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dual plane laser grading

Discussion in 'Compact Equipment Attachments' started by KSSS, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    I am considering the purchase of a dual plane laser grading system such as this one http://www.laserleveling.com/grade_prod/skid/smp/smp_main.html


    Anyone have any experience with this system or like system?

    Concrete has hit 100 plus a yard here. I think now would be a good time to get into high production concrete prep. work. Does any here do a lot of large scale concrete prep? What do you price it at?
     
  2. wrenchbender

    wrenchbender Senior Member

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    Location:
    Belton SC
    I don't do concrete work but have built a couple of thse type machines.The guy I built them for says on a 100' X 100' pad it will only vary about 1/8" anywhere you check the grade.I did all the fabricating,plumbing and installed all the hyd. a local laser shop fit them with the receivers. I'll see if I can find some pics of the ones I built.
     
  3. JBL

    JBL Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Missouri
    I run the 3 point version of that setup. It is very accurate in nice finish material like sand, base rock and black dirt. When you get into rocky conditions the box jumps around alot. The key to the whole setup is having a good proportional laser reciever. As far as pricing I normally charge $70 an hour for the tractor and box. One thing you will find out quick though is that concrete guys will love you. They know that when they show up behind you things will be perfect when it comes to grade. There is nothing better than when you get a call from a homeowner/business owner saying you were requested by the concrete company doing there concrete. I have purchased most of laser equipment from www.laser-grade.com, you might want to check them out to compare prices and equipment.
     
  4. bobcatuser

    bobcatuser Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Excavation Contractor
    Location:
    Richmond BC
    I looked at buying a dual dozer attachment last year. At the time I was bidding on two sport field drainage and grading contracts.

    The dual dozer has two laser receivers to keep the blade on grade, it will also work for back dragging. I would have bought one if I got the contracts.
    http://www.dualdozer.com/
     
  5. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    excavation
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    I have looked at Dual dozer as well as spoke to them. It seems like a good system. The laser leveling system seems to be a true dual plane system. I would like the ability to do two planes at once. I have dual plane TopCon laser. I just need to decide on the grading attachment. I appreciate everyones help.
     
  6. Deas Plant

    Deas Plant Senior Member

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    Location:
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Dual Grade Lasers.

    Hi, KSSS.
    I have used dual grade lasers on a couple of jobs and wished I had one on several other jobs. The jobs where I had them were both tennis court complexes with diagonal cross-falls so I set the laser up behind the high corner and set the falls from there. One job had ten courts and the other had six.

    I was using a receiver-only unit on the machine, a Cat 953B track loader with 4-in-1 bucket and rippers, and had no problem keeping the finished level to +/- 1/2". My job was only to move the bulk. The bloke with the laser box loved it that he only had 1/2" humps and hollows to cut and fill.
     
  7. RadioFlyer

    RadioFlyer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
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    Location:
    Utah
    JBL...what type of box scraper do you have your laser set up on?
     
  8. JBL

    JBL Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Missouri
    I am using a 7ft Cammond hitch type box blade, think it is the DS7 model. It is nice on big pads but kind of a pain on the smaller ones. Corners are hard to work on smaller pads with the pull type hitch. If I get another one it will be a 3 point model like the ones posted in KSSS's link. I guess I was thinking about the 3 point one when I posted above. One other thing I will add about the cammond box is that cutting edge is lower than the sides. So it takes a few more passes to clean up all the windrows. Probably should have gotten one of their industrial models.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
  9. RadioFlyer

    RadioFlyer Member

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    Location:
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    JBL.....thanks. I have a few more questions. What size tractor do you use? Do you think a tractor is better than a wheeled skid? How would a tractor compare to using a ctl? What size slabs does the laser grading system start to fall short?
    Thanks for your time and input....
     
  10. JBL

    JBL Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Missouri
    I use a 65hp two wheel drive tractor. I let a buddy borrow it and he used a 40hp four wheel drive and said it worked fine. As far as the skid steer and ctl's I have no experience using them with the box.

    The smaller pads say 30x30 and smaller are the hardest pads to do. It seems like you always run out of room before you get started. I think this may be where a skid steer/ctl would really shine. The bigger the pad the more effecient the system becomes in my opinion. The only thing that comes to mind as far as falling short is the quality of your laser. Some lasers are accurate to within 1/32inch at 100 feet and some of the cheaper ones are 1/4 inch at 100 feet. If you are doing a real large pad you may need to reset the laser a few times to be really accurate.

    Knowing what I know now I would have probably bought the heaviest 8ft box I could find. In my opinion the heavier the box the less prone it is to jump around and give the washboard effect. I sometimes get that when grading rocky natural ground. It would also have replaceable side edges and the sides would come closer to matching the cutting edge height.
     
