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Thoughts on Trimble's Earthworks 2D with Auto?

Discussion in 'Integrated Machine Control' started by KSSS, Dec 9, 2021.

  1. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    Anyone running this system on an excavator? Any feedback on how it runs, was it worth the investment?
     
  2. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    I just bought a new Cat 325 NextGen and it has the 2d technology package on it. I should take delivery in a week or two. I think Cat and Trimble are pretty much the same (didn't Trimble help Cat develop?). I can let you know once i put it in the dirt.
    Have you gotten a quote yet? I think I was quoted about $20k for it to be put on my Deere 245G.
     
  3. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Yea it is about the same money, autos added about 8K to it.
     
  4. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    So, to add on to the first question, any thoughts on Leica IXE2 2D system? Got quotes from both Leica and Trimble. There are some features that I like about Leica, removing the display screen is easier. My plan is to set up a Takeuchi 257 and the Link Belt 160X4 at one time. I want to share screens at least for now. The Tablet/screen is about $4K of the price. Leica has two screen options, a 2D only which I don't really care for. However, the 3D ready screen is bigger/better and easier to navigate. If you go 3D you already have the screen necessary. Trimble's is 3D ready from the get go (but the pricing accounts for the upgrade in tablet) Leica allows you to share your screen with the sales guy/IT help. If there is a problem with you the operator or the software, it would be easier to address, especially in BFE Idaho.

    I have used Sitech before, years ago on a grading box, and I was really happy with them. Money is essentially the same if I opt for the 3D ready screen from Leica. The difference comes if you go with the automatics. Leica uses a different valve and Trimble uses the valving on the machine. Leica's autos are about 5K more expensive than Trimble's. Leica says you can pull the valving off and put it on a new machine. Not sure I really care about that. The only machine I would put autos on would be the LB and it is new enough, by the time I rotated that out, there will likely be something better available anyway.

    Anyone have any experience running both of these systems? It is kinda like getting married, you have to dance with the one you pick. I wanna pick the right one. Thoughts?
     
  5. Ollie

    Ollie Member

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    We run Trimble 3D. Leica is nice but when u take the monitor out u still have a backing plate left in machine don’t u. Here in Manitoba the Sitech guy is and Leica is still small here seen a couple of installs I would of made them redo and they use small coax cable easy to snag on branches. If u liked the Trimble before u will only like the new tablet even more so easy to use
     
    KSSS likes this.
  6. Ollie

    Ollie Member

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    My emoji didint show are Sitech tech is amazing
     
    KSSS likes this.
  7. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    This sounds like a great feature....but if you are in BFE (anywhere) how do you communicate? I would assume that you would need good cell reception or satellite (which I doubt)? This is part of the reason that I don't see 3d in my future (poor cell reception, and I'm in heavily wooded, mountainous terrain).

    Have you taken a demo with either of the auto systems? I recommend doing that before choosing a dance partner.
    As it relates to the taking the valves from one machine to another, I would assume that this will ONLY work if the (2) machines are identical, or at least have identical valve bodies.

    I have no direct experience with using either of the systems save for a little bit of demo on the Cat I'm purchasing. I did, however, (2) brand new, top of the line (C900) laser transmitters at the last Con-Expo. One of the nice things about the Leica is that they are warranted against defect AND damage (like if the tripod is knocked over) for a term (I think 2 years). This is great except that I had to use that warranty within the first couple months of using them. It was not a damage issue, it was the combo receiver not syncing with the transmitter (transmitter requires receiver to access all features other than off/on button). They fixed it but I had to go without the laser for 2-3 weeks. Very inconvenient and did not leave the impression of high quality. The receiver/combo unit also does not emit enough noise to use on a story pole above about 12'. Not a problem for some but we use poles up to 24' tall due to the sloped job sites we work on. Plus for Leica: They did give me another receiver (not a combo unit, but a standard unit) and the audible indicator on that was loud enough for what we do.
    Now that I'm thinking about it, the combo receiver also has serious lag time so it is very difficult to use. Because of that I went out and bought a couple of Apache receivers (about $400 each). I don't think that one should have to do that when buying lasers that are marketed as a companies top of the line unit.
    All this just reinforces my recommendation to try before you buy.
     
  8. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Trimble is coming to put the system on my Taki so that I can try it. The Taki has that side to side boom system. They are making sure the system works with it. So I will see if I like how the system runs. I have run Trimble once before on another machine that Trimble let me play with for an hour or so. Yes, Leica's point about their own valve, doesn't really mean a lot. If you switch excavators, your buying a new one anyway. Finding a machine with Autos to test run is not easy I am finding out. As far as any sort of comms if you have an issue is always an issue, but the share screen capability is a pretty good feature. Trimbles response is call us and we will help you through it. We typically don't have issues we can't resolve on the phone.
     
    keif likes this.
  9. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    I got the Earthworks system installed on my Takeuchi. We got everyone trained yesterday. Pretty happy with it. I ordered the system for the Link Belt today. Hopefully that can get installed relatively quick, they having problems, like everyone else on getting components. Looking forward to using it before I forget what all the buttons do! Might be a bit since the nights are still below zero.
     
    Ollie, DGODGR and hvy 1ton like this.
  10. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    I have still not used the system on the new 325 yet either.....and I'm still waiting for them to deliver (and install) the laser catcher for the side of the dipper too!
     
  11. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Been using the Earthworks system on my Taki. It is pretty sweet. Not perfect, but I keep finding additional uses for it that maybe didn't first consider.

    Couple things that I have to keep in mind, you have to recatch the laser when you move. On the laser catcher, sometimes its a PINTA catching it. The laser receiver on the boom is pretty small. I have my laser turned up to 1200 rpm which is pretty essential as I find out. Lowering it, requires more time to catch a laser hit. Spinning that fast of course is harder on the laser battery. I suggested having a catcher on both sides of boom which would require less time spinning the house around to catch the laser. Doesn't sound like that is an option. It is dead on accurate, checked it several times and it is accurate. Overall I am happy with it.
     
    CM1995 likes this.
  12. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    Good to hear! I still have yet to use the grade control on my new 325NG. They did (finally) come and install the laser catcher but I haven't used the machine on a job that requires the system just yet.
     
  13. HighFlyerAK

    HighFlyerAK Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Alaska
    Hi!
    I have after long deliberation made the decision and purchased a LEICA 2D for my Wacker Neuson ET90, and my JD450H. Install will be happening in about 2-3 weeks, by mid May.
    I have looked really hard at TRIMBLE and tried to figure out more from iDig in Europe (their 3D system won’t be coming to the US until later this year, according the sales manager for the US market).
    In the end, it was the lack of swing boom support with TRIMBLE (only can recognize three positions - which is prone for error) and the costs for more than 12-15 satellites (if going 3D) did increase dramatically.
    And I had a slightly better experience, and more attention with the LEICA representative.
    While waiting, I came across two jobs which would be absolutely fantastic to have 3D - but… it’s so much more
    I am very excited about it and can’t wait to explore the capabilities and benefits.
     
    ChuckRock and hvy 1ton like this.