In the past, the only data collector you had was a person with a pad of paper and pencil writing down calculations. Today, with a Carlson data collector or another top brand, you can simplify many aspects of a construction or engineering project.
Sadly, many construction professionals stick with the old ways. In fact, a 2018 survey by TrackVia indicated that nearly 50% of construction and engineering firms still collect data manually on jobsites.
It’s just too expensive to use data collectors or it’s too difficult, they might say. However, a Carlson data collector or Leica or Topcon system can be easier to use than you might think and it eliminates the time consuming process of writing something down and then manually entering data later.
You can do it all right on the job site and automatically upload it in real time. There’s no waiting around for data entry. Plus, you can correct data or make changes in real time as well. This speeds up the whole construction process and greatly improves accuracy. In the end, all of this will save you money.
Another survey, this one from Dodge Data & Analytics, found that of those companies that did use technology in the field, more than 80% felt that it helped the company complete jobs faster and under or on budget.
Which Data Collector Is Best?
This is a tough question. Some people love a Carlson data collector while others swear by Topcon or Trimble or Leica. If you ask 10 different surveyors or engineers, it’s possible that you’ll get 10 different answers.
It really depends on your needs and what type of data you will need to collect. Your budget also might be a factor. In some cases, it might be wise to stick with familiar software. For instance, if you are already using Carlson software for construction tasks, a Carlson data collector might be an easy option to consider.
We highly recommend that you do some research and talk to others in your industry. Each website, Carlson, Topcon, Leica, etc. will have detailed information about all that their products can accomplish.
In many cases, it is wise to consider undergoing some training sessions before heading out into the field. We also recommend that you take advantage of all of the support that these companies provide.
For instance, if you have a Carlson data collector, Carlson provides a very high level of customer service. You can call or text or email a rep during normal business hours to ask questions or voice concerns. Additionally, Carlson has a discussion forum on its website where you can ask questions or troubleshoot an issue.
Leica, Topcon and Trimble also have similar levels of support for their customers. You can find online forums, webinars and talk to company reps about training systems. This can be extremely helpful, especially if you are moving from one company’s software to a new company’s software.
These data collectors also are highly durable. After all, if you are heading out to a job site, these handheld devices need to be able to withstand moisture and dust and, perhaps, even occasionally being dropped.
We’ve heard tales of people dropping their data collectors into pits or even running them over with a car and they can still perform. In fact, we heard one story about a Carlson data collector training seminar where the company rep literally threw the device at a wall to demonstrate its durability.
Of course, at EarthCalc, we’ve long been proponents for using software and related technology to streamline construction tasks. We’ve been creating highly accurate dirt estimates and machine control files for years, using software from Carlson, Trimble, Topcon and others, and find that while each company is unique, any one of them can help improve your business model.
So, whether you decide to use some type of Carlson data collector or opt for a Leica data collector, using the latest technology is sure to make a huge (positive) impact on your business. And, if you need some dirt estimates or machine control files, give us a call at any time. We can help at any phase of your project, providing you with fast and accurate services.