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dual plane laser grading

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

  1. shaper

    shaper Charter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
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    Occupation:
    Golf Construction & Irrigation
    Location:
    South Portland,ME
    Matt

    It would make sense to do it that way but I don't own a dozer, I have to rent. However not sure what the tolerances are on a dozer automatic setup. My box blade will do +/- 1/4". GPS machine control and a new dozer is on my wish list
     
  2. capt_met

    capt_met Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Tenn.
  3. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Feb 27, 2005
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    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    What I like about the box blade is bring able to leave a cleaner finish faster. I also think that in tight places that it would be difficult to grade with. I think those blades have a place driveways, large open pad or grading larger material like pit run. Maybe a guy needs both:drinkup
     
  4. Matt McGowan

    Matt McGowan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
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    Location:
    Germantown, MD
    Shaper,

    That's my dream as well.

    Now put your bib so you don't droll all over yourself. On one of my projects the site contractor subed out the paving to the paving division of a much larger site work contractor. Evidently their deal was based on a per ton price. While grading the dirt for the parking lot the site work contractor almost wore it out. They would drift it to the east in the morning and then, look out, they would drift it back to the west in the afternoon. Long story short, they went way over on the tonage and came to us (the GCs) asking for an extra $60,000 to make it up. Naturally we said no because it wasn't a legitimate extra or change. After that they spent two days trying to figure how we made the parking lot bigger than what was on their bid set of plans. They weren't able find anything that had changed and finally came to the conclusion they had no one to blame themselves for the crappy grade control.

    Now, imagine getting paid to fine grade parking lots, like building pads, using 3D machine control to prevent screw ups like I've described above.. All of the sudden the market has expanded 400% or 500%. The only angle I can't figure out is how to get the curb and gutter to match exactly without taking that work on as well.

    Matt
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2007
  5. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
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    Location:
    lake wissota, wisconsin
    Any action shots? Is it a tough sell for this type of service?
     
  6. imjustdave

    imjustdave Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
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    56
    Location:
    WA State
    For those of you who own one of these.... where are you getting your buisness? Are you just asking concrete guys if you can sub grade for them? I dont' know if phone books, or advertising would really work, or maybe it does. Im really thinking about getting one of these, but for the $$$ I need to know the tricks to get the work.

    Thanks
     
  7. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
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    307
    Location:
    lake wissota, wisconsin
    Any updates on how this has gone KSSS? Have you ran in to any problems using a wheeled skid?
     
  8. zhkent

    zhkent Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
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    264
    Occupation:
    Earthmoving
    Location:
    Kansas
    Keep in mind lasers only do a straight line, the line can be flat, uphill or downhill, but it can't bend.
    They can't grade a curb, road or parking lot that follows the terrain and has a different percentage of fall from one station to the next.
     
  9. Deas Plant

    Deas Plant Senior Member

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    Location:
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Straight-line lasers?????????????

    Hi, ZHKent.
    I haven't seen'em yet but I have been told by a laser service company rep that there is a new generation laser/GPS's coming out that have multiple laser beams and the GPS selects the one(s) that is/are appropriate for the current position of your cutting edge. He reckoned that these systems would be far more accurate in the vertical plane than current GPS/only systems. Now I think that'll be interesting to see and use.
     
  10. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    excavation
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    Idaho
    Well I thought I would update this thread.

    I decided to put this off last year and thought it better to wait for an economic downturn to spend 20K on skid steer attachment.:Banghead

    I purchased the Southern Precision laser grader Skid Master Pro series, push pull ability, dual plane.

    The difference was I hired CAT guidance people to do the install of components. I used DanFoss dual valving with Apache readers and dual plane box.

    CAT completed the install in two days.

    I spent about 1500 more to go this route than to have the entire system sent to me installed on the attachment. However I still would have had to complete the install on the skid steer myself or more likely hire someone to do that anyway. The Apache dual plane box is kinda large and finding a place for that in a skid steer cab was a challenge. The wiring itself was not bad. What I really was after by having CAT do the install was service and support of the compenents and the system itself. They will be coming out to show us how to adjust the settings, complete initial setup and show us how to get the most out of the attachment. Much better than having the attachment shipped complete with all the gee whiz stuff on it and being hands an instruction manual. The auto/manual switch will be run into the existing switches on the control handles of the skid steer. That is a big time saver.

    I am hoping that it works as it should. I will know shortly.
     
  11. John K

    John K Member

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    Occupation:
    Tile Contractor
    Location:
    Birmingham Al
    KSSS,

    Is it working out for you?
     
