Modern GPS units are a godsend. Not only do they play a vital part in many driver’s daily commute, but they can even be used on the construction worksite. Gone are the days of working with archaic hand tools and measurement devices. Instead, today’s construction workers rely on the accuracy, dependability and efficiency of next-gen GPS tools to get the job done right.
The act of surveying, or measuring a tract of land to establish or define its boundaries, has been around since mankind’s earliest days. In fact, there is evidence that the ancient Egyptians used rudimentary surveying tools when building Giza’s Great Pyramid in 2700 B.C.
However, times have changed a lot since then. Today’s surveyors are actually able to use GPS technology to save time, decrease operational costs and ensure greater accuracy than ever before. Some companies even make GPS units and apps that are meant for the specific task of surveying land.
Larger areas and territories can be mapped out and surveyed with a GPS-equipped flying drone. Apart from utilizing an onboard GPS to record and transmit data, aerial drones can even be equipped with video recording hardware, which can be extremely helpful when it comes to creating a map of the entire jobsite.
Hydrographic surveys, which are useful in bridge-building and offshore oil rig operations, can also benefit from the use of GPS. Although such surveys have been incredibly difficult to perform in the past, the implementation of a modern GPS device can identify changes in water depth as well as other, unseen hazards in the water.
Allocating and Assigning Resources
GPS units can also be used to streamline the allocation of construction site resources, including materials and laborers. While this application might not be needed in smaller projects, large-scale construction projects, some of which can cover multiple city blocks, can certainly use modern GPS devices to their advantage. Materials can be shipped directly to their needed location through the use of GPS coordinates, while workers can be assigned to specific jobs quickly and easily.
If you have trouble with workers leaving or deserting their posts, GPS can even be used to track individual employees. There are a number of paid apps that can be installed on workers’ cell phones, thereby letting you know exactly where they are at all times. Such software is also a great solution when trying to monitor the progress of multiple jobsites or large workforces.
Managing and Monitoring Company Vehicles
Cat’s Product Link technology is meant as a next-gen method for tracking, mapping and monitoring vehicles within your company’s fleet. It uses GPS technology to provide machine data instantaneously and in real time. Moreover, Product Link is able to deliver this information through a variety of methods, including email, pager notification and even through Cat’s own web-based portal.
Other uses for fleet monitoring include verification of work hours and ensuring safe driving speeds to and from the jobsite on a daily basis. Not only does this provide additional safety for your drivers and workers, but it could even help to avoid the costs of speeding tickets, driving infractions and increased insurance premiums.
Safeguarding Valuable Equipment
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB, the annual costs of construction equipment theft around the U.S. may be as high as $1 billion. Valuable construction equipment, including vehicles, can even be equipped with GPS trackers that are capable of transmitting data, including its present location, via the Internet. Such devices are typically small and easily concealable, thereby making it simple to attach to your most expensive tools and equipment.
A good GPS tracker allows the rightful owner to view the location of their equipment through any device that connects to the Internet, including cell phones, laptops and desktop computers. This information can then be passed on to the local authorities for retrieval.
The Construction Site of the Future
Given some of the technological advancements seen as of late, including numerous innovations in the way of GPS functionality, it’s safe to say that the future of construction site technology is upon us. While the integration of tools and technology has already done a lot to improve the accuracy and efficiency of modern construction projects, there’s really no telling what tomorrow might bring.
About the Author:
Megan Wild is a home improvement writer who is also interested in the residential and commercial construction industries. She enjoys writing and hiking outdoors, and cataloging her ideas on her blog, Your Wild Home.