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Earthworks Estimating Software: Which One Should You Use?

Since the early 1980s, the construction industry has relied more and more on earthworks estimating software to streamline projects. This software has been a boon to the industry, and can help us complete projects on time (or early) and on budget (or below budget).

Of course, there are dozens of companies out there creating quality earthworks estimating software. Some of the big players include AGTEK, Carlson and Trimble, but there are plenty of additional options. So, which option is the best fit for your needs? To figure it out, consider a few factors.

1. Think About Training
Many companies that sell earthworks estimating software can provide you with training and support. For instance, Trimble has an online community on its main website where you can ask questions and troubleshoot problems. Trimble also offers training sessions and courses to help beginning users as well as those with some experience with Trimble software or other types of comparable software.

Trimble is just one example of a software company that provides additional support options. Carlson, InSite, ProCore and AGTEK also offer training and workshops to help you maximize your use of these programs. It’s a good idea to opt for a company that provides plenty of additional support and resources.

2. Think About Machine Controls
If you aren’t using machine control, we highly recommend that you make the switch. Machine controls allow you to complete work faster and more accurately than ever before. Machine control also increases safety and reduces the need for extra personnel on a job site.

If you do use machine control files for your construction equipment, it might make sense to use the same software brand for these files as you do for all of your planning. So if you want to use AGTEK for your machine control, why not use AGTEK for your all of your earthworks estimating needs? From a training perspective, this can be an easy option. Keep in mind, we aren’t pushing one product over another, this is simply one example. There are many software companies that produce a full suite of construction software.

3. Think About Your Operating System
In general, pretty much every major player in the earthworks estimating software game is designing products to be used with the Windows’ operating system. If you use Windows-based PCs, then you have tons of choices. However, if you need software for macOS or Linux, this definitely narrows down your options. There are some cloud-based software options to consider as well.

Keep in mind that while some of these software programs won’t work on a desktop computer with macOS, you can still view plans on your iPhone or iPad provided your operating system is up-to-date.

Most software companies have designed user-friendly apps that work with all types of Apple and android devices, and these are a fantastic resource, allowing people on site to see plan changes and updates in real time.

The Outsourcing Factor
Of course, handling every task of a construction project in-house may not be feasible for your company, no matter how much software you own. Outsourcing can be a highly cost-effective option, and this is where we come in.

At Earth Calc, we are proficient with many types of earthworks estimating software, and can provide you with highly accurate dirt estimates, materials estimates and utilities estimates. We can work with CAD files, PDF files and many others, so if you have a different type of file, give us a shout out and we will let you know if we can help. We’ve been handling these types of projects for more than 35 years so there’s few file types that we haven’t seen.

In addition to providing dirt and materials estimates with earthworks estimating software, we also can provide you with quality machine control files. No matter how big or small your project might be, we can help. If you use Trimble, Topcon or AGTEK machine control systems, give us a call and hand off your machine control files to our team.