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For more than seven years, the use of data has expanded from takeoff to site data, and back to the office again. No longer is the information generated used for one scope of a project. You can now transfer this data across various departments of your company, improving your production and bottom line.
Here’s how this data flow works on a site prep job:
And here’s how the process works:
Before doing anything, you need software. We’re often asked what type of software to buy. Here are the factors one needs to consider:
Takeoffs: There is a good chance you can get electronic files from the engineer to perform a takeoff. Import this into your takeoff software and produce reports and submit a bid. Your numbers will be more accurate than a manual takeoff, or surfaces digitized from paper plans.
It is critical that you take a topo of the existing ground before starting work. Bid the job to plan quantities, and verify the numbers after you take a topo.
Maybe the site requires clearing before a topo can be performed. How do you estimate clear and grub and make it a lump sum price? In addition to experience, you can reduce the guessing by setting up a grid on a dense job site, or taking a clearing inventory in lighter areas.
With the surface area known, it is easier to estimate density and average brush or tree height to estimate the volume of clearing material. While this is not exact, it’s much better than a wild guess.
After you have taken the topo of the site, compare the dirt quantities. If the numbers are not in your favor, now is the time to negotiate, not half way through the job.
Data: I have always said if you are using your takeoff surface for data, you are doing too good of a takeoff. Now that you have won the job, it’s time to open the file again, clean up the surface and get it ready to go in the field. The job may not need a lot of work, like a parking lot, or the job may need to be built on file all over again. Many highways are taken off from cross sections, but need to be built from plan, profiles and templates.
There has been some confusion as to who should build data. It’s the contractor’s responsibility to build the job correctly; therefore they can use whatever means they feel appropriate to build data. The use of GPS on a jobsite does not eliminate the need for traditional engineering and survey; it merely is another powerful tool for use on the jobsite. Share the data you build with the surveyors and engineers. The goal here is to make the job gets built right the first time, not point fingers for an incorrect elevation.
At this point there is a disconnect in the industry. Most people think the data for the job is used for machine control and grade checking. This is true, but there is a lot more one can do with digital information:
Can you do without technology on the jobsite and in the office? Maybe, but not for long. The price of hardware is coming down. Our experience shows that the equipment will pay for itself in fuel savings alone. When you factor in the savings of labor, machine wear, improved production, and profitability, the digital job makes a lot of sense. EW
– Marco Cecala, Take-Off Professionals
Take-Off Professionals specialize in construction data preparation and have worked in the industry for 15 years. For more information, visit www.takeoffpros.com.
Lower costs with multi-functional site preparation machine
Power both a forestry mower/mulcher and stump cutter land-clearing attachment with the new Rayco T275 site preparation machine, which helps reduce the cost of extracting and hauling stumps to dump sites. The T275 features a carbide-tipped fixed-tooth mower, Monster Tooth stump cutter wheel and heat, air-conditioning and pressure clean filtered air in the cab.
Increase skid-steer capability with rotating grapple and winch cable
The new Multitek Mark II 360-degree rotating grapple comes with a hydraulic winch cable option with 125 feet of 3/8-inch cable. This cable increases skid-steer loader capability by offering another way of retrieving logs and brush on steep, hilly ground where other machines have difficulties.
Horizontal grinder performs variety of recycling operations
Complete mid-range wood and green waste recycling jobs with Morbark’s Model 3800 Wood Hog, which features a 38-by-59 3/4-inch feed opening for increased material flow into the mill chamber. The step-frame design creates plenty of space under and within the mill area allowing processed material to exit the grinding chamber freely. An internal hydraulic drive on the feed wheel and a six-tooth drive sprocket on the bed chain eliminate wayward debris and congestion at the mill site.
Make quick work of site prep with chipper line
Clear land quickly with JP Carlton’s 6-inch, 9-inch, 12-inch and 18-inch wood chippers. The chippers feature a hydraulic system with an integrated manifold for optimum control, and a hand crank swivel discharge enables the operator to adjust the chip flow positioning. High speed dynamically balanced disk rounds boost chipping power.