  11. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    excavation
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    The link I posted shows a laser grader with the ability to push and pull material. This I thought was appealing since on smaller jobs you could work the edges with the machine. I also had the same question concerning a CTL. My machines are rubber tired. I was curious if that would become an issue pushing a 7-8 box blade in loose crushed gravel. Laser Leveling offers another type of box blade for heavier ground conditions http://www.laserleveling.com/grade_prod/skid/smhc/smhc_main.html

    This attachment does not give the push/pull ability. It would be more suitable for working in native ground conditions. For us the concrete prep we do is most always in 3/4 crushed gravel so the skid pro model I think is better suited for that type of work. I typically side on the most HD model in anything I buy, but in this case I would not for my application.
     
  12. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Pulling the trigger on the above attachment. Concrete continues to rise and interest in exact grade concrete prep is high (about time). Cost is 17.6K for the dual grade 7' model. I have been debating this purchase for 3 years (I have never spent this much on an attachment). It is time to GETTER DONE.:eek:
     
  13. Matt McGowan

    Matt McGowan Active Member

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    Location:
    Germantown, MD
    For those using laser controled box blades...

    For those of you using these laser controlled box blades:

    1. How are you spreading the gravel? Are you chaining the truck tailgates, spreading it with a front end loader first or using the box blade to spread it out of a pile?

    2. How many square feet of gravel can you put down and grade in a day?

    3. What is the going rate in your area for spreading and grading gravel? How many cents/SF, excluding material costs?

    Thanks
    Matt
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
  14. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B Administrator

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    Occupation:
    Digger Driver
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Kaiser, you be sure an let us know how it works out...and don't forget the piccys either:rolleyes:
     
  15. Matt McGowan

    Matt McGowan Active Member

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    Location:
    Germantown, MD
    Anybody have input?????

    Anybody have experience doing this as a specialty subcontractor???

    Thanks
    Matt
     
  16. JBL

    JBL Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Missouri
    KSSS, Hope the new box does everything you want it to do. Like Squizzy said give some updates. You did get the skidsteer model, right?

    Matt I use the single plane box behind a tractor cause I'm not rich like KSSS. :D

    As far as the spreading goes the fastest and easiest way is let the trucks spread it. Pretty fortunate here to have two real good drivers. They do all my rock hauling and are worth their weight in gold. You tell them how thick you want it and they get real close.

    How many square feet per day. Hard to give a consistent # because of so many variables. One job you could do 40,000 sq/ft day and the next you may get 10,000 sq/ft day. Biggest factors are cycle times on the trucks, depth of rock, obstacles (water,sewer,electrical stubs).

    Rates. By the hour I charge 70 dollars for the tractor and box. If I am bidding a job it is anywhere from 8 to 15 cents a sq/ft. Normally I have built the pad/parking lot that I am spreading gravel on. If you are planning on specializing in this make sure to check grades carefully before quoting anything. Some contractors definition of on grade can leave you with alot more work to do than you planned on.
     
  17. shaper

    shaper Charter Member

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    Occupation:
    Golf Construction & Irrigation
    Location:
    South Portland,ME
    I have a 7' 3-point hitch laser box blade that I use on my John Deere 4320 tractor. I mainly use it to laser grade tees on golf courses, but have also done considerable work on sports fields also. This box blade has dual controls which is especially handy. The receivers can be used for manual control on a dozer with a mast setup. I like to get the grade within a tenth or two with the dozer then use the box blade, makes for faster laser grading. This way I can finish laser grade up to 50,000 square feet in a 10 hour day.

    The controls are all Topcon along with a Topcon dual plane laser. I'll try to find a picture
     
  18. shaper

    shaper Charter Member

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    Occupation:
    Golf Construction & Irrigation
    Location:
    South Portland,ME
    Here's the level-best 7' laser box blade
     

    Attached Files:

  19. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    excavation
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    Idaho
    I did get the skid steer model. My dual plane laser is also Topcon. I am "banking" on this working out. If not it might be a lean Winter. On the smaller pads I get around a $1.10 That includes 4" of 3/4 crush roadbase, compacted, and trucking of material in the immediate area. The larger jobs go from .75 to .40 cents a square depending on how big it is. Your scaring me on that .10 cent pricing. My grand illusion is getting more into this and dropping less profitable things we do like final grades for lawn installation. We'll see how it goes.
     
  20. Matt McGowan

    Matt McGowan Active Member

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    Location:
    Germantown, MD
    Rates in my area.

    Thanks for the input guys.

    Last I heard the rates in my area were in the $.07 to $.15 /SF range but that is just grading only only. The concrete contractor or GC buys and trucks the stone, rents the roller to compact it and takes care of all the hand work. I'd be thrilled with $.10/SF doing 35K to 50KSF/day.

    Shaper,

    Wouldn't it make more sense to mount the laser control equipment on the dozer thereby eliminating a step, and piece of equipment, in the process? By the way, that looks like a real nice set you have.

    Thanks
    Matt
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2007