Dirtworx: Mapped, measured and modelled

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Dirtworx’s equipment has been installed with the Leica Geosystems MC1 system. Images: Dirtworx

Leica Geosystems tools have proven to be indispensable for Dirtworx, a specialty business making a solid mark in the industry.

Based in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Dirtworx has made a name for itself in the earthmoving sector since its inception in 2014.

From humble beginnings with just a Kanga mini loader on the back of a ute, director JC has grown the business to a boutique earthworks operation comprising a team of nine and a fleet of about 23 plant machines, trucks and trailers.

And for Dirtworx to make such an impression in such a short space of time, it was important for it to keep an eye on the latest technological innovations and use them where needed to improve efficiencies.

JC said a great example of this were the geospatial units offered by positioning specialists C.R. Kennedy.

The company is the sole and exclusive distributor in Australia for Swiss solutions provider Leica Geosystems and a host of other manufacturers and brands.

“On our equipment, we currently have two Leica Geosystems MC1 units and an iCON iCG160 Rover from C.R. Kennedy,” JC said.

“They have enabled me to save money on labour costs and it has enabled me to work three times faster than if we were doing it by hand.”

The Leica Geosystems MC1 is a one-for-all software solution platform that consolidates all machine applications to help guide and automate all heavy construction equipment.

It simplifies design data handling and is open to all standard design data types, enabling a flexible dataflow to support common workflows on a job site.

Leica Geosystems products

JC is more than happy with the performance of the Leica Geosystems products, and service from C.R. Kennedy.

It works in tandem with Leica’s iCON site software, which offers smart and customised positioning solutions for road construction and civil engineering applications.

With all platforms running on the same design data structure, a seamless data transfer between machines, field units within the job site and office is guaranteed.

“With the MC1 unit, you are able to upload survey plans straight into the system and then we are able to dig and be guided according to those plans,” JC said.

“Through allowing my team and I to see things faster, we are able to correct and adjust the way we are working and avoid errors, in turn enabling the team to be able to think on their feet faster and be able to make decisions quickly.

“The benefit is not just about saving money; it is about the speed that we are gaining information and picking up on errors that we normally wouldn’t. It helps us troubleshoot issues on the fly and allows us to get the job done quicker and accurately without any help.

“Our quality of work has improved significantly and our attention to detail is now on an elite level.

“The Leica system has allowed us to learn about earthmoving on a different level and how we gain information. It has really changed the way we run our business and it has given our team the opportunity to upskill in a way that we are able to stay sharp, keeps us thinking outside the box and delivering a competitive advantage.”

JC said the whole setup had given the company Dirtworx the ability to not require any additional labour onsite, saving more than $80,000 a year.

“We can now work faster than ever, as a labourer is never as fast as the operator in the machine,” he said.

“The MC1 system is able to keep up with our needs, giving us the opportunity to have more trucks on site and move more material than we have ever done before. This allows us to complete quoted jobs faster, increasing profitability for our customers and our business.”

The Rover uses a Global Navigation Satellite System smart antenna designed to deliver unparalleled versatility and reliability in the construction industries.

It provides unmatched versatility supporting rover, base station, vehicle and various on- machine applications.

“The hand-held iCG160T tilt Rover device features a large colour display with intuitive navigation,” JC said.

“It enables quick and effortless setup without the need for extra hardware, while its user-friendly interface ensures a seamless experience, allowing users to get started promptly.

“The Rover is a pole-mounted GNSS unit with touch screen tablet. It communicates with the MC1 unit and gives us the opportunity to do spot checks.

“It’s easy to set up and use. All you have to do is turn it on and click one or two buttons and that is how easy it is. Even with no experience you would be able to use the system easily.”

JC said the screens had so much detail that users were able to zoom in and see the finest details.

“This increases our ability to deliver our customers the most accurate earthmoving service. The products have no limitations and have been able to handle anything we throw at it,” he said.

“The MC1 unit is compatible with our tilt rotator and swing boom excavator, affording the ability to dig in all types of environments and bucket angles whilst giving us precise cut fill levels in any orientation.”

Leica iCON GPS100 GNSS

The Leica iCON GPS100 GNSS machine antenna.

