Trimble goes mast-free on dozer GPS, puts a telematics tablet in vocational trucks and partners with new OEMs
Tom Jackson | March 15, 2017

Trimble now has 2D/3D GPS machine control without the need for GPS receivers mounted on the blade of the dozer. Photo: Trimble

Trimble has announced it is joining the ranks of manufacturers who offer “mast-free” aftermarket 3D GPS systems for dozers.

The hardware for Trimble’s Earthworks for Dozers uses three inertial measurement units (IMUs) to locate the blade of the dozer in space and two GPS/GNSS receivers mounted on the cab of the machine. Contractors and operators told the company they wanted a software interface that was simple and easy to understand, so Trimble built its Earthworks grade control application on an Android operating system.

A new Trimble TD520 touch-screen display for the cab is customizable and can be configured differently for a variety of workflows and jobsite requirements.

Also announced last week, the Trimble Earthworks for Excavators includes 3D aftermarket grade control automatics for these machines as well. In the auto mode, the operator controls the stick and the system controls the boom and bucket insuring that every cycle cuts to the exact grade specified on the plan. You never overcut the trench or stray from the plan resulting in faster production, no backfilling and no need to put a man in the trench with a grade rod.

Fully portable, the Trimble ConnectedTablet combines voice, push to talk, load counts, GPS maps, inspections and hours of service information in one device that mounts in the cab of your mixer or dump truck. Photo: Trimble

For fleets in the ready mix and aggregate materials industry, Trimble unveiled a new ruggedized mobile computer, the ConnectedTablet. Built a little larger than an iPad, the tablet snaps into a holder mounted to the dash of your cement or dump truck and connects wirelessly to the Trimble Vehicle Gateway. Turn it on and you get a suite of information such as in-cab navigation, Hours of Service data, vehicle tracking with real time updates, load and unload counts, inspection reports, text messaging, push-to-talk capabilities and voice communication. At the end of the day, the device snaps out of the holder and can be secured or taken back to the office to update download information.

The backend software for the TVG enables you to design truck routes so the GPS doesn’t just take the truck to the gate or entrance to the site. It can direct the truck to the exact location it needs to be in for its next cycle. This eliminates the frustration and time loss that occurs when drivers have to back up or turn around or radio the site super to find the optimal loading or unloading point.

Trimble also announced several partnerships at ConExpo. A deal with Teledyne to distribute its software for underwater survey and dredging operations will bring real-time, 3D bucket or dredge-head visualizations for sites that are underwater. Applications include dredging, pipe and cable laying, monopole placements, breakwaters, windmill parks, rock dumping, barge management and general excavation.

K-Tec Earthmovers partnered with Trimble to set up a factory-ready option for Trimble GCS900 2D and 3D grade control for its scrapers. The set up also includes an enhanced joystick, software upgrades, wiring harnesses and brackets.

Hitachi and Trimble announced a partnership to use Trimble’s Connect software, a cloud based, collaboration system, with Hitachi’s machine interfaces. The collaboration came from customer demand for mixed fleet functionality and to support Japan’s iConstruction initiative, a plan to promote innovation and productivity on construction sites.

Trimble also announced that its VisionLink and Field Service Management software support the new ISO telematics standard 15143-3 developed by the Association of Equipment Management Professionals and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.


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