Shred and clear whole trees with two new models of the Geo-Boy brush cutter tractor
Geo-Boy’s brush cutter tractor four-wheel drive model features an articulated undercarriage that allows for precise control and movement. The LGP model offers all-terrain mobility with low ground pressure rating. Both models have an ergonomically designed cab that puts all the controls within easy reach and a Fecon cutter head that clears dense brush, undergrowth and whole trees.
Rock bucket makes site cleanup easy
Rake through soil and remove rocks and debris down to 2 1/2 inches with Atco’s Blue Diamond rock bucket. The bucket can be attached to a skid steer or universal mount tractor to clean up jobsites or rake up brush and roots. The tines are made from 3/8-inch steel and reinforced by gussets and cross tubes. The Blue Diamond rock bucket is available in a variety of widths and is set up to easily add a grapple to the top.
Grapple rakes attach easily with universal hookup
AIM Skid Steer Grapple Rakes feature a gusseted top clamp with guard-protected dual hydraulic cylinders, wear-resistant steel construction and an all-new back-frame design to allow better clearance for hydraulic hoses. The rakes come in several widths from 60 to 84 inches and are available for all makes of skid steer loaders with the universal-style hookup.
Globe expands dump trailer line
Globe Trailers now offers 80-, 100- and 133-yard dump trailers. The drop deck style trailers have Grade 50, AR400 and Hardox Steel, and feature a full frame type dump body and single point suspension. The low center of gravity enables easier loading than a conventional flat frame dump.
Self-powered brush shredder attaches to existing excavator
The Sneller Brush Shredders are self-powered – not hydraulic — and have a rotating drum and patented stationary teeth for clearing heavy brush and trees. The brush shredder attaches to the Sneller Multi-Task carrier or your existing excavator. This brush shredder is built to take daily up-front punishment and is available in a 275- or 130-horsepower model.
Gauge multiple distances with durable Laserometer
The Storm Laserometer by Apache not only indicates high, low or on-grade, it also shows the exact distance to on-grade with a digital readout. The Storm will work with any rotating red or infrared beam laser. The laser features a 5-inch-tall reception window, bright LEDs and strobe rejection circuitry. Rubber over-molding combined with SuperCell technology allows the unit to withstand repeated drops. The Storm is also waterproof.
Flatbed trailer has 14-foot 6-inch tilt deck
Kaufman Trailers’ tilt equipment trailer features an 8-foot fixed deck, 14-foot 6-inch tilt deck, two 7,000-pound E-Z lube braking axles and an adjustable 2 5/16-inch ball or adjustable pintle. Other standard features include a six-channel wraparound tongue, 12,000-pound drop foot jack, electric brakes with breakaway kit and radial tires.
Cleanfix engine fans keep equipment cool and remove dirt and debris
Keep equipment cool with Novatrax’s Cleanfix engine fans, which can be reversed to blow dirt and debris from the radiator and engine compartment. The fan features nine blades that can turn 180 degrees while the engine is running to change air flow direction. Powered by a 12/24-volt compressor or an optional electronic control module, the fans can be installed on skidders, loaders, feller bunchers and other equipment.
Ground protection mats withstand 60-ton loads
Eliminate expensive ground restoration costs with AlturnaMATS ground protection mats. AlturnaMATS are made of 1/2-inch-thick polyethylene, can withstand 60-ton loads and are guaranteed for six years. The mats can be used for construction, golf courses, landscaping, tree care, cemeteries and other applications. AlturnaMATS link together using Turn-a-Links, creating a continuous roadway or a large working platform.
Easily transport compact power rake for various projects
Refurbish existing turf or prep seedbeds for small yards with the ATI Preseeder Compact Power Rake. The 36-inch-wide rake transports easily in pickup beds, and the helical tooth pattern provides smooth operation. Other features include a 13-horsepower Honda engine, hydrostatic drive with reverse, 10-position adjustable working depth and durable transport latch with lockout feature.
Cut, grind and dig with one attachment
Felco’s UTS Milling Bucket has a hydraulic milling unit attached, allowing contractors to cut through and grind pavement, concrete, building foundations, rock and slate, as well as grind trees and do landscape work. The cutting unit can mill from 2 to 5 1/2 inches of material and can also be used to grind material out of the bottom of the bucket to create more backfill.