JC said he first contacted C.R. Kennedy about three years ago, when he was curious to see if its products suited the company’s needs.

“About one and a half years ago I made the jump. I was initially apprehensive about the purchase because of the outlay, but as soon as I used the equipment, I knew I had made the right decision,” he said.

“All the staff at C.R. Kennedy from sales to tech support were highly invested in my business and they took the time to learn about me and how I run my day-to-day operations.

“They took the time to analyse what I needed and made sure the Leica Geosystems product was the product for me. They were not just there to sell the product, but wanted to ensure the solutions were the right fit for my business, whilst helping realise a good return on our investment was achievable.”

The first machine to be fitted with the MC1 unit was a Takeuchi TB2150 16t excavator, which was complemented by a subsequent purchase of an iCG160T tilt Rover.

“We have used the MC1 system as a tool to be able to show our customers and other people that do not have an earthmoving background how the system works, and it also gives us the opportunity to show our customers what the requirements are on their sites,” JC said.

“This gives them and us the confidence that we are quoting and completing jobs accurately and correctly. We have all the appropriate information not to make mistakes.”

Dirtworx has recently purchased a Takeuchi TL12 V2, on which the MC1 system was also installed.

“This decision was a no-brainer and has become one of our greatest achievements,” JC said.

“The thing we are most excited about is the amount of effort the team at C.R. Kennedy have gone into to find a solution for our TL12.

“The setup enables the GPS and total station to give me heights and dig according to the plans, by taking levels from the bucket and multiple other attachments.

“We have already pushed it to our limits and we can’t wait to see what else it can do. We have no plans of changing from the Leica Geosystems and in particular C.R. Kennedy and will continue using them for many years to come.”

JR reiterated that the customer service from C.R. Kennedy was second to none.

“I am very fussy about my machines and I was very impressed by the installation and attention to detail,” JC said.

“They also provided me with training and they were happy to answer any questions I had. C.R. Kennedy conducted multiple training days at our yard and have call and text support whenever I need.

“C.R. Kennedy machine control manager Luke Fulton-Tindal has come out on site a handful of times to make sure everything was uploaded correctly and to ensure I was up and running perfectly.

“I am not a very tech savvy person, but the team at C.R. Kennedy have given me and my team the confidence to be able to use a system like this. The fact that they could set up the MC1 unit on our TL12, has enabled us to integrate the MC1 unit with the rover so they can work hand in hand.

“We have now created a more efficient business model and we can now push our limits further than we could have before.

“It is incredible to see how far the earthmoving industry has come and it has been an honour to be able to experience such a revaluation in the industry. The system is actually amazing and I don’t know what I would do without it now.”

About C.R. Kennedy

With its head office in a landmark Melbourne building C.R. Kennedy also runs major state offices in Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Sydney and Perth with Regional offices in Cairns and MacKay servicing Far North Queensland. The family-run business celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.

C.R. Kennedy also offers a complete national after-sales service network, including training, service and repairs, technical support, hire equipment and customer care agreements.

The company services local Government, utility providers, mining companies, builders, surveying professionals, civil construction, and geospatial industries, delivering a level of service that matches the calibre of the brands it carries.

Luke said a significant aspect of the C.R. Kennedy offering was that it had access to partners around the world to source the latest in high tech spatial measuring equipment and related software solutions.

“The real success comes from our ability to partner with Leica Geosystems, and more importantly our customers, to offer them solutions that fit their business today with the ability to grow with them as their business grows,” he said.

“We also offer industry leading support and service and focus on the customer first, understanding the importance of clients having the right solutions for their business and coming alongside them as a consulting partner when it comes to their technology needs.

“Our products include land surveying equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), high definition 3D scanners, machine control, mobile mapping tools, underground service locators, ground penetrating radar, geospatial information systems and an extensive array of software packages to suit the equipment and the application.

“To support our valued clients and customers, we now employ more than 260 people across all divisions.

“All our product specialists, qualified surveyors, support staff and factory trained service technicians can advise on the best solutions and provide customers with the very best equipment for their needs. Customers have support and service from an unmatched national network.”

Read the full article and Earth Movers Magazine