Long-time operator impressed with Topcon 3D-MC2 technology
David Cleveland of the Phoenix area is not at a loss for words when it comes to describing his first experience with running a grader equipped with Topcon Positioning Systems’ 3D-MC2.
Prior to his 20-minute session on a grader at the site of the Topcon Technology Roadshow in Phoenix, Arizona, Cleveland wanted to see the construction industry’s most advanced machine control technology but “wasn’t sure exactly what I am going to see. I know what I’ve read, but, honestly, as an old-time machine operator, I don’t believe all the hype I read about the new technology.”
After a few minutes of instruction on setting up 3D-MC2 from Anthony Jolly, a machine control specialist with GPS Modeling and Consulting, a company working with Branco Machinery in hands-on demonstrations at the recent Topcon Technology Roadshow in Phoenix, Cleveland says he was ready to “give it a shot.”
The 46-year-old construction foreman for Buesing Corporation, with more than 25 years experience on big iron, said he was ready to “put this new-fangled technology through its paces.”
IN THE GROOVE
That he did. Straight runs, with pre-determined depth cuts … S-curves with differing cut depths … tight circles (35-feet diameters) … slope cuts to specified depths.
When he stopped the grader after cutting 12 consecutive tight circles, he gave a thumb’s up.
“Put me down as a believer,” Cleveland says as he climbed down. “I knew the basics of 3D machine control, but this goes beyond anything I thought possible.”
The self-proclaimed “working foreman” shares, “I came here to learn but never in a million years thought I would see or do what I was able to see and do today. I consider myself a large dirt spread type of guy; I am intimidated by smaller sites. Not any more, not if I have 3D-MC2.”
Cleveland walked over to talk to a group of end users who had watched him operating the grader. “Well,” one man says, “how was it?”
“Don’t ask me,” Cleveland says, “go get you a handful of that baby.” Then he launched into critique of operating the machine. “It’s unbelievable. I put it in that circle bit, thinking that any minute, the blade was going to dig in. I expected it to get sloppy on tight turns. Didn’t happen. I simply was not prepared for the balance.”
“How fast were you running?” one man asks
“Sixth gear and I wasn’t touching the blade,” Cleveland saiys. “I just put it in automatic, never touching the controls, and went along for the ride. I consider myself a decent operator, but with 3D-MC2, I made a perfect pass. Rather, I should say, the technology made a perfect pass.”
NEW TAKE ON TECH
In response to another question, Cleveland says, “I’m 100 percent sure you can do a zero tolerance turn without any loss in productivity. In fact, after operating it one time, I can see where you can be 90 percent or more productive on every job.”
“I’m betting with this technology,” Cleveland says, “you can take an operator who is a good 7-8 on a 10 scale and make him a 10 within a week. Take a new man and you can have him doing professional work the first month.”
Cleveland walked away from the group and stood in the hot sun looking at the site where he “played” with 3D-MC2 technology. He was smiling and shaking his head.
“Any doubts I had about how this technology works, they are gone. Disappeared.”
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For More Information For more information on Topcon Positioning System’s 3D-MC2, call 925.245.8300, or visit www.topconpositioning.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, July 2014
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