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Cost of GPS machine control?

Discussion in 'GPS Systems' started by jjhdozing, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. jjhdozing

    jjhdozing Active Member

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    Feb 6, 2015
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    Location:
    Nebraska
    Hey all. I’m a smaller contractor been on my own for 5 years now and growing my business every year. I’m considering joining the gps/machine control world. Just curious before I make a bunch of phone calls does anybody know what it costs roughly to buy a base and rover and cost to put it on a dozer? I have a 323f excavator which is pretty much ready. I have a d6r which had topcon on it but I would be looking into Trimble. Not sure if it costs a lot to put it in the d6r if it would be worth it but I’m looking at buying a newer d6n to add to my fleet which would be ARO ready.
     
  2. Lil' Puss

    Lil' Puss Senior Member

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    Nov 24, 2008
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    Location:
    Silverdale & Bothell, WA
    I'll be watching this. It seems that lasers are just about a thing of the past.
     
  3. jaclo

    jaclo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Midwest
    The site tech guys will be your best resource for all of this information. They're well practiced in explaining how it all works.

    It's a -lot- of money. Keep an eye on the auctions for clean used GPS ready machinery that's selling the whole package.

    There are setups that will run off of a laser that work with full machine control. It's quite a bit cheaper afaik, and for a small contractor that does smaller grading projects, basements, etc like I'm sure you are doing, you don't need that huge expensive GPS system that guys are doing interstate and feed lot jobs with. Don't let those guys talk you into buying a bunch of pricey tech that you don't need. The 323 probably has integrated software on the display that will operate grade control with a laser. As far as your cat goes, do you have a skid loader? Instead of having to outfit your cat, maybe a skid with one of those laser guided attachments is an option.

    It all costs like hell.
     
  4. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
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    Location:
    Alabama
    Far from it. Lasers have their place and we use them on a daily basis laying pipe and running grade on commercial projects.

    We have a Cat box blade with automatics for our 279's that run off a laser. 1/2" tolerance spreading dense grade base over a 50,000SF project.

    IMG_0332.JPG
     
    Theweldor and John C. like this.
  5. Lil' Puss

    Lil' Puss Senior Member

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    332
    Location:
    Silverdale & Bothell, WA
    Very similar to what I'm doing with my DualDozer fitted to the Yuchai or Mustang. I'm running "antique" Trimble GCR-2 receivers, and was wondering what would be a good compatible upgrade with a remote control/display. Seems that nobody at Trimble or Si-Tech could/would answer that question. Trimble all but laughed at me when I told them I was just a small single operator, but they were courteous. Si-Tech on the other hand doesn't even have their phone numbers correct on their website. I talked to a couple of different people at Si-Tech. They too weren't interested in my question, but tried to stuff a new $30k GPS system down my throat, and when I said I was just a small operator then the condescension began.

    upload_2019-7-29_10-58-41.jpeg

    upload_2019-7-29_11-0-5.jpeg
     
    CM1995 likes this.
  6. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
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    I had a different experience with SITECH but I went through our Cat dealer to order the blade and laser system together.

    The SITECH mechanic/tech came to the dealer first and wired up that 279. I was not impressed with how he ran the harness and the cheap stick on zip tie holders he used to hook the wiring harness to the boom. Since then we have ran the harness through the boom. Also there was no dust cap for the pin connector on the boom arms by the hyd. quick couplers - that had my head shaking. Ordered a rubber dust cap that goes over the large female fitting on the newer skid steers and it fits nicely keeping the dust and water out.

    So they get the machine wired up and ready to go. The "trainer" was very knowledgeable and took time with both crews to explain the system and go over operation. Each crew got to operate the system and ask any questions, it took all day on the job site in the pic.

    The system works great and is fast. A GL622N pushes the beam and we also use it to lay pipe and general laser duty.
     
  7. Lil' Puss

    Lil' Puss Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    332
    Location:
    Silverdale & Bothell, WA
    Aha! There's the secret. You bought it from a Cat dealer. Cat markets Trimble products under the Cat brand also.
    Here's the rub - If you walk in off the street and say "I have a Dual Dozer with twin Trimble GCR-2SM receivers and a wired remote control with a Rexroth valve block. What laser control system will work with that valve block? A CB30 with dual LR50 receivers? Oh, and I'm just a one-man show". Their eyes will just gloss over and you get the thousand-mile stare. They will tell you that your antiquated laser system is irreparable, nobody will touch it for any price. You'd be best off buying a whole new GPS system. They won't even mention a new laser system.
    The GCR-2SM system is pretty quick too. Quick enough for me at least. Hahaha.
    I bought my system used and set it up myself on both machines. It's not rocket science, but the manual came in handy.