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A Closer Look at the Integration of Technology and Construction Equipment

March 14, 2019

Filed Under: Industry TrendsTechnology

If you haven’t spent any time in a bulldozer, grader or paver, so you may be surprised to find how technologically advanced they are these days. From features that make the operator more comfortable to tools that help us do our job more accurately, this is not the same equipment of 30 years ago.

Technology’s importance in the construction industry is continually growing and expanding, and remaining at the forefront of these trends can significantly help your business. The actual equipment we use on our jobs is no exception. We have added more technologically advanced equipment to our fleet throughout the years, and we continue to do so. Here, the Maryland site contractors at Gray & Son discuss the integration of technology in construction equipment. 

GPS Technology Improving Workflow In Construction Industry

In the early 2000s, we started to get away from the old way of grading jobs and shifted to GPS technology. We now have GPS unites on bulldozers, graders and pavers. Plus, our foremen also have handheld GPS units. So, how does this equipment help us do our job better?

Here’s how it works: our in-house team takes a CAD plan from the engineers and downloads it into the GPS-equipped units. Inside the equipment, our operators have a screen that shows the blueprints of the project, telling them exactly where they are on a job and what they need to do there. For example, when grading a project, they will be able to see on the blueprint where they need to cut or fill. When they get within four to six inches of the grade, the equipment can take over to precise completion, and the operator simply needs to steer to the right place.

This makes us much more accurate, and it also makes us more efficient. The operator no longer has to get out of the tractor to open a hard copy blueprint to see where they are, nor do they have to shoot the grade off of grade stakes. That points to another efficiency over the old ways – eliminating grade stakes. In the past, we would have hundreds of wooden stakes on a job, so we save a lot of time on the front end of a project, since we no longer have to spend hours setting those up.

Asphalt Paving Technology Streamlines Project Control

Additionally, we use systems like TopCon and Cat grade control, which work like electric eyes on a paver. It bounces the grade level off the ground and up to the machine so they know exactly how much blacktop to put down and where. This equals a very smooth, even ride on roads paved with this tool. One important thing to note about technological advancement – it’s important to us that we balance these upgrades with how we perform our work. There is so much new technology out there, and it’s not a great idea to keep buying the latest and greatest with no regard for what makes sense for our business. We are constantly testing and getting demonstrations of new equipment to ensure our upgrades are intentional.

So while we continually invest in updating and adding new equipment to our fleet, we make sure we’re choosing the technology and equipment that will help us get the job done the best way. This equals a robust fleet that is efficient and accurate, run by a team that has the experience to utilize the equipment to the fullest.

Contact Maryland Pavers & Site Contractors at Gray & Son to Learn More

As a Maryland-based company with roots in site contracting for over a century, the team at Gray & Son is dedicated to consistently improving our workflow. Our community is our top priority, and it is important that our projects are completed in a safe and time efficient manner. With the increase of technology in construction equipment, many workers in the construction industry are learning innovative ways to improve their workflow and attention to detail. To learn more about Gray & Son, and see how we can help you on your next commercial project, contact our team today.