Sometimes follow-up training is needed when the operator wants to learn about all the bells and whistles of the system.Typically, operators will comment that they are not “computer literate”, or can’t even answer emails, yet they have no trouble operating Topcon systems.