Packer/roller ensures 100 percent road compaction
The Handy Hitch 90-, 105- and 120-inch Contour packer/roller features a walking beam design that allows the tires to pivot on 11 degrees of travel from front to rear, ensuring 100-percent road compaction. The Contour attaches to the grader as a tow behind, eliminating the need for another machine and operator. Each unit comes with a hydraulic accumulator, which allows the operator to have precise control of down pressure.
Line boring machine offers full-function remote control
York Portable Machine Tools 4-14 ET offers options and packages that make the line boring machine fully customizable. The full function auto-feed carriage comes with or without a remote, but manual feed is also available. York offers electric, hydraulic (single or three phase) and pneumatic bar drives for the 4-14 ET. Bar packages range from small at 1.5 to 3 inches to premium plus at 1.5 to 16 inches and are available in polished ground bar stock or chrome plated and polished.
Process 19-inch-diameter material with brush chipper
Clear land efficiently with Vermeer’s BC1800XL brush chipper, now equipped with Tier 3-compliant engines. Available in 115-, 125- and 140-horsepower, the chipper features dual vertical infeed rollers that have a helical design to help hold material against the feed table for a reduction in shock and vibration. New features include a side-hinged hood to allow easy access to engine parts during maintenance.
Unload material easily from new scraper
Miskin’s new E-20 pull-type scraper features a 20-yard capacity and a push-off ejector bowl. The E-20 also has oil-filled hubs and a larger hitch and bigger pins than previous models. Easily accessible grease banks and replaceable bushings make maintenance simple. CushionRide suspension allows high speed travel and protects the scraper in rough terrain.
RPA 4570R handles logs, wood debris and stumps
The RPA 4570R grapple from Rotobec is a heavy-duty model with a 3-by-4 tine configuration. Rotobec offers three different size grapples in different jaw configurations for hydraulic excavators ranging from 15 to 45 tons. All Rotobec grapples can be used with the company’s RGP rotator system, which is positioned by the excavator’s tool cylinder. The rotator offers high swing torque forces thanks to a large slewing ring designed to withstand the tool cylinder force.
Grapple offers 360-degree rotation and 72-inch-wide opening
The 6072 grapple from Ryan’s Equipment has a 3-inch closure with a 72-inch-wide opening. It comes with the standard quick connect plate for skid steers or can be custom fit for excavators and other carriers. The oversized chrome pins, hardened steel bushings and high tensile strength steel construction ensure long life. Place objects in the exact position intended with the 360-degree continuous rotation and the push bar design, which functions as a directional guide.
Rotary discs mulch heavy brush and trees
Designed for excavators in the 15- to 37-ton class, ProMac Manufacturing’s Model 36 CMP II and 52 CMP II extreme service rotary disc cutters assist in mulching heavy brush and trees. Discs are available with two disc and three cutter bit designs, and are effective in forestry, power line transmission right-of-way applications, seismic line work and land development.
Protect buckets from edge wear
H&L Tooth’s delta wing system features sharp, delta shaped lateral wings with pin cradles for enhanced pin installation and retention. A direct replacement for 230 series backhoe teeth, the new system solves the problem of bucket lip scalloping, while providing enhanced bucket penetration and increased capacity. The delta wing system is currently available in general purpose, heavy duty and tiger styles for backhoes.
Rakes with clamps hold more material
Pemberton’s loader rakes with paddle clamps or two clamps handle up to 75 percent more material than a standard loader rake without a clamp. The two-clamp version handles uneven loads, and can be used in recycling, land clearing and storm cleanup. Constructed of high strength, high tensile materials, the clamps feature raking widths from 84 inches to 134 inches.
Grind whole trees with industrial horizontal grinder
Tackle tough grinding jobs with DuraTech’s 9564 horizontal grinder, which has a Cat C27 Tier 2 950-horsepower diesel engine. A 30-foot-long unloading conveyor stacks material 22 feet high, and the 9564 can grind an entire tree, large stumps, branches or green waste. The enclosed engine compartment produces the lowest decibel reading in its class, according to the company. The 9564 also has a 64-inch, 12,100-pound hammermill with 24 hammers and 8 hammer rods.
