Compact Equipment Operators Benefit from New Attachment Technologies, Increasing Accuracy And Efficiency
Getting more work from a particular piece of construction equipment means you can be more productive on the job and see a higher, faster return on your investment. Attachments are a highly cost-effective way to extend the versatility of compact equipment, and new attachment technologies are making these smaller machines more efficient, more accurate and safer than ever. It’s an across-the-board boon for the construction industry.
Excavator and loader attachments are leading the way.
New attachment technologies ease the operator’s workload while allowing greater jobsite precision when needed. Grade-control technologies enable operators to dig faster yet more accurately. There are laser-compatible systems that can be calibrated to specific machines, allowing half-inch accuracy without the operator having to get out of the cab and measure depth or grade.
Dual-function clamp systems for compact excavators provide an adjustable standard tool plus a reversible grading tool in one unit. Pinned in the forward position, it gives you a smooth cutting edge on the bottom of a trench, so there’s no need for an additional smooth lip bucket or manual shoveling.
Automated grading solutions can make your work accurate within a quarter-inch for paving work and utility installations. These systems integrate sonic/slope and laser grading with loader control technologies and can be used on track or skid-steer loaders. With integrated dashboard instrumentation, operators don’t even have to leave their seat to raise or lower the laser transmitter or receivers. The sonic tracer and slope sensor work when it’s too hilly for laser-sight.
Attachment technologies also enable intelligent communication between operator and machine, to control movements and track performance, work hours, maintenance data and more.
Everything about the equipment is more sophisticated. Less manual labor makes the job safer and less fatiguing for operators and eliminates time spent repeatedly getting in and out of the cab. Technology-controlled accuracy eliminates time-wasting work associated with activities like correcting over-digging and under-digging. And you can complete projects sooner – or reliably meet deadlines during crunch-times – enhancing both your reputation and your bottom line.
Technology isn’t just for attachments.
New software applications are constantly appearing that provide multiple benefits for the construction industry. For example, one company makes collaborative software that enhances finance and operations management. The key to obtaining value from systems like this is the ability to fully integrate jobsite and back-office visibility and control to coordinate all aspects of the business, from planning through project management and analysis.
As the economic outlook for the construction industry continues to improve, industry sources expect demand for management technologies to increase as well. Savvy managers see a very real competitive edge in streamlined, more effective worksite productivity, data-gathering capabilities and resulting reductions in maintenance and other costs. Saving money in one part of the enterprise allows greater investment elsewhere to build the business.
The two most common technology transitions are cloud computing and mobile applications. Subscribing to cloud-based solutions replaces high hardware and software expenses with lower, often-scalable and predictable costs. Mobile devices extend the value of these utilities, and have become essential business tools for construction companies, whose people and machines are widespread and literally on the move.
Communications technologies have revolutionized the construction industry, and vendors continue to develop newer, even more versatile and powerful applications and more rugged devices that can withstand real-life jobsite conditions. Oddly, many contractors have not yet fully realized the advantages of these new tools, but industry watchers say 2015 will be the year contractors “get with it” in record numbers.