For surveyors, everything comes down to the well-being of their surveying equipment. It is essential that a surveyor’s equipment is working properly. Any mistakes will not only hold-up projects but can cost thousands of dollars in damages. If a surveyor does not properly care and maintain his equipment, he is putting his very lively-hood at risk.
While most surveying equipment is built to stand-up to the elements and take a few knocks, this does not mean that you can simply leave the equipment to its own devices. To achieve results that you can rely on for years to come, you need to take the time to look after your surveying equipment properly. Your surveying equipment is a big investment and should be treated as such. With everything from GNSS receivers, to total stations, to robotic total stations, these top tips will help you extend the life of your instruments.
Handle With Care
When it comes to handling your surveying equipment, make sure that you treat it like a newborn baby: gently and with a soft touch. Too often, we see surveyors that think that because their surveying equipment is rated to take a 2 m pole drop, that bumps and bangs around the job site will not affect the equipment. However, repeated and large bangs to the equipment can cause damage, which can result in costly repairs.
Shutting Down the Right Way
A lot of the equipment we see come in for repair – especially high-quality land surveying equipment – has been improperly stored after being out in the elements. Never put your land surveying equipment into the case while wet, or while a battery is inside the equipment. If water gets into the case, water can be forced into the receiver, causing permanent damage. The last thing you should check before putting the receiver away is to make sure that the battery has been removed. With a battery, the receiver can turn-on inside the case, which can cause the receiver to overheat and damage internal modules.
Moving and Grooving: Safety on the Dance Floor
When it comes to moving your equipment from job to job, taking a few precautionary steps can help dramatically extend the life-span of your surveying equipment. Taking the time to ensure that your equipment is properly seated into its case can help reduce any unnecessary damage. Constant rattling and shaking can cause pieces of the equipment to fatigue and break apart, ruining your expensive surveying equipment. Finally, make sure that you tie up your equipment firmly in your vehicle. If you have a truck, tie it down with a bungee cord, or plan tightly secure it in the backseat of your car with your seatbelt. At the end of the day, your lively-hood relies on the condition of your surveying equipment, take good care of it.
Get Your Surveying Equipment Serviced Regularly
While most surveying equipment is designed to last, contractors should make it a habit to send their equipment for service annually. As with any piece of equipment, over time errors can build up and cause a loss of accuracy. It is best to consult a professional who will be able to assess the condition of your equipment and make any necessary adjustments. Some survey equipment, like our robotic total stations, can self-calibrate. Due to the high-precision of robotic total stations, any slight miscalculations can cost you dearly, as the robot can “drift off” from your specifications. Ensuring that you regularly perform self-calibration can ensure that any measurement you take is accurate.
Just like any computer or phone, your surveying equipment will go through software updates throughout the year. By regularly following through with updates, you can be sure that you avoid bugs that may affect the performance of your equipment. These updates not only remove bugs, but also often increase the reliability and speed of your measurements. With used surveying equipment, although they may not have as frequent updates, it is still important to check to make sure you are running the latest firmware in order to get the best performance.
Checking Your Work
Before you start work on any new project, you should perform check shots. It is always a good habit to take the time to check the accuracy of your equipment. By performing regular check shots, you can uncover any problems before you start working, avoiding any costly mistakes. This is especially true with your RTK GPS devices, as an improperly set up base or rover can lead to mistakes that can ruin an entire days work.
If you notice that your equipment is not performing as it should, don’t sit on it! Get proactive, and preemptively react to warning signs. Taking Proactive steps to diagnose unusual behaviour can help you avoid expensive and time-consuming repairs. Sorting out any potential problems now will save you money down the line. However, you shouldn’t attempt any significant repairs to surveying equipment without an experienced hand over it. Tightening a screw here or there should be fine, but any massive changes should be left to a professional. Be careful to not void your warranty by doing an unnecessary repair. Here at Bench-Mark, we can supply a loaner or discounted rental unit until your equipment has been repaired. Reach out to a technical support expert for advice before you attempt anything in the field. The sooner you do it, the quicker you will be able to get back to work.
By following these tips, you will be able to maintain and utilize your surveying equipment to the max of their capabilities.
Bench Mark Equipment & Supplies is your team to trust with all your surveying equipment needs. We have been providing high-quality surveying equipment to land surveyors, engineers, construction, airborne and resources professionals since 2002, establishing ourselves as the go-to team in Calgary, Canada, and the USA. We provide a wide selection of equipment, including global navigation satellite systems, RTK GPS equipment, GNSS receivers, data collector systems, and more. Speak to one of our team today, by calling us on 888-286-3204 or emailing us at [email protected].