Heavy-duty bucket digs in tough soil conditions
Dig in hard clay and rock with Werk-Brau’s high capacity, heavy-duty excavator bucket, which features T-1 steel on critical or high wear components. A heavy reinforcing plate backs the cutting edge while horizontal AR400 abrasion-resistant wear straps protect the bottom. The bucket can be equipped with any standard tooth configuration.
Bandit introduces brush chippers
The 007XP Series of hand-fed brush chippers from Bandit Industries includes the Model 255XP, a 15-inch capacity hydraulic-feed disc-style chipper. The 255XP features a wide 15 1/2-inch-by-25-inch chipper opening and engine options up to 213 horsepower. The patented Auto Feed Plus system, standard on all hand-fed chippers, helps efficiency by not only starting and stopping the feed, but also automatically reversing a unit’s feed system.
Extreme cutter handles various sizes
Designed for reverse platform or bi-directional tractors, the 160-horsepower Loftness Carbide Cutter Extreme efficiently cuts and mulches up to 10-inch diameter material, and intermittently cuts larger diameter material. The rotating pivot mechanism allows the head to rotate 120 degrees without affecting PTO angles.
Portable conveyor system perfect for restricted areas
Only 7 inches high, the portable Miniveyor can move 25 to 50 tons per hour. Designed for excavation below grade, through windows or in other restricted areas, it is capable of operating while on the ground. With a single 20-amp circuit you can operate four Miniveyors, so it won’t drain your power at the jobsite. Miniveyors also feature aircraft grade aluminum frames, solid stainless steel slider beds, reversible belts and foam cores to add strength while saving weight.
Stabilize soil and repair contamination
Allu’s new in-situ soil stabilization system includes two units: the Allu PM Power Mixer and Allu PF Pressure Feeder. The Allu system strengthens soft soil by mixing it with the Power Mixer and simultaneously feeding the additives straight to the ground with the Pressure Feeder. Allu’s system can also remedy contaminated soils by binding the contamination. The Allu system can process material layers as deep as 161⁄2 feet and can reach capacities from 39 to 130 cubic feet per hour depending on the soil type.
Black Rhino provides environmentally safe fuel storage and dispensing
The Black Rhino Fuel Safe from Western Environmental is a self-contained fueling system mounted on a twin-axle trailer that can be relocated where you need it. Black Rhino tanks meet or exceed all EPA, federal, state, and local codes and regulations as well as NFPA 30 and 2003 International Fire Code requirements. The Black Rhino is available in 550-, 1,000-, 2,000-, and 4,000-gallon sizes.
Chip stumps or trees to ground level with new brush cutter chipper attachment
Chip trees 15 inches in diameter in seconds with Denis Cimaf’s DAH-150E brush cutter chipper for excavators. Designed for excavators 20 tons and larger, the DAH-150E has 21 fixed knives with bolt-on blades, a vibration-reducing chevron tooth pattern and a 57-inch cutting width.
Self-propelled earthmover has the maneuverability of a compact track loader
The Ashland Ground Hog 2500 will change the way you develop 1- to 2-acre lots. It can cut, carry, scrape and level, and it makes flat cuts on uneven ground. The Ground Hog adds little weight on a power unit, and saves larger machines from unnecessary wear and tear.
Reduce stumps to ground level with ProGrind’s grinding head
Cut brush and standing trees and reduce stumps to ground level with the ProGrind Series 50 grinding head. The grinding head has a 50-by-26-inch smooth drum head, a 350-horsepower Caterpillar power back and fixed carbide teeth. The Series 50 leaves mulch behind for soil stabilization and clears right-of-ways, ditch lines and creek banks in a single pass.
Impact Release System provides choice of modes for customized grinding
Process large material such as tree stumps with Peterson’s 5710C high production track grinder. The 5710C features a 1,050-horsepower Caterpillar C27 engine and has a 60-by-44-inch feed opening. The grinder’s Impact Release System has a detent mode for consistent product sizing and a floating anvil mode for primary reduction when accurate sizing is less important. Customize grate configurations with the grinder’s quick-change multiple grate system, which produces a variety of finished materials.