  12. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    Ya it is, I have been working with it more to develop the technique. I am still working on getting the dual slope set up down. The attachment has been holding an 1/8th inch in 100 feet in black sand. I am happy with that. Looking forward to getting it on a big job, great timing on my part, not many of those right now.:rolleyes:
     
  13. grantcalleroz

    grantcalleroz New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
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    2
    Location:
    nebraska
    laser box scraper

    I am in the concrete industry and have a 100x100 building coming up as well as many others. Does anyone have experience with a laser boxscraper on a bobcat skidsteer? I am considering an upgrade to the caterpillar C series if necessary. I'd appreciate any input from anyone as far as eliminating the manpower necessary to prep a site before pouring.
     
  14. grantcalleroz

    grantcalleroz New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
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    Location:
    nebraska
    KSS,
    Do you have a number for the installers you used? Is it working out? I am considering doing the same thing but am concerned about the upfront costs. I would appreciate any input.
     
  15. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho

    It took CAT a while to get it dialed in. Install started day after Memorial weekend last year. Completed to my satisfaction mid December. Obviously that pissed me off. By the time it was dialed in perfectly I lost the whole year. 20k plus spent with no opportunity for a return of my investment. CAT had not done an install like this before, at least these guys had not. We all learned together. They brought in an Apache tech. which put on a mini class for CAT on installation and set up. I was apart of some of that. So I learned it from the guy that knows the most about it and made a great contact at Apache. The install guys were good to work with so that helped. They did not expect nor did they ask for payment until it was perfect. I appreciated that. I am no CAT fan. However we worked through the long install time and issues and it worked out. I don't regret using them even though it took so long to get it up and running.

    I am seeing about 1/8th inch deviation in black sand over 100 feet. When we got it dialed in that tight, I wrote the check. No doubt the system is that good. I like the Southern Precesion box. It has some nice features such as the shock absorbing mounting system.

    Developing the technique for running it, and setting it up, especially with dual slope takes practice and more practice. I am still mastering this aspect of the attachment.

    I foresaw the housing decline, what I did not foresee was the commerical decline as fast as it did. I was about 2 years late in getting this for my market. The good side is I should be plenty versed in running it when the market comes back. I have some opportunities coming up, just not near as many as when I started putting the plan togther. If your market is there still now, I would not waste time, like I did.

    There are some peripherial issues to consider, One is a good dual plane laser. I went this route. I bought a Topcon Dual plane Laser several years ago. Its not the high speed one with the remote, but it does what I need it to. Sorry I cant remember the model. I then bought from CAT a Spectra lLL 400 single slope laser. My first nonTopcon laser. I plan on using this for everything nondual plane. The dual planes are much more expensive to buy and more expensive to work on so I will try and keep that only for running dual plane jobs. Mine is a 7' box blade, when pulling a full pull, it would spin out in 3/4 crushed road base with the 12X16.5 tires, I have some 33X15's and these worked much better. I then installed a VTS system on the skid steer, that works great in this application but the floatation tires also worked well considering the minimal investment. Negotiate the component costs. CAT was way high initially. I showed them what Southern Precision was quoting me for the same components and they came down to reality. Considering the state of things, I would bet you could get even better deals on the components.

    I bought some of this several years ahead of purchasing the attachment. I bought a Plus 5 grade reader, the dual plane laser, VTS ahead of time. Helped to spread out the cost.

    Hopefully this helps you in your decision.
     
  16. Themandownunder

    Themandownunder Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Australia
    I am interested in getting one of these setups. I've been working/researching for the last 12 months
    Any photos video links of it working
    I'm going to import one to australia so anyone recommend a good dealer - even a second hand system will do
    Please feel free to pass on my email
    blackbilly@bigpond.com
     
  17. Themandownunder

    Themandownunder Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Australia
    Further to that my machine is a cat 297 - I would even consider purchasing a set of "plans" to fabricate one of these in OZ - I believe one of the members said he had made one up.
     
  18. mouse

    mouse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
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    166
    Occupation:
    (wishfully) avoiding work as much as possible
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    the bobcat box blade with laser receiver is sub 10k locally. however it wont interface with your cat very well...
     
  19. Themandownunder

    Themandownunder Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Australia
    When you say locally - Is that downunder?.............My bobcat dealer isn't interested because I went to The "darkside" and bought Cat products........Spent 200k with them and he came back and said "If you told me you were serious....' I did and had no interest from him, he ignored me and my son for half an hour, then couldn't be arsed ringing me back for a month, then wondered why I bouht Cat who chased me for weeks. When you spend a portgage worth with people you want some wooing
    Have you tried one of these graders?
    I'll even fly interstate if the dealer is good
    I have a good hydraulic engineer who can trouble shoot pretty well
    Regards
    S
     
  20. mcnitttj8

    mcnitttj8 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Level Best

    Have any of you tried the laser box blade made by Level Best? Before reading the forum today I was only aware of it and Dual Dozer. Which is more productive? I have had the level best in the dirt and it seemed to work great however the bogey wheels in front pose a problem with final grade.... however I believe they create more support.