Topcon a pleasant change

The company runs two Topcon X63 3D excavator indicate systems on its Cat 324D excavators and a Topcon 3D-GPS+ system on its Cat 12H grader.For the past 2.5 years, the bulk of its work has been involvement in the $324 million Robina to Varsity Lakes Rail Extension Project on the Gold Coast for the TrackStar Alliance. Badenoch was a relatively early adopter of the benefits of machine control systems. “When I first bought my own machine, a 20-tonne excavator, I also ended up buying a 2D system,” he said.“At the time, I was doing a lot of pipeline works, where depth and grade in a 2D system is a great thing. We could just work away off that without any pegs or people checking heights and so forth.“Soon after, I went to work for Abigroup on the Brunswick Bypass, and they overlaid a 3D system. I worked there for a year and a half with the 3D on it, trimming all the bases and batters.“That was the start of it and, after that job, I bought that system and it just grew from there.”Earlier this year Badenoch decided to upgrade his machine control systems. “So – as you do – I went and looked at everything on the market,” he said.“After talking with Topcon and seeing their products and the quality of their gear and the backup, we decided to trade in all the competitor’s gear with Topcon and install their systems,” he said.Badenoch said Harry Katsanevas, Position Partners’ Queensland-based machine control manager, helped make the transition smooth.“Once I made the decision, it was a very seamless exercise. It only took a day, maybe a day and a half, and we were back working again,” he said.Badenoch said the TrackStar Alliance was also happy with the new system.“With the previous systems, it was sort of a 10-step process. It was a bit of a debacle getting the information from whatever format the surveyor happened to have – which everywhere you go was different – and then getting it on to the data cards,” he said.“That was always a drama. But now, with Topcon’s gear, it’s a simple thing on a little memory stick, a two-step process and it’s done.”Badenoch said the Topcon system had also been much easier for operators to learn and manage.“It’s a very simple screen with very clear instructions on how to use it, just a touch screen, which is a big positive with the Topcon gear,” he said.“The previous systems had two screens, which also meant a bit of time taking it on and off every day – because obviously you don’t want to leave the gear in the machine overnight.“We had five or six plugs to undo and get everything out, get the antennas off it and so on. But with Topcon’s gear, it’s one simple plug – the one screw and it is out. It’s nice and light and compact.”

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