Brush cutter features 67-inch width
Cut trees and brush with Brown Bear’s BC285.5 horizontal drum cutter for skid steers and compact track loaders. A fixed tooth design has spade type cutters with carbide inserts in an overlapping cutting pattern. The cutter uses an oil supply of 30 gallons per minute at 3,000 psi from the carrier’s hydraulic system, and handles hardwoods up to 8 inches in diameter.
Truck body supports heavy-duty cranes
Using a one-piece side pack constructed of 10-gauge galvanneal and an internal hinge design, Auto Crane’s Titan 70 provides strength and corrosion resistance. The Titan comes standard with LED lights, advanced T-handle door latches, and a slammable tailgate that can be operated with one hand. Radius corners and double-panel doors also add to the strength of the Titan crane body.
Lightweight scraper still tough and durable
Scrapers from K-Tec Earthmovers are designed to thrive in a variety of conditions: mud, sand, gravel, clay, rocky soil and more. All K-Tecs can be push loaded to maintain efficiency in adverse conditions without voiding warranty. K-Tec builds all its units with Hardox and Weldox steel.
Attachment turns any skid-steer into full-blown grader
After initial set-up, the Mini-Might Patrol attaches or detaches in less than five minutes. When not using the grader, your skid-steer is freed up to work on other projects. Weighing in around 4,000 pounds, the attachment is equipped with certified ROPS and a safety shut down system. The Mini-Might Patrol offers a 56-degree blade swing, 23-foot turning radius, oscillating front axle, 8-foot cutting blade and heavy duty T-1 steel construction, with optional 10-foot moldboard, blade side shift and blade tip.
Mulcher combines power, comfort and safety
Gyro-Trac’s 260HP GT-25XP combines a Tier 3 Cummins turbo diesel, powerful hydraulic pumps and the latest cutter head technology. The high-powered mulcher eats hardwoods and softwoods of almost any size. The low-profile fully enclosed tilt cab is pressurized to keep out dust and smoke, and offers a comfortable suspension seat. The GT-25XP exceeds ROPS/FOPS specifications and features a Lexan safety windshield.
Portable heater runs on multiple energy sources
The IMAC 2000S from Thermobile is an indirect fired 631,000-BTU containerized portable heater with a 91-percent efficiency rating and can run on oil, natural gas and propane. The high capacity, stainless steel heater is CSA certified.
Mulch standing material up to 8 inches in diameter
The UML/SSL skid steer mulcher from FAE is compatible with high-flow skid steers with at least 35 gpm and is available in two working widths: 48 inches and 57 inches. The attachment mulches standing material up to 8 inches in diameter. The patented one-bolt design with the double carbide tip offers a better cutting surface with less maintenance and a finer end product of mulch.
Rubber-tracked utility vehicle hauls 2 tons of material
Haul 2 tons of material with ASV’s Scout SC-50 rubber-tracked utility vehicle. Ten rubber wheels disperse weight across the 15-inch-wide track for smooth operation. The Scout has a travel speed of 11.5 mph and a 30-gallon fuel capacity. Optional front and rear auxiliary hydraulics enable the operator to mount a wide range of attachments. The flatbed has 24 square feet of cargo space and the hydraulic dump box carries 1.3 cubic yards.
Lift 40,000 pounds of pipe with the RC 20 Lifter
Vacuworx International’s RC 20 has a rotator design that allows for better pipe handling without sacrificing lifting height of the excavator. All of Vacuworx’s lifters are equipped to handle many different types of materials such as pipe from 4 inches to unlimited diameter, single or double joint, large flat sheets, concrete or plastic coated pipe and more.
Triple knife design best of both worlds
Built for heavy-duty durability the Rockhound Attachments 40EXTreme combines the destructive force of a 2-pound knife with a swinging hammer. The cutter drum measures more than 1/2-inch thick. The 250-horsepower, 1,300-pound attachment also features a 3/8-inch abrasion resistant steel shroud.
