Trimble GCSFlex Grade Control System Elevates the Use of CSVRD's Hitachi Excavator, Increasing Speed and Accuracy Across Projects and Helping Win More Contracts
CSVRD is a small earth-moving company with 10 employees based in Buchères, which is located in the Aube region in north-central France. The company's director, Stéphane Cuny decided that in order to grow the business and expand its offerings to customers the organization needed to look for ways to increase efficiencies and productivity across its business. CSVRD set a goal to optimize the use of its equipment and personnel across all projects.
"I wanted to have more resources in terms of equipment, but also to find a solution for becoming more productive" said Cuny.
To accomplish these goals, CSVRD reached out to its SITECH France technology dealer. Working with SITECH, CSVRD selected the Trimble GCSFlex Grade Control System to be used on its 22 ton Hitachi excavator. Designed specifically for mid-size contractors like CSVRD, the GCSFlex Grade Control System is a reliable, flexible and affordable solution that gives small and mid-sized contractors the ability to utilize machine control technology and be more competitive.
The affordable "system in a case" consists of body, boom and bucket sensors, and an in-cab control box. The system provides the operator with visual guidance regarding the position of the bucket and a laser catcher providing information regarding the angle and position of the stick to be used with a laser for elevation information.
Using GCSFlex the team has accelerated the completion of its recent Disram contract, which is an industrial building that involved a significant amount of earthworks, including the construction of 2,500m² of platforms and 3,000m² of roadways.
"We no longer need to place stakes or level indicators; the system tells us where we are," said Cuny. "Even so, the first few times, we checked to see whether there were any mistakes or discrepancies, but we were perfectly in line. For a small company, this is significant: It means three fewer people on road works and one less for platforms. So, I can use personnel on other sites".
Cuny and the CSVRD team believes the Trimble machine control system has benefitted the company tremendous, specifically when it comes to organization, accuracy, and project optimization. Cuny attests the GCSFlex system enables him to manage his resources more effectively.
"In buildings and public works, projects are decided on quickly and they start straight away," said a CSVRD manager. "The GCSFlex enables me to avoid having to find labor at very short notice to check the work. My excavator driver can start work by himself. Above all, this gives me more flexibility and adaptability. I can adapt myself to any urgent requests received from customers."
Competitive Advantage Goes a Long Way
Cuny believes that the GCSFlex system is also a real plus because it gives his team a significant competitive advantage in terms of greater accuracy and precision. This is helpful when responding to RFPs and replying to calls for tender, as technical and safety aspects are convincing arguments and important for decision-makers.
"It gives a certain advantage over the competition, and it puts my company ahead of the others in both technical and safety terms," Cuny said. "I reply to calls for tender by showing that technically we can work differently with the machine guiding system. This makes a difference, and I win more contracts."
Today, it is clear that safety is becoming an increasingly predominant issue and company directors are aware of this. As a result, the technical file replying to calls for tender must ensure that risks are reduced to a minimum. Therefore, the GCSFlex system is a real asset, because a guiding system is the only way to comply with certain, almost vital safety measures.
"In my risk analysis when replying to calls for tender, I underline the fact that no one is required to be present within a radius of 10 meters around the excavator," said Cuny. "I think this is an important point both for my personnel and for customers."
Aurélien Ollier, the excavator operator for CSVRD, believes Trimble GCSFlex machine control technology helps to accelerate the earthmoving process greatly and adds another level of precision to project operations. Despite being a novice with the guidance system, he mastered it very quickly and was able to optimize from the start.
"The GCSFlex system is easy to use and intuitive," said Ollier. "For example, I can change over from a standard bucket to a tilt bucket just by pressing a button. The system loads the bucket's parameters and I can start work right away. I can also work by myself, which was not the case previously. I don't need any help from other workers."
Ollier also appreciates that the system allows him to save time and start work within a minute of arriving on the job site and still achieve centimeter accuracy. This reduces the amount of rework needed and ensures a higher confidence level. Operators and project managers know that the depths, grades, and cut and fill levels reached meet design requirements.
"There is no need to calibrate anything, I can start digging straight away without any problems," said Ollier. "As a result, you can save up to a day per week, as we don't have to redo jobs to correct for inaccuracies. Jobs are done more quickly and are of better quality."