Furnace provides free heat
Convert used motor oils and petroleum based fluids into heat with Clean Burn’s used oil heating equipment. Use Clean Burn furnaces in sizes from 140,000 to 500,000 BTU/hr to heat large spaces such as shops or garages and Clean Burn boilers to produce hot water for applications such as washing trucks, radiant floor heat, space heat, snow/ice melting and industrial processing. Clean Burn used oil furnaces perform reliably under even the coldest conditions and have a 1,000-hour maintenance interval.
Choose from more than 60 attachments for compact backhoe
Ramrod’s backhoe has 4,500 pounds of digging force and more than 60 quick-attach accessories to choose from. Choose from three bucket sizes: 12-inch with 3-inch teeth, 18-inch with 4-inch teeth or 24-inch with 5-inch teeth. Standard features include joystick controls, adjustable seat cushions and pivot stabilizers.
Hydraulic thumbs offer easy installation
Installing South Fork’s hydraulic thumbs for CAT D Series backhoes with E-stick requires no welding on the boom. The direct acting, non-link type thumbs have 115 degrees of rotation and retract out of the way when digging. The hydraulic thumbs are furnished with required hoses and two anti-cavitation cartridges for the factory sixth valve section. Constructed from Weldox 130 plate, the heavy wall hydraulic cylinder resists denting.
Clear unwanted trees with forestry cutter package
Make quick work of site prep with Bobcat’s forestry cutter attachment, which features a 60-inch cutting width and 30 carbide-cutting teeth. The tube-style drum and spiral tooth pattern allow one tooth to engage at a time. Safety features include a lift cylinder debris shield, radiator debris screen and muffler guard. Counter combs reduce particles to fine mulch while the optional front gate helps retain material. A pressure gauge visible from the cab enables operators to run the attachment at peak efficiency.
Create detailed reports with Earthworks software
Generate detailed staking reports with Tally Systems Earthworks software. The reports include topsoil strip and re-spread quantities and cut and fill volumes for an entire site. The software can measure site quantities from paper or digital blueprints provided on CD.
Site prep tractors feature muscle and maneuverability
The Prentice site prep tractor line includes three models: 260 HP Prentice 2864, 220 HP Prentice 2764 and 190 HP Prentice 2664. All tractors have a tight turning radius and are easy to maneuver around buildings and landscaping. They are equipped with a Cummins QSB 6.7L engine that meets Tier 3 emissions requirements. The Quik-Flow selection system allows easy installation and operation of attachments. The harness connection to the attachment automatically identifies the tool and dictates the proper flow from a dedicated variable displacement hydraulic pump.
Remove imbedded rocks, roots or stumps with Straight Rake attachment
The Straight Rake from Leading Edge Attachments handles severe rock sifting or root raking and imbedded rock removal jobs with a backhoe or excavator above 11,000 pounds. The Straight Rake functions similarly to other rake designs except it has no lower cross members to get hung up in the material. The tines are constructed from thick, long-wearing Hardox 400 steel and can be purchased with or without replaceable teeth.
Compact grader does anything a full-sized grader can do
The Champion motor grader has an adjustable pedestal, sound suppression system, bolt-on cab and all-wheel drive. With its full perimeter frame and rugged front frame, it will cut, push, maintain, finish and operate attachments, all in places where larger machines can’t go. The five-model Champion grader line has a compact length, 50-degree wheel turn and a turning radius of less than 20 feet.
Improved design for PowerClamp bucket thumb
Now featuring an improved, curved profile and tooth bar and 180 degrees of rotation, Amulet’s G2 PowerClamp bucket thumb provides versatile grasping and handling capability for demolition, logging and land-clearing applications. The PowerClamp features high-strength steel teeth and heavy-duty hydraulic cylinders. The new tooth bar is custom positioned for specific buckets and is offered with non-linkage or progressive linkage versions for use with or without a quick coupler.
Increase fuel efficiency with TY Cushion Tire
The Aperature Structure solid tire from TY Cushion Tire allows the solid tire to ride like a regular pneumatic tire without the hassle of punctured tires. By reducing the amount of rubber used on the solid tire, the total weight (including wheels) is reduced by up to 30 percent, leading to increased fuel efficiency. The new design combined with distinctive rubber compound, allows this solid tire to wear more evenly and last longer.